Richard Corliss: 'Toy Story 3' Won't Win Best Picture
Time magazine critic Richard Corliss says The Race is wrong to think director Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3 has more of a chance to get its just Oscar deserts just because he ranks it above every live-action (or animated) film this year.
"I do not think Toy Story 3 will win the Oscar for best picture," Corliss wrote in an email to The Hollywood Reporter. "The Academy membership has never believed animated features deserve to be rewarded with the top Oscar, any more than documentaries or foreign-language films. Until 1992 (Beauty and the Beast), no animated feature had been even nominated for the top award. That includes the years of Walt Disney's early feature triumphs -- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Pinocchio, Bambi -- which were widely proclaimed, wildly popular and released back when, as now, the best picture category had 10 nominees."
"Today animated features are a bigger part of the business; and yes, Up was nominated for best picture last year. But nine years ago the Academy took a major step in sealing the form's ghetto status: it added the best animated feature category. ('We already gave them an award.') Also, since most Academy members have never worked on an animated feature, they can think it's produced by elves or gifted children and not suitable for a prize in the category they're familiar with: best (live-action) picture. The number of animators in the Academy is also too small to exert its muscle and make a difference."
"I'm flattered to be told my designating Toy Story 3 as the year's best movie would spur members to vote for it -- except that two years ago I put WALL-E in the same top slot. Didn't mean a thing."
"I can think of only one reason for the Academy to name Toy Story 3 the Best Picture of 2010: because it IS the best."
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Scott, whose THR coverage appears both in print and online, is one of the film industry's most experienced and trusted awards analysts, and possesses one of the strongest track records at forecasting the Oscars. His best showings came in 2006 (when he called 21 of 24 winners) and 2004 (when he called 20 of 24 winners); he was also the only pundit to project long-shot best picture nominations for The Reader (2008), The Blind Side (2009) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011). An alumnus of Brandeis University, he previously ran "The Feinberg Files" blog for the Los Angeles Times. He is now a voting member of both the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, and is writing a book about film history for young people for which he has interviewed more than 350 high-profile Hollywood figures.
Gregg contributes awards news, features online, and "The Race" column in print.
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