Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday Oscar Retrospective: Five to Ten for 2007

Welcome back to weekly feature here at Movies with Abe, Wednesday Oscar Retrospective. Five to Ten is the fifth in a series of projects looking back at the past eight years of the Oscars, dating back to the first ceremony I watched and closely followed.

On the heels of the Academy’s announcement that this coming year will feature anywhere from five to ten films in the Best Picture list, I thought to look back at the most recent decade to determine what number of films would have ultimately earned a slot in the top category. Obviously, this is all guesswork and designed, above anything, to be fun. In the new system, films will need to earn at least 5% of the first-place votes. Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments!

Five to Ten for 2007

The actual lineup: Atonement, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood

The locks: Just the five films listed above.

The benefactors: This is one year where there were nine films certifiably in the running for Best Picture. Three of those would have had their chances amplified here. French film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly earned PGA and DGA nods before managing a place in the directing category and three others, and probably earned enough number one votes to manage a place under this new system. Into the Wild petered out just before the Oscars, resulting in just two nominations, and might have gotten many number one votes. Sweeney Todd beat “Juno” for the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical and, individualistic as it was, definitely had its fans.

The longshots: I suspect that American Gangster didn’t come too close to a Best Picture nod, but it did have a strong showing at the Golden Globes. The fun choice here would have been Once, though I doubt it would have incurred enough number one votes.

And the nominees could have been… Atonement, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Into the Wild, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, Sweeney Todd, There Will Be Blood

Does it change the winner? Nope. While “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” definitely had its fans, I don’t think a foreign film could have won this.

Which lineup is better? This is one year where none of the Best Picture nominees match up with mine, and all three of the films that might have been included were terrific. Therefore, I’d say that the eight-wide list is stronger, and I think that recognizing a foreign film, a road movie, and a musical would be considerably fairer to the year in cinema.

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