Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Is Hollywood Taking the Oscars Back from the Indies?

posted by Nell Minow

For the past few years, independent films have out-performed Hollywood studio productions when it comes to awards like the Oscars so consistently that the studios made very little effort to campaign on behalf of big-budget films. But the New York Times reports that the studios are getting ready to promote some of their blockbuster releases for awards this year.
In theory, any film released this year is eligible for awards, but as a practical matter only the films supported by their studios will get the critical mass of support necessary for a nomination. Each fall, very expensive campaigns — special screenings, distribution of DVDs, some promotional swag, ads in trade publications “for your consideration” — determine which films are prominent in the voters’ minds when it comes time to cast their ballots.
After years of giving plenty of running room to independent film companies or studio art house divisions that set the pace with critic-friendly but limited-audience films like last year’s “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood,” this year the major studios are pushing some of their biggest crowd-pleasers into the thick of the awards race.

Their approaching multimillion-dollar campaigns come at a time when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, whose 6,000-plus members award the Oscars, is planning to give its annual show a more commercially popular flavor. In part the academy’s producers will do that by including glimpses of the year’s box office favorites [previously the broadcast did not permit commercials for upcoming films], whether or not they are nominated for prizes….

Shrinkage in the small-film business has left more room for big studios to play the Oscar game. Awaiting awards pushes are films like Universal’s “Frost/Nixon,” directed by Ron Howard; Paramount’s “Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” a David Fincher film starring Brad Pitt; and 20th Century Fox’s “Australia,” a Baz Luhrmann epic starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman.
The Times says there could be campaigns for such commercial hits as Wall?E and Iron Man. While this could be more about attracting viewers to the Oscar broadcast as it is about the quality of the film candidates for awards, I like the idea of recognizing that just because a movie makes a lot of money does not mean it is without artistic merit. A large part of what made Iron Man successful was the artistry of Robert Downey, Jr., Gwenyth Paltrow, and director Jon Favreau. And what made Wall?E so successful was the way its stories and characters touched the hearts of the audience, thanks to its writers and artists. I like seeing independent films get nominated for awards because it brings them a larger audience. But I’m glad to see blockbusters getting studio support for awards because it reminds us why they are so important to us.



Previous Posts

Interview: Matthew Llewellyn, Composer for Wally Lamb's "Wishin' and Hopin'"
Wishin' and Hopin' is Lifetime movie airing December 21, 2014, based on the novel by Wally Lamb. It stars Molly Ringwald and Meat Loaf with narration by Chevy Chase. Composer Matthew Llewellyn was kind enough to answer my questions about creating a score for this nostalgic holiday story. How d

posted 9:40:56am Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Wild's Cheryl Strayed Has a New Advice Podcast
Before Wild, Cheryl Strayed was the pseudonymous "Dear Sugar" advice columnist for The Rumpus. Her columns were collected in Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar. Writer Steve Almond (Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America) also wrote as Dear Su

posted 3:59:40pm Dec. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Actors Of Color Discuss Racial Stereotypes In Hollywood
Film Courage produced this excellent and very compelling film with actors of color talking about the challenges they face in Hollywood. If we did a better job of representing diversity in film, we would not just tell better stories and tell stories better, we would make better progress toward under

posted 8:00:49am Dec. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Annie
The story of the plucky little Depression-era orphan with the curly red hair has been not just re-booted but re-imagined into the world of rent-a-bikes, viral videos, DNA tests, YOLO, corpora

posted 5:59:13pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Fans of the first two "Night at the Museum" films will like this one because it is pretty much the same film. They go to another museum, this time the British Museum in London, and the exhibi

posted 5:23:46pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.