Good news and bad news: The 77th annual Oscars will not present any more awards than usual.
While this will please viewers who dread a longer-than-average kudocast, it’s a blow for those who were hoping the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences would launch its original-musical category.
The category is for films that feature at least five songs written by the same composer(s); each song “must further the storyline,” according to the Acad rules. Thus, an adapted stage musical like “Chicago” would not be eligible nor would a film like “Vanilla Sky” that features plentiful songs by different composers.
For AMPAS to present the award, there must be at least five films eligible. This year, seven films applied to the Acad; on Tuesday, the board decided that five met the criteria, but it wouldn’t give the award. The feeling was that it’s not fair to honor three films with nominations when the entire pool consisted of only five pics.
The eligible pics were Disney’s “Home on the Range,” Miramax’s “Les Choristes,” Paramount’s “Team America: World Police” and two pics from Dan Mirvish without a domestic distrib: “Open House” and “Big in Germany.”
The music category has existed for years under different names; Prince won the “original song score” kudos for “Purple Rain” for 1984, the last time under that moniker. In 2000, the category was renamed original musical, but no award has been presented since then.