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If The Tree of Life is named best picture at the 84th annual Academy Awards, Brad Pitt, one of the movie’s five credited producers, will not be invited up onstage to accept the award.
Instead, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday that the four producers it has approved as official nominees are Bill Pohlad, Sarah Green, Dede Gardner and Grant Hill.
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Academy rules allow for no more than three producers to be nominated and to potentially receive Oscar statuettes for best picture. In “rare and extraordinary circumstances,” it may approve a fourth producer at the recommendation of the Producers Branch Executive Committee, which in this case decided to approve four individuals after considering the contributions of the various producers to the film.
The Tree team was surprised to hear, when nominations were announced Jan. 24, that the producing credits on Tree were listed as “To Be Determined,” according to a source familiar with the situation. Three names originally had been submitted: Pohlad, who financed the film through his River Road Entertainment; Green, who produces films with Malick; and Gardner, who is Pitt’s partner in Plan B Entertainment.
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Although Pitt and Hill, who also has worked on such Malick movies as The Thin Red Line, are among the five producers listed on the movie’s official credits, their names were not submitted for Oscar consideration, but Hill subsequently petitioned the Academy asking that his name also be included.
Pitt stars in the film as a stern father raising a family in the 1950s, and his participation was crucial to getting the film off the ground. But although he will not be among Tree’s official nominees, he’s guaranteed a front seat at the Oscars, to be held Feb. 26, because of his dual nominations for leading actor for his performance in Moneyball and as one of the producers of that movie, since it also is a best picture nominee.
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