Women & Hollywood took the question to the several female voices in the business:
Gale Anne Hurd, producer of The Terminator, The Abyss and Punisher: War Zone
I‚Äôm delighted the Academy has made this decision ‚Äì now lesser known indie films, strong dramas or musicals, and even powerful commercial films (like this year‚Äôs STAR TREK) will receive the recognition they deserve with a nomination.
Thelma Adams, Film critic, US Weekly
This change clearly seems to be to the advantage of big films that have been overlooked of late ‚Äî The Dark Knight, etc. So I don‚Äôt think it‚Äôs a victory for women in film, but a triumph for big Hollywood over quality indies. Will this help Kathryn Bigelow‚Äôs pummeling ‚ÄúThe Hurt Locker?‚Äù I think not.
Martha Coolidge, director, Rambling Rose, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (disclaimer: she is on the Board of Governors of the Academy)
So my answer to you is ‚Äúyes‚Äù this certainly increases the chances of films by and about women being nominated in the Best Picture category. The number of Directors to be nominated has not been increased so I don‚Äôt think it effects that at all, except that any achievement by a woman helps every other woman. So a woman‚Äôs movie nominated for Best Picture one year could increase the attention to another good one the next year getting more attention for both categories.
The funny thing about this is how people assume that the ten nominations for Best Picture necessarily means that it will be All Commercial Films All of the Time. Pay attention to the way it all works and you’ll find that there are generally around ten films vying for Best Picture in any given year. They sustain some of the early critics awards, but by the time they hit the guilds it’s usually down to six or seven. When the five are announced, those extra two films that were shut out are missed – and it has always seemed kind of off balance that it comes down to such a close race of five. With ten, voters don’t have to concentrate on their top three but can be freer to pick what they consider are the ten best films of the year. Can a Star Trek sneak in? When answering this question one must compare it to The Dark Knight, as Adams does above. Christopher Nolan was nominated by the DGA.¬† That should end that argument. There are mainstream hits and there are films that transcend the genre – those films should and hopefully will be recognized.