Today’s Variety includes one of the many special sections that are geared toward the awards season. Today’s issue is called “Eye on the Oscars: Best Picture,” and like all of these special issues, it attempts to handicap the race. It lists the so-called “contenders” for the Best Picture category, but somehow it doesn’t include any, that’s right, ANY films that have not also bought ads in that publication over the last few weeks. Is there a connection between these things? Of course Variety would deny it. And by the way, I’m not singling out Variety. All the trades appear to operate the same way. Have any of these issues done feature articles on any films that have not bought trade ads?
Why does this matter? Academy members do not have time to see every eligible film before they vote. They depend to some extent on the handicappers to narrow down the field to a manageable number of films. These special sections are among the ways the race is handicapped. If you are not listed as a contender, you basically don’t exist. So, how much does it cost to get an Oscar thse days?