By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood January 28, 2012 at 11:53AM
The Academy expanded the producer credits from the usual three to four for "The Tree of Life." The official nominees for the film are Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Dede Gardner and Grant Hill. They did not, however, include the film's star, Brad Pitt, who is named as a producer of "Moneyball," he was also left off the Academy's producer's list for "The Departed."
The Academy does not allow for more than three producers to be nominated to potentially receive Oscar statuettes; however the committee called a meeting to determine if "The Tree of Life" might represent "rare and extraordinary circumstance," as described by the rules. They made an exception and included the four (Green, Pohlad, Gardner and Hill) as genuine producers of the film.
The Producers Branch Executive Committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences determined the nominees. Producers for the other eight other Best Picture nominees remain the same.
"The Tree of Life" joins "The Artist," "The Descendants," "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," "The Help," "Hugo," "Midnight in Paris," "Moneyball" and "War Horse" as potential Best Picture winners in 2012.
Producers have been left off in the past, most notably, financeer Bob Yari for the Oscar-winning "Crash," and regrettably, Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger for "Little Miss Sunshine." The Academy is trying to do the right thing without having a mob of folks on stage on Oscar night.