So Why Didn’t The #1 Critically Rated Film Of The Year Get Nominated For Best Picture?

I’ve said it a hundred times here on The Movie Blog, but it’s worth repeating again. Ratatouille is one of the best films of 2007, and without question deserved at least a nomination for Best Film at the upcoming Oscars this year. But the more and more I think about it, the more disturbed I am that it didn’t get one of those honored spots.

Consider the following:

1) The #1 rated wide release film of 2007 on RottenTomates

2) The #1 rated film of 2007 on Metacritic

3) World Wide box office results (Box office is NOT a measurement of the quality of a film, however, it’s worth mentioning here just as an illustration that it wasn’t just critics who loved this movie) Ratatouille made almost DOUBLE the box office results for ALL THE 5 NOMINATED FILMS COMBINED. Ratatouille made $630 million while all the other films put together made about $357 million (Juno – $107, No Country – $64, Michael Clayton – $76, There will be blood – $16, Atonement – $94)

This all leads me to ask again…. WHY? Why wasn’t this #1 rated movie of 2007 considered worthy of at least a nomination in the “Best Film” category? As a matter of fact, it was never even really considered. So I thought I’d throw this out to you guys and ask:

“Why do you think Ratatouille wasn’t nominated for Best Picture”?

Is it one of these reasons, or any other you think of:

– Animated films aren’t considered real movies
– Family films aren’t considered art
– If it doesn’t show how evil the world can be, it’s not good enough
– They have a category of their own
– It just simply wasn’t good enough to be nominated

So what do you think?

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45 thoughts on “So Why Didn’t The #1 Critically Rated Film Of The Year Get Nominated For Best Picture?

  1. I finally saw ‘Ratatouille’ recently.

    And kept an open mind throughout.

    But at the same time, was mindful of what you had been saying all along about it being worth of Best Picture Oscar consideration.

    Uh, no.

    The litmus test I did was to ask ‘If this wasn’t animation…if this wasn’t done in this way…would it still be so highly regarded?

    Uh, no.

    A nice enough story, but really… Connect-the-dots plot, cut-out characters… Honestly, I was constantly reminded of watching ‘The Bugs Bunny-Roadrunner Show’.

    Animated films have their place. Just not in the Best Film category.

  2. It’s because it’s a cartoon, and cartoons will never be taken seriously over live action films. Never. Unless they stop making live action films altogether which will never happen. I personally think Grindhouse should have had a shot at best picture, but I would also root for Pirates 3 which made about $340 million more than Ratatouille.

  3. “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work to ourselves and our judgement. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic actually risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends.”

    -nuff said

  4. I LOVE Pixar movies but common john!
    The last 2 ones was preety weak.
    Im afraid pixar have the conception that all they have to do is pick the wierdest idea to make a character and make a emotional history off it.
    Cars had already a weak front character .
    But on RATATOUILLE maaann …its a rat who thinks it can turns into a masterchief cook in france!!!
    I know thats not the ponit of the movie.
    i have to agree with the others above ,its not even that good.
    Personal taste of mine aniway,but no matter either is ficcional or not,a bunch of rats running a kitchen its not a compelling image no matter how much the central character is simpatetic or not.

  5. I think that’s close to correct Troy.

    But Persepolis was entered by France as their entry for best foreign film. The voters chose not to let it pass on to the “next round” aka the short list. So is it possible Sony Pictures didn’t put enough “for your consideration” flyers up, or campaigning promotion, etc? I suppose, but I think it was just overlooked because it was animated.

    Not sure how the studio went about pushing Ratatouille, but it can be up for both best animated and best picture at the same time.

    I recently wrote to a studio head complaining about Casey Affleck being nominated in the supporting category instead of the lead role (which is complete bullshit). The rep got back to me stating that while the studio makes a “recommendation” as to where to place a nominee, it is ultimately up to the Academy Awards (voters) to choose which category it goes in.

    So I think Ratatouille and Persepolis could’ve both been up for best picture, but the voters chose not to put them there…. for whatever reason.

  6. @#33: Drewbacca

    What I was trying to explain to John and company was that the Academy isn’t the one that places the movies into the categories. There are categories and you have to meet certain criteria to be in them, but the studios are the ones that make the decision.

    When the argument began on the audio edition I was bothered by the general lack of knowledge in placing blame…or asking the question why? and trying to find a conspiracy.

    Then when it was posted for replys and I could not keep this explanation contained anymore.

    Ratatouille was eligible for best picture, BUT Disney/Pixar chose not to persue that category…they hedged their bets figuring Academy voters would not take it seriously versus such other posssible nominees as “There We Be Blood” and “No Country For Old Men” (THESE WERE BEST PICTURE CONTENDERS SINCE THE MIDDLE OF LAST YEAR) and had it placed in “Animated Film”, hoping to lock in a win, figuring the other contenders would be “Beowulf” and other such titles.

    “Persepolis” also was eligible for best foreign film, BUT Sony Pictures chose not to persue that category…they hedged their bets, against projected nominees (Cannes winning “4 Months, Weeks, 2 Days” and “La Vie En Rose”) NEITHER OF WHICH WOULD BE INVITED TO THE BIG DANCE and had it placed in “Animated Film”, hoping to lock a win.

    It’s all about judging your strengths versus your possible competition’s strengths.

  7. How about Beowulf?

    Even if it wasn’t nominated for Best Animated Film, I’m still surprised that it wasn’t at least acknowledged in some technical category for the CGI and performance capture. While not a seamless example of performance capture (and what is really?), no one can deny that the film was impressive enough in many areas to warrant a nom.

  8. You got to pay to play at the Oscar’s. If you don’t pimp your film, you don’t get nominated.

    The Oscar’s have flat out sucked for several years now.


  9. Your arguements are pretty valid except for the box office numbers. Box office numbers hardly reflect on the quality of a film (Meet he Spartains was #1 last weekend). Especially one directed towards children. If you use box office numbers as a criteria for a good movie then we should include Pirates and Spider-man 3 in the Best Picture category also.

  10. @Troy:

    That’s not exactly true. The studio may have pushed it for the animated category, but it is still eligible for both animated and for best picture. As Persepolis was eligible for best foreign language film.

    Again, if Perespolis doesn’t win this category I’ll be a bit disappointed (and I know it won’t).

  11. In my opinion this movie just was not that good.

    Here’s the real question, in all seriousness why wasn’t Transformers nominated for best animated film. It probably doesn’t qualify for that category but it should.

  12. It’s not nominated because Disney/Pixar wisely chose not to place it in that category.

    The studios decide which category they want the film placed…
    for example:
    Persepolis could have been nominated for Best Foreign Language film as well, but the producers and the studio may have decided the competition was going to be too tough so they went for the animated film category.

    Disney/Pixar, I am 1000% sure, probably had a meeting and decided to go for animated rather than best picture.

    Did they make the right decision?
    Will they more likely win the animated category rather than best picture?

  13. Why isn’t Ratatouille nominated for Best Picture? I guess the simple answer for this question is that Ratatouille is an animated film about a rat who can cook. For what it was it was great but it would be a joke if it were nominated for best picture. No matter how good reviews an animated movie gets-the highest achievement it will be honored is for Best Animated film. If it weren’t for the category Best Animated Film- then I could see why you’re confused about this.

  14. It’s not just an animated film it’s also a kids film remember… when was the last time a kids film won anything? I can’t remember any (but I may be wrong)

  15. and ratatouille has one major flaw that almost ruins the film.

    the main human is so boring and his arc is terrible that it is almost impossible to root for him and he takes over the film half way through.

    shame……but its still great.

  16. its simple really…

    it isn’t as good an achievement in film making as no country for old men, there will be blood, atonement, juno or michael clayton.

    and I fucking love the film but its as simple as that.

    although I have to say i think juno is fucking lucky to be nominated for best picture. it is a great film and really do like it but I am shocked it got that far in the race. especially when “into the Wild” was completely snubbed.
    i was surprised with clayton getting up there too but that film has grown on me and the more i think about it the more i like it. I would love to see clooney win actor but its definitely going to go to daniel “out of my way I am going to eat more scenery than alpacino in every pacino film combined” day lewis. and fair enough. he is great but I saw the film again the other night and his performance is very distracting to me. i personally find it a little too big. it is so close on the edge of ham and it creeps closer with every viewing.

    mind due I hate it when people say the oscars got it wrong…that is impossible.

    it is the academy awards. teh academy votes on who gets nominated anmd ultimately who wins. since it is ‘their’ award show how can they get it wrong? whatever gets the most votes from academy members wins. we may dislike what they choose…like the fact that they preferred the unwatchably awful “crash” over the far superior “brokeback mountain” but they didn’t get it wrong cos its their show and they can do what they want….and please no arguments …”crash” is so fucking awful its an embarrassment to film making. its as subtle as a sledgehammer to the nuts and as deep as a song by mariah carey. its fucking awful end of story..

    hell ratatouille’s its not even as good as the incredibles or toy story 2.

    it should win best animated though…seriosuly the animation is fucking insane. absolutely beautiful looking film.

  17. It just simply wasn’t good enough to be nominated

    boring story, lots of stereotypes, not funny, nothing new, just a below average family movie…
    i really can’t understand this hype here?!

  18. Ratatouille did not get the Nomination because the Academy set up the Best Animated Feature catagory for this reason.
    Back in the 90’s people in the industry were pissed that films like Beauty and the Beast got nominated for best Picture.
    So… hence the catagory for the Animnated Picture.

  19. it’s a cartoon. period. therefore, not worthy to be nominated along side a film with real people in it playing “real” characters.

    a load of crap really. pixar’s films blow away anything hollywood has produced in the last 10 years. animation gets no respect in hollywood.

    i’d say hollywood is like microsoft and pixar is like apple. ;)

  20. I didn’t even chime in on Ratatouille’s worthiness as a nominee, and I agree with most of the posters here. It is a very good film, but I didn’t really feel like it was slighted. It doesn’t come close to being the kind of film that No Country for Old Men or There Will Be Blood are. It’s just not in the same league. I enjoy it immensely and it gets better on repeat viewings, it’s not one of my top 5 films though.

    I also agree that other Pixar films such as the Incredibles and Toy Story are superior films.

  21. Simple cause it wasnt good enough , it was good just not good enough… mind you atonement is nominated and i didnt that that was anything but average..

    I agree with other poster this isnt even pixars best film… incredibles, nemo, toy story all better…

    The film was enjoyable but not great..

  22. I’m not sure that the critical reception of a movie like Ratatouille is really a good measure of the quality, if only because critics can’t help but go into an animated movie with a different mindset than they do with other more “serious” films.

    That being said, I definitely think that some animated movies are worthy of consideration for best picture, but I’m not sure I think Ratatouille is one of them. Of the Pixar films, I would place Monsters, Inc and the Incredibles well above it, and I don’t remember anyone batting an eye that they weren’t considered in their respective years.

  23. i think all the reasons you listed is why Ratatouille wasn’t nominated. i saw it, i didn’t think it was great, especally not good enough for best picture, and i also don’t think that just cause a movie is popular means that it should get an oscar.

  24. It is truly sad that the academy snubs animated films. As Brad Bird said, Animation is not a genera, It is a way to tell a story. Imagine if The Incredibles was live action. Same story and everything. It wouldn’t be even half as good, because Live action isn’t a good enough medium to tell that sort of story in.

    Rattatolie is one of the best movies to come out of Pixar and it’s a shame it’s not being taken seroiusly.

  25. I don’t like the rotten tomatoes percentage score. All that does is show that the critics liked it. It doesn’t say HOW MUCH they liked it. There is a score in the upper right hand portion of the screen that says it has an 8.4/10. That’s pretty damn good.


    No Country for Old Men = 8.6 (94%)
    TWBB = 8.3 (90%)
    Juno = 8.1 (93%)
    Michael Clayton = 7.6 (90%)
    Atonement = 7.4 (82%)

    So aside from Atonement, it’s score isn’t THAT much better than any of the others and No Country beat it.

    P.S. – if there’s a movie that got snubbed, it would be Assassination of Jesse James, Once, Rescue Dawn or Lives of Others (yes, it’s eligible this year).

    P.P.S. – I hope Persepolis (95% – 8.1) wins the animated feature as it too could be up for best picture…. wow!

  26. I looked at last year.

    the Oscar nominees were:
    The Departed (winner)- RT rating 93% and #2 rated wide release
    Babel – RT 71% #29 on limited release list
    Letters From Iwo Jima – RT 94% #17 on limited release list
    Little Miss Sunshine – RT 92% #2 limited release
    The Queen – RT 98% #1 limited release

    the number one wide release – Casino Royale at 95% RT score

    There is little correlation between RT score and nominees, I also don’t think that Casino Royale was considered snubbed by anyone last year when it didn’t make the nominee list.

  27. It goes back to Beauty and the Beast. It was up for a nomination with no serious consideration. It was more or less a here you go, your movie was great so will give it an honarary nod. But then apparently it was gaining steam that it should have won. The academy was nervous that they would be a laughing stock that a cartoon was picked as the best picture. From that came the Best Animated so that it could never happen…. a cartoon being the best overall picture

  28. It was touching
    It was heartfelt
    It was funny
    It was the best movie of 2007. End of discussion.

    They didn’t nominate it because it’s not a part of the old boys club.

  29. I also think it was solid but nothing special. Def not the best picture of the year I’m afraid. Also it’s a bit more difficult to nominate directors and such-like when they don’t order actors around (I know they do the same with voices and pictures… but it’s not the same to the judges)

  30. Also I think it’s worth mentioning that the Oscars are only nominally a reward for the best achievement in film. There is so much Hollywood politics and popularity involved that these nominations (and the winners) don’t always reflect what is critically considered the top film/performance etc… It is also not voted on by critics, but by the people who make films, the peers of the nominees.

    How did the nominees of the last several years fare against the RT ratings?

  31. I really think it’s because once they created the Best Animated Film category, an animated film will never really be considered seriously for contention. It will be interesting to see how this develops as technological changes make films that blend what people expect of animation with the technological ability to look like more traditional films (like Beowulf did) brings us top quality films in the medium with greater regularity.

    I do think the fact that it’s a comedy hurt it too. It’s always tougher for a comedy to get nominated.

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