"10 Best Picture Nominees"

Today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that the Best Film category at the Academy Awards will not feature five nominees as usual, but ten.

This announcement strikes me as huge. Of course this considerably broadens the Oscars’ appeal to the audience; ratings for the ceremony will be bigger if there’s a public-friendly film in the race.
Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, which did not make the cut into the best film category last year, also seems to have somewhat influenced this decision.
As Anne Thompson’s excellent article points out, there are some pros and cons to it.
My personal opinion is that the Oscars are all about the quality of the films selected. As long as they keep nominating deserving films, then five or ten do not matter. Of course, I would have been thrilled to see Wall-E and the Dark Knight in last year’s nominees, which would have happened if the category had allowed ten films, but that’s not the issue anymore. It’s all about this year’s films. I think that it’s fair to see films that are sidelined to the technical categories (in recent years, the Bourne Ultimatum and the Dark Knight, or all the Pixar films) having equal chances to run for more important categories. But on the other hand, I do NOT want to see any sort of Transformers or Star Trek in this year’s contenders. So it all depends on whether they will continue to pick films wisely.

And one could always argue that it’s all a bit pointless, since the Academy tends to always praise the same five films, generally giving them the whole Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay package; and that the remaining five nominees would be just a bit of fluff and flavour added to the ceremony, not an actual recognition. It’s not that the Academy is losing credibility, but it just makes the whole idea of rewarding the very best films a little less prestigious. Nothing wrong with that though, in my opinion.

Read the official announcement here.

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