Perhaps the most troubling effect of the Academy’s decision to have 10 Best Picture nominees this season is that whenever any movie does at all well, people start talking Oscar. I for one am certainly guilty of that—remember my Hangover-for-Best-Picture item? And now it’s happening again with the Michael Jackson documentary This Is It, which the Associated Press’ Sandy Cohen and the Hollywood Reporter’s Steven Zeitchik have put forth as a possible Best Picture nominee. (Sony is submitting it for consideration for all the major races, though it’s too late to qualify for a Best Documentary Feature nod.) I have to say, I’m not so sure about this one. The film is something of a cultural phenomenon (though it doesn’t look like it’s going to bust any box office records after all), and considering how quickly it was put together, it’s a very impressive achievement. But it’s still essentially just a bunch of concert-rehearsal footage strung together. I can’t visualize voters in the acting, art direction, costume, writing, or makeup branches even considering putting it on their ballots, even with twice the nominees. I don’t think it’s going to be completely ignored: I would give it a decent shot at a sound editing or sound mixing nomination. But this, as they say, is it.
Image credit: Kevin Mazur