Yesterday The Envelope‘s Tom O’Neil ran some comments from a few journo-bloggers about whether Andrew Stanton‘s WALL*E might be Oscar-nominated for Best Picture instead of just Best Animated Feature, which this widely loved and admired film is obviously destined to be nominated and win for.
I was the only one who didn’t just say no, it probably won’t be nominated as Best Picture but bluntly and unequivocally no, it shouldn’t be nominated for Best Picture because (a) it belongs in the animated category, period, and (b) winning in that category is a very honorable thing so what’s the problem?
“WALL*E, to use a nationalistic metaphor, is a splendid Mexican classic,” I wrote. “It stands tall on its own terms, and its makers have every reason to be proud. But it’s a Mexican film and not an American one, and there’s no need for it to cross the Rio Grande and obtain American citizenship. It’s fine as it is. It’s a great animated film, and will win the Oscar in that category, and that’s fine. Did Luis Bunuel need to become an American citizen in order to feel complete and verified as a film artist? As Sylvester Stallone said to Brian Dennehy in First Blood, “Let…it…go.”
Most of those asked — The Envelope‘s Scott Feinberg, USA Today‘s Suzie Woz, The Envelope‘s Pete Hammond, Entertainment Weekly‘s Mark Harris, Coming Soon‘s Ed Douglas, Hollywood Reporter‘s T.L. Stanley — said a Best Picture nomination probably isn’t in the cards for WALL*E, although two or three said it could gather a lot of one-point votes and therefore slip in as a fifth-choice contender.
Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone said this could happen if the concept of WALL*E as a “protest vote” — i.e., against what some see as an array or relatively marginal or unexceptional live-action Best Picture contenders — gains traction. I’ll be cool with that if it happens because I like all protests against anything and everything. I’m very much of a three-pronged-pitchfork-and-burning-torch kind of guy.