HE reader James Kent just wrote the following: “With the whole WGA strike going on, what impact do you think that could have on Best Picture nominations this year? As the entire academy nominates Best Picture, I’m wondering if there might be enough bad blood among SAG, WGA and DGA members that they might steer away from a big studio production in favor of the little guy?”
In other words, if it comes down to a choice between nominating a deserving big-budgeter like Sweeney Todd or American Gangster and a deserving mid-level or low-budgeter, will the rank-and-file vote against the expensive movie as a way of saying eff-you to the big studios and the producers they’re in league with? Sounds too sweeping and simplistic to me. If this turns out to be any kind of factor (which I’m doubtful of), then yes, Atonement, American Gangster and Sweeney Todd could conceivably lose votes. But which prospective Best Picture nominees are truly independent and unsullied by big-studio lucre?