In its story on the Oscar nominations, The Los Angeles Times noted: "These may have been the selections of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but the major nominations resembled the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Only two of the best picture nominees are studio releases -- 'Benjamin Button' and 'Frost/Nixon.' The rest hail from the indie world, as do many of the other nominees in the marquee categories."
Reporter Susan King is right, of course, and that's both good and bad news for the movies. It's great to see the Academy extend its reach, something that's been going on for the past several years. But it's also a little distressing that the bulk of the audience may be more alienated from Oscar than ever. This year's show could be one of the lowest rated ever.
In all of this, I haven't mentioned "Slumdog Millionaire," which walked away with 10 nominations and remains the front-runner for best picture. Stay tuned.