Have you ever passed on watching the Academy Awards because your favourite film (The Dark Knight) wasn’t among the Best Picture nominees? You’re probably not alone, but starting next year, there is now a slightly better chance that you will actually have a reason to watch. At a press conference today in Beverly Hills, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that they will be doubling the number of Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10.
Back in the ’30s and ’40s, the Oscars had previously included 10 nominees as well, but somewhere along the way the field was cut down to speed up the ceremony and narrow the focus. Now they are hoping to bring recognition to more movies, even if they don’t have a shot in hell at winning the actual trophy. President Sid Ganis had this to say:
“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… I can’t wait to see what that list of ten looks like when the nominees are announced in February.”
So, is this a good thing? Does it even matter? I don’t think it will change the kinds of movies that win Oscars, but I am guessing the Academy wants to allow a few more mainstream favourites to sneak in and at least be mentioned alongside the usual suspects. While it may create the illusion of recognition for some of those fan favourites, in the end, I think it will just lead to disappointment and frustration when they never end up winning. Thoughts?