The Academy Allows Four Producers For THE READER

     January 27, 2009

Written by Nicole Pedersen

Like many people who watched the announcement of this year’s Academy Award nominees I was struck by the inclusion of “The Reader” in the Best Picture category. Unlike many people, however, hearing them say “The Reader” instead of “The Dark Knight” wasn’t the surprising part – it was the slight pause before the little guy standing next to Forest Whitaker (I think he’s the King of the Oscars or something) said “producers to be announced.”

What was this? We all knew that both the late Sydney Pollack and the late Anthony Minghella produced “The Reader”. And if we didn’t know before we sure caught on when Kate Winslet thoughtfully reminded us during one of her crazy-long Golden Globe acceptance speeches. So why not say their names right out loud? Does being dead suddenly exempt Pollack and Minghella from peer recognition?

Of course there were some other people involved in the production of Stephen Daldry’s film. One man, in particular, very publicly announced that he wanted his name removed from the credits. His name is Scott Rudin – did the “to be announced” thing mean that he wanted back in at the last minute?

While I’m definitely not the only person who wondered if Rudin was having some regrets, it looks like that was all wild speculation. With Pollack, Minghella, Donna Gigliotti and Redmond Morris, “The Reader” just had more producers than the Academy deems necessary (three is their limit) and so the “to be announced” thing was only to figure out if they would allow four names onto the ballot. The ‘three-per’ rule does include a caveat for “rare and extraordinary circumstances” and so, because being dead is sort of extraordinary, the Academy has decided that Pollack and Minghella can have their names read at the Oscars one more time after all. Too bad they have almost no chance of winning…

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