Once the Academy decided to expand the Best Picture category to include ten nominees, it suddenly made the groups that already decide on ten, the National Board of Review, the American Film Institute and the Broadcast Film Critics (I suppose, in their own way, the Globes) seem more influential, especially where their second and third tier choices are concerned. Now that the PGA have made the same shift, one wonders how it will all go down.
Here’s the thing, though: I still think five nominees is more influential than ten. When they expanded to ten within the Academy it immediately made the Best Director category all the more substantial.
But back to the PGA. They had more power, I think, with only five. With ten, they will muddy their waters in terms of Academy influence.¬† On the other hand, if this is some evil plot to flush more cash into the strapped industry, who are we to argue. It will make predicting a lot more fun because something tells me that these entities will all be on the same page.
The PGA already had a more open mind than the Academy when it came to blockbusters especially. While they don’t necessarily give their winners to the highest money makers (as previously thought), they are more open to including them simply because they cannot be ignored. To that end, here are some films that the PGA might consider for Best Pic than the Academy might not:
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Julie & Julia (although it’s also a possible Academy contender)
District 9 (absolutely, thanks Erik)
And then of course those upcoming, like Sherlock Holmes. These to join other potential Best Pic candidates, like Nine, Avatar, The Lovely Bones, Wild Things, etc. All eyes are nonetheless going to fall on the DGA and the Best Director category. I still think that is where you are going to find the map that leads you to the Best Picture winner. But this is still a cliffhanger. A film like Avatar would probably need a Best Director nomination for Cameron’s film to win, unless we are suddenly in the midst of a scenario where the Best Picture winner ends up being the biggest moneymaker and the most popular film, a la the MTV awards.