By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Woe For Pixar… Heavy Hangs The Crown
A wacky Patrick Goldstein column. So odd, I almost think that the author twisted himself into a rhetorical pretzel to avoid being accused to writing the column in payment for the Disney ads that surround it. Almost. Probably not.
The reason Pixar is not seriously in the running to win Best PIcture has some history.
1. Beauty & The Beast is the first animated picture nominated for Best Picture in 1991.
2. The Lion King doesn’t get nominated for Best Picture in 1994.
3. The Academy creates a Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2001.
4. The pressure for Best Picture nominations for animation subsides.
5. The Academy switches to 10 nominees for Best Picture in 2009.
6. Up gets nominated for Best Picture and wins Best Animated Feature
7. Toy Story 3 gets nominated for Best Picture and wins Best Animated Feature.
8. For the first time in modern 10 nomination history, no animated film gets nominated for Best Picture and Happy Feet 2 wins Best Animated Feature.
Oh… got ahead of myself.
But this is no different than foreign language or documentary. When you give a genre its own category, the Best Picture race becomes almost impossible. The same principle speaks to the Indie Spirit Awards, which if you are presumed to be the inevitable winner in the ISA’s Picture category, makes your film unlikely to win the Oscar. It has nothing to do with not appreciating the work. It has to do with human nature.
Moreover… the idea that a Rotten Tomatoes perspective on Best Picture is relevant is just stupid. Every year there are movies of the moment. And sometimes they get nominations… sometimes even wins… but often, by the time the year end roles around, they are forgotten by Academy voters.
I loved Toy Story 3. And it won’t be in my personal Top 5 this year. It’s not because it’s animated. It’s no because I don’t appreciate the magic work being done by Pixar. It’s because the film, terrific as it is, just doesn’t bring the weight of some of the other films I have seen. It doesn’t bring the weight, for me, of Up or Ratatouille or The Lion King. That’s the way things roll.
And just to make one point… the sentence, “If there were ever something that Hollywood should be embarrassed about, it’s that Pixar has never won an Oscar for best picture — despite making 11 consecutive commercially successful and critically acclaimed movies,” is journalistically grotesque.
There are so very many things for Hollywood to be embarrassed about… or to even think about for a single minute…but Pixar not winning Best Picture? Seriously? How would that ever make the agenda? Pixar has won only 5 of 9 Best Animated Feature Oscars. So in four of those years, in spite of quality and commercial success, The Academy didn’t even see Pixar’s films as the best of the animated films. Scratch those of the outrage list. Neither of the first two Toy Storys nor A Bug’s Life had a category to compete in, aside from Best Picture.
So… should Up have beat The Hurt Locker? Not on my dance car… and I adore Up.
Was Wall-E better than Slumdog MIllionaire? Some would say, ‘yes.” Not me.
How about The Rat? More deserving than The Coen Bros and No Country For Old Men?
The Incredibles lost to a little movie called Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.
And Finding Nemo over Chicago? Personally, I’d go for that one… but one strong case doesn’t make for the most embarrassing failure in Hollywood this week, much less of all time.
Just saying… Pixar has five Oscars. That’s more than Hillary Swank!!! Put your Kleenex™ away.