Thursday, July 3, 2008

Four reasons why WALL-E won't be nominated for Best Picture

Don’t get me wrong. Nothing would make me happier than to see the Academy finally embrace an animated Best Picture nominee after 17 years (Beauty and the Beast in 1991), but allow me to be cynical/realistic. Some things have changed in those 17 years. The following comparisons between Beauty and the Beast and WALL-E are enough to convince me that WALL-E’s best pic hopes may just be a nice facade:

1. Summer release: The Academy has never considered “summer entertainment” to be important. Beauty and the Beast was a late November release, competing (and holding its own) with the usual glut of fall/winter prestige pictures.

2. Box office: When Beauty and the Beast was nominated for Best Picture, a strong box office showing actually meant something to Academy voters. Today, it only means to them that a lot of people liked it, and therefore can’t be taken seriously as art.

3. Competition: Many consider 1991 to be a weak year for American cinema (I disagree). Disney haters insist that it was the lack of real competition that allowed Beauty and the Beast to squeeze into the top five (again, I disagree). But we still have half a year to go. It just doesn’t seem likely that less than five films as good as WALL-E will be released before the year is out.

4. Categorization: The Academy didn’t have a Best Animated Feature category to stuff Beauty and the Beast into 17 years ago. The film was simply too good to be ignored, so it got the big nomination. WALL-E, like every other contemporary animated masterpiece, is stuck in the ghetto.

So, there are my rational, logical, unbiased (yeah right), and slightly paranoid explanations as to why WALL-E, outstanding though it is, is not going to make the cut. Are you as cynical/realistic as me? Speak up in the poll.

No comments: