It was hardly a cliffhanger, but Tom Sherak was reelected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He was voted in last night by the Academy Board of Governors along with Sid Ganis (first vice president), James L. Brooks, (vice president) Phil Robinson (vice president), Hawk Koch (treasurer) and Annette Bening (secretary). Sherak’s first term was marked by the Academy’s controversial decision to expand the Best Picture category to 10 films, for which Sherak was a proponent. While widening the field gave some extra attention to films like District 9, The Blind Side, Inglourious Basterds and Up In The Air, the extra five films were not at all a factor in what really became a two-horse race between Avatar and Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker.
The big question for Sherak and the Academy in this coming Oscar season: In a year where there have been complaints about quality, will there be 10 Oscar-caliber films to fill the category? Should the Best Picture category go back to normal and should the Academy instead reconsider a proposal to institute the new category of Best Ensemble, which would give more than token attention to films outside the Best Picture category, with an actual award up for grabs honoring a group effort? While the Best Picture expanded category fell flat, it might have been a fine battle between Inglourious Basterds, Precious, Up in the Air and The Hurt Locker for ensemble supremacy.