Wednesday, March 31, 2010

No Invitation to the Dance

The Academy Awards telecast was over a month ago, and I still can’t get the bad taste out of my mouth.  There were changes to the format of the show that many liked. The Academy likes to keep with tradition. Besides running over time, Romantic Comedies were denied once again a place among BEST PICTURE nominees. I fool-heartedly thought that with the expansion of the category to 10 nominees, surely one romantic-comedy (rom-com) would be given a nod.

Not even “500 Days of Summer,” a film that grossed over $32 million domestically was given a spot among the additional six nominees.  It’s a quirky romance that throws us back to classic-teen romance films of the 80’s with a soundtrack that resonates with many.  (Isn’t this a little bit how we all felt about Forrest Gump, Best Picture winner of 1994?) Below are the nominees and directors of the 82nd Annual Academy Awards.  Best Picture winner is in bold.

                  Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers

                  The Blind Side” Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson, Producers

                  District 9” Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers

                  An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers

The Hurt Locker Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro, Producers

                  Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer

                  Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers

                  A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers

                  Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer

                  Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers


$32 million might not be great compared to “Avatar,” a film that grossed over $742 million domestically and is still growing, but $32 million it is still over $16 million more than what our best picture winner made. And, let’s face it, romantic comedies have had historically a greater life in movie sales and rentals.  What does it take for a rom-com to be nominated for best picture?  In the Academy’s 82-year history, here is the short list of rom-com films that were dubbed “Best Picture”

“It Happened One Night” – 1934

“The Apartment” – 1960

“My Fair Lady” – 1964

“Annie Hall” – 1977

“Shakespeare in Love” – 1998

Maybe these 10 films of the 82nd Academy Awards are nominated because during these bleak times, they remind us of who we are and what we’re struggling against while giving us hope. Nonetheless, all I can say is: “Where’s the love Academy?”