Saturday, June 18, 2011

Academy Rule Changes and New Members

Earlier this week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced a few changes to their award show. The main change was a new system to determine Best Picture nominees with a film needing 5% of first place votes to be nominated. This makes the final tally of BP nominees variable (minimum 5 - maximum 10) from year to year. Like any change, it's getting mixed reactions. Others like that it gives the category a bit more exclusivity while others bemoan another major change to the category so soon after the last one. For me, I generally like the idea of it, but the stats guy in me cringe at the thought of every year having different number of nominees. I'll hold off until I actually see this in practice the next few years.

In less controversial news (well relatively), the Academy also recently welcomed 178 new members to its fold giving them all that coveted chance to vote for who gets nominated and ultimately wins an Academy Award. Among them are 27 actors which I have broken up into the categories below.

Former Nominees -- Fresh off being nominated earlier this year, Jesse Eisenberg, John Hawkes, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jacki Weaver are now Academy members. Ellen Page, who had to wait a bit longer, was also invited.

Young Future Nominees -- Either these young actors delivered Oscar-worthy performances that were sadly not recognized (Mila Kunis, Anthony Mackie) or the Academy thinks this performance is in them (Rooney Mara, Mia Wasikowska).

Across-the-Pond Actors -- Joining Australian Wasikowska, a bunch of non-American born actors make it in this year's invite list including Vincent Cassel, Robbie Coltrane, Lesley Manville, Gerard Butler, Russell Brand, Nastassja Kinski, Connie Nielsen, and Dominic Monaghan. Where the Asians at though?

Known/Former TV Stars -- Apparently working on the small screens is not hindrance to voting for film's ultimate awards. Lost's Monaghan was already mentioned, but how about former Alias co-stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Garner? Showtime gets lots of love as David Duchovny (Californication), Thomas Jane (Hung), and John Corbett and Rosemarie DeWitt (United States of Tara) make it in. Finally, Peter Dinklage is currently wowing audience in HBO's Game of Thrones.

Miscellaneous -- Tea Leoni because they couldn't not invite her after inviting her husband (David Duchovny); Beyonce Knowles because they really didn't want to ask Justin Timberlake; Wes Studi because without him who would they hire to play Native American in films?

Of course there were a few other notable invites in other branches. Oscar winners Tom Hooper and Aaron Sorkin were obviously invited, but after having a career year Lisa Cholodenko, Debra Granik, Gregg Araki, and John Cameron Mitchell were also welcomed in. Finally, the Academy also gave their first posthumous invite to documentarian Tim Hetherington who died earlier this year, after his film Restrepo was nominated for an Academy Award. For a complete list of new member invites, click here.

1 comment:

  1. because they really didn't want to ask Justin Timberlake

    The more I see of his work, the more I think they're being idiots for ignoring him.


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