Days after making the brave and surprising move to double the amount of Best picture nominees from 5 to 10 (Read: 2010 Academy Awards To Include Ten Best Picture Nominees), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science has also decided that if there’s not a song worthy enough of an Oscar, then no Oscar will be given for Best Original Song.
Basically, this new rule states that if a song does not receive a minimum average score of 8.25 during the nominations voting, then it will not be considered for nomination. If not one song is given this minimum average score, than the category will just not be presented at the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony. If only one song gets the 8.25 average score, then that song and the next highest-rated song to it will be the nominees; if only two songs are deemed worthy, then, again, there will be only two nominees. This is also new as the minimum number of nominees used was three prior to this.
This is the second consecutive change made to the Best Original Song category. The year before last’s ceremony included a sickening three nominees from the movie Enchanted up against the lonely (and eventual winning) nominee from the movie Once — this was then changed to only allow a movie a maximum of two songs nominated.
This particular category could be the Academy’s most-flawed, so it is good to see that they’re trying to find a way to remedy that. The most questionable thing about all of this might just be who exactly is grading these songs, though. Going back two years again, pretty much every song on the Once soundtrack was worlds better than every song on the Enchanted soundtrack combined; this caused head-scratching, but justice was ultimately served there. Last year, Bruce Springsteen’s “The Wrestler” from The Wrestler wasn’t even nominated, which was one of the biggest snubs in recent memory, especially considering there were only three nominees last year and plenty of room for another. This isn’t to say that Springsteen would have beaten the powerhouse that was Slumdog Millionaire and its contributions to the category — not at all. What it is saying is that these songs — and surely many others over the years — are not getting selected, while less-deserving songs sometimes are. This calls into question the integrity of those who choose the songs, and how this new, much more-strict rule will affect future songs and their chance at a nomination.