As someone who feels the awards season often drags on too long, I read with great interest John Horn’s L.A. Times story this morning indicating that the Academy is getting closer to moving its 2012 ceremony a few weeks earlier, to late January or early February. (This season’s telecast is scheduled for Feb. 27.) Clearly the Academy is sick of being viewed as an afterthought to all the other awards shows. And even though the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards would certainly move up their dates as well, anything that keeps the overall season a bit more brisk is a welcome change.
But I’m troubled by Horn’s revelation that the new logistics would require voters to watch some of the Oscar contenders online, since the studios wouldn’t have the time to schedule enough screenings or send out every DVD before the balloting deadline. The thought of Academy members judging the best films of the year on a computer screen just makes me sad. At this point I’d almost rather have the Oscar season remain a few weeks too long than know that many of the award-worthy films weren’t seen like they were meant to be seen: at least in some Academy member’s fabulous home screening room.