Huge change at next year’s OSCARS – Ten Best Picture nominees instead of five
In one of the more interesting news stories I’ve read in quite some time, the Motion Picture Academy announced today that there will now be 10 films in the Best picture category competing in next year’s 82ND Academy Awards. Not since 1943 has there been this number of eligible films in the category and one has to wonder why…
Clearly the Oscars are losing some of their relevance as ratings for the telecast continue to dwindle year after year primarily due to a lack of mainstream interest. The glaring slight of fan favorite and worldwide critical hit The Dark Knight at this year’s Oscars could have been the tipping point for the Academy to go in this direction. Personally, I have mixed feelings about this because I don’t want to see the Oscars get watered down to the point of being ridiculous like the Golden Globes but I also feel there are years that high quality films with big mainstream interest get left out.
Let’s be honest, the Academy is way too guarded when it comes to box-office blockbusters and, in many instances, just stuck up. It’s safe to say that the insane snub of The Dark Knight left a bad taste in many mouthes so, while this change might displease the old school crowd, it should delight many others who want to see an Oscar telecast where they have a rooting interest. This change will guarantee at least that.
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
Beverly Hills, CA (June 24, 2009) — The 82nd Academy Awards, which will be presented on March 7, 2010, will have 10 feature films vying in the Best Picture category, Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis announced today (June 24) at a press conference in Beverly Hills.
“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,” said Ganis. “The final outcome, of course, will be the same – one Best Picture winner – but the race to the finish line will feature 10, not just five, great movies from 2009.”
For more than a decade during the Academy’s earlier years, the Best Picture category welcomed more than five films; for nine years there were 10 nominees. The 16th Academy Awards (1943) was the last year to include a field of that size; “Casablanca” was named Best Picture. (In 1931/32, there were eight nominees and in 1934 and 1935 there were 12 nominees.)
Currently, the Academy is presenting a bicoastal screening series showcasing the 10 Best Picture nominees of 1939, arguably one of Hollywood’s greatest film years. Best Picture nominees of that year include such diverse classics as “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Stagecoach,” “The Wizard of Oz” and Best Picture winner “Gone with the Wind.”
“Having 10 Best Picture nominees is going 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,” commented Ganis. “I can’t wait to see what that list of ten looks like when the nominees are announced in February.”
The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, February 2. The Oscar® ceremony honoring films for 2009 will again take place at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network.
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