RULE CHANGES & THE BIG SHOW
If you thought you heard paradoxical wild-mild applause at Oscar's new rule changes that was, uh, me. The Art Direction category will now be called Production Design which is all well and good since it's the Production Designer (aka the boss) that wins the prize, not the Art Director (who reports to him/her). The Best Original Song category finally gave up its horrifically unfair voting procedures where you could sabotage competitors rather than voting for them (yuck) by scoring them with low marks and now it'll be a simpler process with a standard five nominees and ranked nomination ballots like all the other categories. I'm going to pretend that this is The Film Experience's fault for our years of bitching about how screwed up that voting process was. Oh shush. It's possible we talked some sense into them... especially since every other site seems to have been asking them to just cancel the category already. I'd rather stick with history and keep the same categories, but treat them fairly. Too bad we can't use a time machine to get Cher her rightful performance time at the 2011 ceremony.
Meanwhile, I know you've heard that Craig Zadan and Neil Meron of Chicago and Hairspray fame will produce this year's ceremony. If they're true to their roots maybe they'll rescue the newly reformed Song category with big ass production numbers? Or maybe they'll hire Hugh Jackman to host again since they'll need a song & dance man to move the High Holy Night along. Yes, Jackman hosting might get awkward if Les Miz is in the (major) running but the Tonys do that all the time (nominees as hosts). Not that we approve...
Oh and while we're on the Oscar topic, I have finished updating the charts. Just in time to alter them again when film festival season [Venice, Telluride, TIFF and NYFF comin' atcha] give us more info on the competition to come.
The drama Barbara, from director Christian Petzold of Yella fame, will represented Germany in the Foreign Film competition. Can the drama about a doctor in trouble with the government in East Germany become their 17th nominee? Their 16th nominee last year was the 3D dance documentary Pina. Barbara stars Petzold's regular muse, the award winning actress Nina Hoss.
CHILD STARS FOR LEAD OSCARS?
Meanwhile Kris Tapley at In Contention weighed in on the somewhat suddenly buzzy tsunami family survival drama The Impossible and Summit's plan for a lead actor campaign for its 11 year old boy star Tom Holland (who plays the child of Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts). With both Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and Holland's camps planning lead campaigns, might it be time to reinstate the Juvenile Oscar?
Frankly, I don't much like it when children win acting prizes (I know Kris considers this objection "nonsense" but the world would be dull if we all agreed), for a variety of reasons. It's not because they aren't sometimes worthy but because they...
a) ...are usually fraudulently campaigned
b) ...often have an unfair advantage based on general cuteness (nothing wrong with voting with your heart so long as your head is allowed a word in edgewise)
c) ...accidentaly reveal Hollywood's ugly sexism since time and again the Academy has shown that they don't mind snubbing unOscared mature actresses for "thank heaven for little girls" moments but would never ever dream of giving an Oscar to a little boy when there are men who have paid their dues waiting -- don't believe me? Just look at how few little boys have won acting Oscars (i.e. never competitively) compared to little girls.
d) ...are unschooled in acting so it's hard to know how much of their performance we must credit to the director and how much they found on their own in the role.
I think the occassional juvenile Oscar for performances that are just too wonderful to ignore might be the way to go.
How are you feeling about the rule changes and the presence of child thespians in this year's race?