Thursday, November 29, 2007

Should "Ratatouille" Go For The Best Picture Oscar?

There's a lengthy article in the New York Times about Ratatouille. It's arguably the best-reviewed movie of the year and in a year of lengthy, darker movies, it's a pure delight. (And while being a huge blockbuster can be a problem for a nominee -- despite Titanic -- in this case, I don't think Hollywood would care at all that it made $200 mil here and a massive $400 mil overseas.) It has a shot at being the first animated movie since Beauty and the Beast to get nominated for Best Picture. The big debate? Should Ratatouille go for Best Picture and risk squandering its chance at Best Animated Film, especially in a year with very worthy competitors like Persepolis, The Simpsons Movie and Shrek The Third? Duh. The Best Animated Film Oscar is a ghettoized category that is literally meaningless at the box office and in prestige. Except for winning your office Oscar pool, it's a joke. Frankly, the category was created because animated films like Toy Story and The Incredibles were so clearly superior to their live action competitors that Hollywood was finding it increasingly difficult to explain away why cartoons didn't count when it came to Best Picture. If Ratatouille has a shot -- and it does -- Disney should go all in. Make absolutely clear they are pushing for a Best Picture nomination and don't even talk about the consolation prize of Best Animated Film. Disney has never won a Best Picture Oscar and this film has the accolades and the struggling artist tale that would make it catnip for voters. Why settle for a dull secondary category when you've got a shot at history? Even snagging a nomination would be historic and once that happens anything is possible.

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