Monday, February 8, 2010

Best in Show

I enjoyed watching the Grammy Awards this year, but I was left wondering about the validity of the awards when I noticed that the Dave Matthews Band's latest album, "Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King" was nominated for both Best Rock Album and Album of the Year.  It would stand to reason that an album good enough to be one of the top five albums of the year would be a shoe-in to win any sub-category for which it was nominated.  But that isn't what happened.  Instead, an album that wasn't good enough to be nominated for Album of the Year, Green Day's "21st Century Breakdown", defeated DMB's album in the Best Rock category.  To me, this makes little sense.

I was reminded of this conundrum recently when the movie "Up" was nominated as the Best Picture and Best Animated Feature Film for the 2010 Oscars.  It would seem to me that the other Best Animated Feature Films that have been nominated have no chance to win, since one of the top ten films of the year is in their category.  Yet, it is entirely possible for the movie "Coraline" to win that category.  Only in Hollywood could this possibly make sense.

So, I have devised a way for the Oscars (and the Grammys) to ensure this "problem" does not occur in the
future, and, at the same time, increase interest and views for their shows.

I propose that the 2011 Academy Awards start the night with five movies being nominated for\.  sub-categories and the winners of each category would win entry into the Best of Show award, known as Best Picture of the Year, the winner of which would be announced at the end of the show.  Because the candidates for Best Picture wouldn't be known going into the show, I would also propose that the winner be determined by a combination of view votes and audience votes (50/50).  Viewers could send text messages for their choice of winner (like American Idol) and the audience members could vote on touch pads (like America's Funniest Home Vidoes).

If they used my format this year, it might look something like this (using most of this year's nominees with some additions on my part to fill out the categories):

Best Drama -- Blind Side, Precious, A Serious Man, Up in the Air, Crazy Horse
Best Comedy-- Hangover, Julia and Julia, Funny People, (500) Days of Summer, Away We Go
Best SciFi/Fantasy--Avatar, Harry Potter, District 9, Star Trek, Moon
Best Action-- Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds, State of Play, Inviticus, Sherlock Holmes
Best Animated -- Up, Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Secret of Kells, The Princess and the Frog
Best Documentary -- The Cove, Food Inc, Which Way Home, The Most Dangerous Man in America, Burma VJ
Best Foreign Film -- A Prophet, The White Ribbon, The Secret in their Eyes, The Milk of Sorrow, Ajami

(They could add other categories such as short films, musicals, etc., as needed)

By the end of the night they would parade out the winners of each category, similar to the victors of each category in a dog show.  The votes would be tallied and the final announcement would be one of the most greatly anticipated events of each year.

If it were up to me, the Best Picture at the end of the show this year would have Blind Side, Funny People, Inglorious Basterds, District 9, Up, (and any of the other two categories, as I saw none of the contestants and wouldn't care very much which one won), with "Inglorious Basterds" ultimately winning the award for Best Picture.

Some might argue that the Best Picture Award would become too watered down and become too much of a popularity contest, especially if the general public were allowed to participate, were it run in this manner.  But, I don't feel that would be the case.  The Academy of Motion Pictures would control the entire nomination process, and the same people who currently vote would still decide who would win each category, so they'd still control which movies the public would eventually be voting to win.  Instead, this mini-tournament would give extra credence to the Best Picture category by pitting the top movies of each category against each other.  And with waning interest in awards shows, this shake up couldn't hurt ratings any more than giving Hugh Jackman hosting duties.  (But Hugh Jackman is Wolverine!)

Until a similar idea is implemented, quality movies like "Up" face the possibility of losing a lesser sub-category, yet potentially winning the nights biggest award.  Odd.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't see Whiteout anywhere on your list. What the heck? -Rach