I’m a movie fan. I’m also an Oscar fan. One of the compensations for cold winters was always waiting with anticipation for the Oscar nominations to come out, when I could compare the various nominees, agree or disagree with the picks, and try to guess which nominated movies were in serious contention. This year’s nominations came out last week, and I still can’t name all of the nominees for best film. There are simply too many of them. Trying to recognize the achievments of more films, the Academy has doubled the number of Best Film nominees, from five to 10 — thereby diminshing the attention paid to each of them.
Who can focus on 10 movies? Who can take seriously that long a list of “excellence” in one year? And who can look forward to an Academy Awards show that will be even longer than usual? The Academy’s decision to double the number of Best Film nominees is a classic mistake in messaging — a failure to recognize that less is more.
What we have here, as Strother Martin might have pointed out in Cool Hand Luke, is a failure to communicate.