The Academy has made an unusual exception for The Tree of Life, determining that the film has four true producers and should not be limited by an AMPAS rule that limits the number of producers on a Best Picture nominee to three.
Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Dede Gardner and Grant Hill all functioned as genuine producers on the Terrence Malick film, according to a ruling from the Academy's Producers Branch Executive Committee. Under Academy rules that went into effect after five producers won Oscar statuettes for Shakespeare in Love in 1999, more than three producers can be credited only in the case of a rare and extraordinary circumstance.
Typically, the Academy allows the Producers Guild of America to determine which producers truly deserve credit. The Tree of Life did not receive a PGA nomination.
Of the other eight Best Picture nominees, The Descendants, The Help and Moneyball have three credited producers; Hugo, Midnight in Paris and War Horse have two; and The Artist and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close have one.
Last year, the Academy made an exception for The Social Network, which earned Oscar nominations for four of its producers. The previous year they did the same for Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker.
The producer who most likely would have been eliminated if AMPAS had enforced the three-producer limit in that case was Nicolas Chartier, who was later banned from the Oscar show for emails disparaging Avatar.