January 23, 2008

Oscar Nominees Post-Script

Yesterday, a friend raised the subject of Zodiac‘s absence from the nominations, and while I had mentioned it in my predictions write-up on the eve of the announcement, I was remiss not to bring up its shutout yesterday (ditto for Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead). It was starting to get some attention and I thought it might break through in a few places. He reminded me that we had both wondered, after seeing it back in February, if it would be remembered come Oscar time. The thinking always seems to be that the studios roll out tons of big dramas in the fall because they’ll be fresher in the minds of Oscar voters. And I’ve always argued that it doesn’t really matter, because the critics are fastidious about reviewing the entire year when they make their ten best lists and announce their critic’s awards. And it’s those critics lists and awards that start to form the small groups from which the guild and Academy choices will eventually come. This year, many critics put Zodiac on their top ten lists; Away From Her came out in April or May, and yet Julie Christie has dominated the Best Actress field; and in years past, the Academy has remembered early-in-the-year releases like The Silence of the Lambs, Fargo, Braveheart, and Gladiator. But I wonder if the critics do suffer from a habit of latching onto the most recent thing. If There Will Be Blood had come out in April, No Country for Old Men in June, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly in August, and Zodiac in November, might things have gone differently? Would Zodiac have been a bigger factor in the overall awards season, or would it still have been edged out by other movies with broader support? I stand by the statement that it would be better for movie fans and better for the awards season if these films were spread out through the year, rather than crammed into the last few months, with a dozen limited releases in December that Academy voters don’t even have time to see because they’re on vacation when half the screeners arrive, and are getting back home with less than a week to review a stack of films before the voting deadline closes. But such are the ways of Hollywood.

1 Comment »

  1. I just ordered the Director’s Cut Blu-Ray from Amazon (on sale for $17). Looking forward to rewatching it. Zodiactastic!

    Comment by Frants — January 8, 2013 @ 4:19 pm | Reply

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