The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS), the august body which doles out Oscars every year, is considering moving the 2011 ceremony forward to mid-January from its regular spot in late February. According to Deadline Hollywood, studio bosses think the move would "make the Oscars the definitive awards show again." As the website's Nikki Finke points out, the Oscars would rub shoulders with events like the Golden Globes (January 16) and the Super Bowl (February 6), and would preempt other film honors like the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards. Is it a good idea?
This could restore the Oscars' credibility: There's plenty of reasons why this could work, says Lane Brown at New York magazine. It could help offset "awards fatigue," up the suspense, and — by eliminating the "two-month gap" between the deadline for eligibility and the ceremony — could ensure that actual quality film-making is awarded, instead of "expertly run" publicity campaigns.
"Five reasons why moving the Oscars to January is a good idea"
But Oscar voters need time to watch all the movies: While the "overall awards season" is "way too long," says Dave Karger at Entertainment Weekly, February is still the "better option." The 6,000 members of the Academy — far more than the 100 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association who vote for the Golden Globes — need that two-month window to "get their acts together" and review all the nominated films.
"The Oscars in January? Not so fast"
There's a better option: Why not restore the ceremony to its original slot in April, asks Tom O'Neil at the Los Angeles Times. There's actually more suspense if you give voters "more time to reflect on their choices" and escape the influence of "precursor awards." In the old days, voters "often got bored with the early winners of Golden Globes and critics' and guild awards" and ditched presumptive winners for more interesting and deserving long-shots.
"Don't move the Oscars up to January! Push them back to April!"