If you’re an OscarWatcher like me, you’ve certainly caught wind of Nikki Finke’s interesting report that the Academy may be considering moving the Oscar ceremony a month earlier to January. I’ve just received word from an Academy spokeswoman that “the discussion was about the possibility of doing so no sooner than the 84th Academy Awards, to be held in 2012. The date for the next Oscar telecast, the 83rd, has already been announced and is firm: February 27, 2011.”
To which I say: Thank God. I definitely agree that the overall awards season has grown way too long (particularly this past year, when the telecast was pushed back to March), but holding the Oscars in January would almost certainly mean that nominations would have to be announced in December, before all the movies have even opened in theaters. Other awards bodies, like the National Board of Review and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, do their voting in December, but each of those two groups have approximately 100 members. There’s simply no way the Academy’s 6,000 members—many of whom work full-time in the film industry—could get their acts together in time. As one Oscar voter told me today: “We don’t have enough time to watch the films as it is!” Could this shift, which is certainly an attempt to lessen the power of the Golden Globes, take place one day in the near future? Possibly. But I’d say an early February date seems like a better option.