It was supposed to be the move that made the 2010 Oscars more “meaningful”. By opening up the Best Picture nominations to ten, more films, and by indirect correlation, more filmmakers, casts, and crewmembers, were supposed to be vying for the Academy’s top prize. It was diversity in its purest, aesthetic form. So why was the announcement this morning of the 82nd Annual AMPAS choices so…expected. Where were the proposed “shockers”? Oh sure, would anyone have guessed that a sci-fi South African social commentary or the animated adventures of a curmudgeonly old man, a chubby adventure scout, and a floating house be vying for the year’s top trophy. Sure, the aliens of Na’Vi and an bunch of bomb squad daredevils were a lock, but at least a couple of the Best Picture picks were interesting, to say the least. But “stunners”? Not really.
As for the rest of the major categories, they couldn’t be more predictable. You’ve got to give Hollywood and the various guilds and critical community credit. They have micromanaged the awards season process to remove all legitimate suspense and surprise out of it. For those still interested - or working on their office pool - here’s how we see the upcoming 7 March commencements: