At the first few Oscar ceremonies, there was no prize for Best Picture; instead, one film was declared the Best Production, and special awards for artistic merit were given to exceptional films or artists as needed. Though the top category was renamed Best Picture in 1930, Variety's Dade Hayes believes that when it comes to selecting the winner AMPAS splits the difference between art and commerce. Looking at this year's slate of nominees, from which there is no clear front-runner (and also no overwhelming blockbuster), Hayes laments the business-as-usual middle-of-the-road-ness of it all, noting that whilst earlier in the year there was award buzz around riskier, indi-er projects such as Kinsey and Bad Education,
As one Oscar consultant put it, "Too many movies just made people uncomfortable. The critics may have liked them, but Academy members aren't usually going to reward something for being difficult."
When, aside from "Midnight Cowboy," has that sentiment not prevailed?
I don't know. Forrest Gump sure as hell makes *me* uncomfortable…