In a move that, if done earlier, could have cost Randy Newman hundreds of Oscar nominations*, the Academy Awards have announced another drastic change in their nomination process (see first change here, web-slingers -- ed.) that could eliminate the Best Song category if no songs worthy of being deemed "best" are found. Basically, the Academy can now call every original song bullshit:
The music branch annually conducts a "bake-off" in which voters see clips of eligible songs as they are used in each film. The voters then rate a song on a scale of 6 to 10. Under the new ruling, if no song earns 8.25, there will be no nominations. If at least one hits that magic number, it will be nominated, as will the second-highest scorer.
Additionally, they've moved to present the boring, isn't-this-person-great awards--"the Thalberg nod to filmmakers, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and the honorary Oscars for career excellence"--at an exclusive gala rather than during the ceremony. Sounds to me like someone's clearing out some room for the hour-long memorial reel we're going to need if celebrity deaths continue at the current rate. And maybe we can extend the time we spend meeting the accountants holding the briefcases full of sealed awards? One can only dream.
*His early work is genuinely great, though.
Two more Oscar tweaks [Variety]