In quite the unexpected move, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science has announced that next year’s 82nd Academy Awards ceremony will have a massive adjustment to it: the normal 5 Best Picture nominees will instead be 10 Best Picture nominees.
This is another apparent move for the Academy to try and bring in new viewers after their shake-up last year, bringing in Hugh Jackman to host instead of the usual comedian host (which I still personally prefer). As mentioned, the typical number of movies that were nominated each year was five, but way back in the early years of the Oscars, there were many more — sometimes as many as twelve, so this is a really a return to classic form. The last year that this format was used was in 1943, when Casablanca took the top prize.
This is shocking to me, but something that I’m pretty excited about seeing. You can’t help but think of all the movies in past years that people wanted to get a Best Picture nomination and didn’t; namely — using 2008 as an example — the animated features like Wall-E, the not-so-traditional contenders such as The Dark Knight, as well as the flat-out snubbed movies like The Wrestler. All of these movies were considered better films than some of the actual nominees, especially The Reader and Milk. If this change had been made last year and Dark Knight was in the mix, would it have made a run or would Slumdog Millionaire have still pulled it off? These are the questions that shouldn’t remain unanswered this year! Unfortunately, so far, this summer isn’t offering up any similar movies that are making a case for awards contention.
Academy President Sid Ganis touched on the big change and this new opportunity to give more great movies a chance at winning it all.
After more than six decades, the Academy is returning to some of its earlier roots, when a wider field competed for the top award of the year. The final outcome, of course, will be the same â€“ one Best Picture winner â€“ but the race to the finish line will feature 10, not just five, great movies from 2009.
Having 10 Best Picture nominees is going to allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories, but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize. I canâ€™t wait to see what that list of ten looks like when the nominees are announced in February.
The Oscars will be handed out on March 7, 2010, with nominees announced on February 2, 2010.