Oscars

BREAKING: Oscar's Best Picture Nominees Will Expand to Ten

Sounds to me like this is a get out of jail free card

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has just announced in a small blurb the Oscars this year will be bumping their Best Picture nominees from five to ten beginning with the upcoming 2010 Oscars President Sid Ganis announced today 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."

The move is an obvious response to the recent discussion concerning The Dark Knight's absence from the nominees for more art house style films such as The Reader and I would expect we can now look at Up as a serious contender for a Best Picture nominee when previous Pixar favorites Ratatouille and WALL-E were left in the cold.

"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."

Personally I am not sure what I think about the move as it obviously cheapens the category, but then again I guess it will all but eliminate the complaining. This also means my year-end predictions will now be more about predicting slots 8-10 than 1-5. Could be interesting... We'll have to wait and see. What are your thoughts on it?

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 on March 7, 2010, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network.

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  • Che

    Ooooh does this mean that Trasnsformers 2 can get nominated now? Seriously this rule is too little to late. Because the quality of films so far this year have sucked royally and now we have to the potential to see razzie nominees get recognized.
    Thank Oscar :)

  • Joel

    Ah, if it only were a year earlier, there could have been justice in the Picture nominees last year for The Dark Knight.

    This sounds like a great idea to me. They'll have to have a longer telecast though, I think, what with the montages for picture they throw in randomly.

  • http://thecheckspot.com The Check Spot

    Wow. That's surprising, we should get a great mix of films, sort of like the National Board of Review top ten list that they release. It will make things interesting, and will mean a lot more films for me to have to see around January.

  • Chris C.

    Well this kills both the prestige of a best picture nominee and the fun of predicting the nominations.

    Year too late also

  • Natrix

    My feeling is that this just dilutes everything. Being nominated is part of the pinnacle of Hollywood prestige. Now everyone and their mom are going to be best picture nominees. I wonder what effect this will have in studios marketing their for the awards? More money for the trades? ropeofsilicon.com?

  • Bustray

    That's exciting, but I'm pretty sure the Academy still isn't going to nominate any Michael Bay movie, let alone a terrible sequel with talking robots. Early predictions for best picture:

    -Biutiful
    -The Hurt Locker
    -The Lovely Bones
    -Nine
    -Up
    -Shutter Island
    -Amelia
    -Invictus
    -Everybody's Fine
    -Brothers

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

    @Natrix: The "For Your Consideration" race is definitely an interesting topic of discussion as budgets for such a thing have seen a drastic reduction, but perhaps this will inspire studios to reach higher. It also means we may stop seeing November and December as the only months dedicated to the award race as it opens up the potential for year long races. Of course, being last always does mean you are fresher in the minds of voters... Should be interesting.

  • GregM

    Great move. Regardless of how many get nominated, only one can win. This simply allows for more variety and discussion.

  • Katie

    The Hurt Locker now that looks like a f*ckable movie!

  • Owen

    Great. Now Up, Pixar's weakest film in 8 years, will get a Best Picture nom while the masterpieces that were Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille and WALL-E were wrongfully overlooked.

  • ganonlink91

    well, i guess this means that public enemies and avatar are very serious contenders now

  • milo

    "Up, Pixar’s weakest film in 8 years..."

    Meh, your opinion. Look at the reviews, the critics love it and many say it is pixar's best yet.

  • White Elephant

    "The move is an obvious response to the recent discussion concerning The Dark Knight’s absence from the nominees for more art house style films such as The Reader"
    Oh please, can we get off the Dark Knight whining already. I thought the Oscars was meant to celebrate "art house films".
    I'm not sure this is such a good idea. How many of you saw 10 great films last year?
    Rather ironic, though, making such an announcement on the opening day of Transformers 2.

  • Chris

    I thought the Oscars were meant to celebrate the best films of that particular year in general, not just 'art house' ones.

    Anyways, this annoys me because I thought they should have done this last year, like what the Broadcast Film Critics do. It is pretty obvious that they are doing this because of the absence of The Dark Knight and Wall-E from last year. Just a shame that it's a year later.

  • Sebastian

    Im thinking now that a good question would be which would have been the ten nominees from last year? Dark Knight? Wall - E? what am I missing?

  • Nick

    I think that's an interesting idea and that deserves to be done just to see whether it will pay off or not. I mean, every year when BP nominees are announced, we get the feeling that some films were overlooked. Last year we had not only TDK and Wall-E, but The Wrestler, Rev Road, Gran Torino, Rachel Getting Married, Changeling, Waltz with Bashir... they probably did not deserve the statue, but they arguably deserved to be in the race. I'm sure it will be this way this year, and I'm all for it. Still, it's not perfect situation... I kinda think they shouldn't just make it 10, no more, no less. If voters think there are 7 films deserving, why add 3 undeserving? And if there are 12, why leave 2 out? That's flaw IMO. Still, as I said, I like the idea.

    Sorry if anything's wrong with the grammar, English is not my native language.

  • Steve

    This is just a Hollywood ego thing, and that's to bad.

  • Gophers Attack!

    I kinda like the idea (for nothing more but seeing Up get nominated), but like everyone else has said, I wish they could have done this last year. They could have added WALL-E, The Dark Knight, Revolutionary Road, The Wrestler and Doubt, then everybody (or at least me) would be happy.

  • Eric

    I think ten is a lot. Now the ceremony is going to be like 6 hours long....Plus it makes guessing the best picture nominees a little easier, just take all the top ten critic lists and more/less you have the nominees for the year. We all know that half of the movies that are chosen will not deserve it. There was something prestigious about there only being five, now that there's ten it looses its sheen.

    It would have been better if they expanded the category to a maximum of ten, minimum of five. That way if there's a bad year in cinema there won't be ten movies when only five really deserved the nomination.

  • ddurden33

    i was more surprised to see twilight win the best picture at mtv movie awards, if anything i thought the dark knight would steal the show. i wonder who won the spike awards?

  • Dan Tralder

    @ AMPAS:

    no.

  • Bustray

    I think if they had had this rule last year, the five additional nominees would've been WALL-E, The Wrestler, Doubt, The Dark Knight and Revolutionary Road. I would say Gran Torino, but the academy didn't seem to like that film very much.

  • Leo Logan

    The last time the Best Picture category had ten nominees were from 1932 to 1943, the latter year that "Casablanca" won in this category.

  • Jacob

    @Owen:

    Completely agree. Even though I believe that Up! is really a great movie, I don't think it deserved more than Wall-E to be nominated. Just so sad and unfair!!!!, I think this is just a shame.

    I also agree that this just kills all the fascinating speculation process that is generated the weeks before the nominations day. Now every movie you and everybody think will be nominated, will in fact be nominated. There's no fun in that at all.

    I believe that the only reason for which the Academy took this decision is rating. They knew that if TDK was nominated, ratings would have been way much higher, so now they come now and announce this.

  • Garrett

    I really like this idea -- a lot, but at the same time, I can see where this could possibly fail.

  • Turner

    When the Academy Awards began over 80 years ago there were ten best picture nominees. I, for one, believe it's a good thing to return to this. Hundreds of films are produced each year, and more often than not most of us feel as if a worthy title or two has been left out of the best picture running. I don't feel this lessens the prestige of the award or nomination, it will probably make it lot more honest, with a lot more worthy productions brought to the academy's and public's attention.

  • brain

    with it being 10 nominees now hopefuly we'll start see more comedies get best pic nods.

  • ok

    i think expanding the nominations to ten is not a good step . so far i can't see a single movie worth the Oscar .

  • Dave

    @Chris C.: Definitely a marketing ploy so ten films can use Best Picture Nominee in their ads, but actually just waters down the quality of the nominees and dimishes the honor of a nomination.

  • Sam

    How about this: The AMPAS consist of about 6000 members who each get one vote for best picture, so how about every movie that recieves 500+ votes recieves a BP nominee? (Minimum five nominees, maximum twelve.) If not enough films get 500+ nominations, they just go with the current system: the five movies with the most votes get the nominations. That way, if only a few good movies come out each year, only a few will get nominated, while a year with a lot of great movie will have fewer limitations. It seems fair to me

    (Also, the actual broadcast will hardly be any longer now. I'd give them an extra ten minutes, at the most.)

  • rolling_streetcar

    This is fucking absurd. Now all sorts of nonsense will get nominated. Up is nothing compared to Wall-E or Cars. This completely cheapens the Best Picture category and takes away all the fun.

    Only thing is, if it'd been around in 2006, Stranger Than Fiction could have very well been nominated, which would have been awesome.

    But still, horrible, horrible idea.

  • Dsneybuf

    Well, I'm glad to see the Academy actually doing something about those ratings they always complain about, but 2008 would have been a more appropriate year to re-introduce this. I never found predicting nominees *that* fun, anyway.

  • Chris

    @Dave: Eh, I don't think it really diminishes the honor. These movies are still being picked by people who are supposed to know what they are doing in their branch of the Academy, and 10 movies out of the thousands that come out each year and are submitted for consideration is still a pretty impressive thing. I think the Academy is just getting tired of being accused of snubbing great movies in recent years (TDK, The Wrestler, Dreamgirls, Wall-E, and whatever else people considered snubbed over the years).

  • JD48

    Not sure how to take this news. I'm happy that there will now be a bigger playing field, but I also agree with those saying that it makes almost any movie capable of being nominated for BP. If they wanted to increase the movie amount then I think it would have been wiser to instead get rid of a set number of movies being nominated and just nominate the movies that they feel should be nominated. Let's say that this year there ends up being eight good movies worthy of a nomination, now they have to pick out two spacefillers that really don't feel like BP material. I'd rather them sticking to weeding out the three lesser movies and only having five nominees. But if the Academy just said "There's eight movies we think should be nominated, so we have eight nominees" then they could solve the problem of nominating those that should be, rather than worrying about nominating a set number. Basically, I just think ten is too many.

  • Ross

    This is a total cash grab. The ratings for the show aren't what they want, last year they "allowed" movie trailers. This year they add 5 additional nods to best picture. In my opinion this risks the integrity of the awards.
    I love TDK as much as the next guy but it did not deserve a nomination last year, and this year there will be 4-5 movies allowed into the voting that simply are of a lesser standard.

    The only possible good that could come from this is that they possibly could get rid of the best animated catagory and movies like Wall-E and UP! can get recognized the way they deserve; as great motion pictures, not just good cartoons.

  • Sam

    Too little too late. Oscars are match fixing, biased political dissimulation crap anyway. Monkey dancing bollywood diarrhea just confirmed it this year (again). I stopped caring a long time ago.

  • Risa

    It's funny'cause it's going to be hard finding even 5 this year if they ignore small movies as usual.

  • Gaz Atolla

    to be honest it won't matter, nowadays unless a film is 3 hours long, depressing, deals with racism, homophobia or some other controversial subject matter or is biopic it doesn't get nominated, studios will just make more movies tailored to this, don't get me wrong i have enjoyed a lot of the films that have won or been nominated but most of the time i find them to be overhyped rubbish

    also why should wall-e and up go into best picture, thats why they have an animated catagory, films more deserving will be pushed out just because of the Disney or Dreamworks label

  • dre

    The more movies, the more interest and the higher the ratings. Hopefully this may assist in making the results less predictable as well.

  • Patricia

    As soon as I heard this today I turned to you, Brad, to see what you had to say. I think this is pathetic! Sure it will allow "popular" films to get nominated, but if they lose it will only change the outrage from focusing on the nomination to the winning process.

    And if a film does win based on popularity, what does that say about the prestige of the award? Many popular films may be big winners at the box office but that doesn't mean that they are overall superior films. Their box office often IS their reward. Can you envision a day when the Twilight film, for instance, could take the award? (shudder)

    I think what will happen is that films will start winning by default. That is, the vote will be so split that a winner will be chosen by NOT being controversal. I'm not saying that doesn't happen today in many categories, (Hello, Reese Witherspoon's best actress Oscar) but I think we would see a totally different award show.

    I'm not against expanding the field, but DOUBLING it?

  • Michael Balderston

    I don't like this. The debate over what five movies will get the five spots is always fun. Now that there are going to be ten nominees the debate is going to change over what films wouldn't have made it in the past when there was only five. I like the idea of having a circumstantial number of nominees, that's what you need to do if you want to change the rules. If you have a great year of movies where eight, nine, or even ten movies could conceivably be the best picture, then why not have them all in the running, but to nominate ten pictures no matter what is ridiculous; there are years when all five that got nominated weren't worth even being in the conversation. Why lower the quality of a best picture nominee by doing something like this.

  • Risa

    It would've made more sense if they had decided upon splitting the categories like the Golden Globes, five in Drama and five in Comedy/Musical.

  • Carson Dyle

    I like the idea, I think it clearly worked back in 32-43. That being said, there'll be no surprises - If a Best Pic nom doesn't get one of the five Best Director noms, it's screwed. Unless it's Driving Miss Daisy. Or Grand Hotel. Or Wings.

  • Kyle

    I personally think this is a horrible idea that will really change nothing. Sure, more pictures will be "recognized," but what will change? Let's say they have 10 noms instead of 5 last year. Does that mean Dark Knight, Wall-E, or more deservingly, The Wrestler, have a better shot at winning? No. It's a pointless change that will only make advertisements during awards season more nauseating. This will not make the Oscars more exiting or better to watch, but I guess no press is bad press.

  • McCandless

    The good news is that Public Enemies, The Road, Avatar and Shutter Island are almost assured to get a nomination. The downside is it is now meaningless. Does the Academy know anything about inflation?

  • beautifulm

    I say let's just wait and see what happens, but it also means that it would be even harder and more presitgious to win.

  • Raichu

    You can't really compare UP and Wall-E, they both have different themes and concepts. Each one can easily stand on it's own merit and both are deserving of high accolades. I do agree that Wall-E was deserving of a best-pic nomination last year. Due to the rule changes, I'm pretty certain UP will be one of the nominees and it is every bit as deserving imho, and when that happens, I don' think it diminishes Wall-E. We can all just look at it this way, due to the outcry over Wall-E and other deserving films such as The Wrestler and The Dark Knight, it got this new rule enacted.

  • t.j.p

    I think that this will make the category even more competitive because more films that would never before have stood a chance at a nomination will be throwing their names into the fold and fighting for a nod. Theres never been any complaining when critics groups put out a top ten and then announce a winner, just think of it the same way.
    These ten films are the ten best of the year according to this group the Oscars, and then the members of this group will vote for what they believe to be the best. I guarantee you that with this rule in place, votes will be split and there will be suprising winners as a result. With more possobilities to chose from, the likelyhood that Academy members will vote on their own personal favorite will skyrocket which is a good thing, rather than have members vote on the more popular movie when their favorite is not a choice on the ballot. I guarrantee that had this been in place last year with say The Dark Knight, Wall-e, The Wrestler, Doubt and Gran Torino as the other five, Slumdog Millionaire would not have been as much of a sure thing to win, especially since the older members could have gotten behind Gran Torino, while the Actors may have put their weight behind The Wrestler and all other groups could have came behind Wall-e or The Dark Knight.
    With 10 nominees in place, voters would probably be more inclined to vote based on their own oppinion rather than succumb to a Slumdog like sheep mentality. And by doing this, the odds of a better movie or a more unique film winning would be exponentially greater.
    Over at my blog The Oscar Hut, the first part of my State of The Race: Best Picture 2009 article is up detailing in alphabetical order the ten movies I think will be nominated, from Avatar to Up. Along with this article there are polls, reviews, predictions, site links and much more. So come check it out and let me know what you think wheter it be a sentence or a three page e-mail positive or negative, whatever it may be, only at The Oscar Hut

    http://www.theoscarhut.blogspot.com
    tjpratt@bellsouth.net

  • adu

    10 sounds like too big a number. The plus is that nominees wont only include art-house films. Commercial films now have shot too, hopefully those that r clever and etertaining (no, that doesnt mean Michael Bay!)

  • JM

    This is happening for one reason only:

    Better ratings. Yes, more movies will be recognized. But that's not why the Academy is doing it. Had last year's telecast gotten 50 million views, things would go on exactly as they had. But the ratings have been down in the dumps lately, and this is just another thing they're trying so they can change that.

    I'm very curious as to how it'll affect the BP noms' box office. Clearly not all of them will get the BO bump that BP noms normally get. My bet is that one or two of the movies will have been summer releases and no longer in play, while maybe three or four of the films will experience no nomination bump in much the same way "Frost/Nixon" didn't see a nomination bump. Meanwhile, maybe four or five will find their numbers increasing in February.

  • William

    I love it. Especially since it proves that even the Academy were bummed about TDK, Wall-E, etc. getting snubbed just as much as everyone else (except for those that Weinstein payed off of course). Hey, 10 nominee's didn't cheapen the films prestige when they did it several decades ago, and it won't now. Imagine there only being 5 Best Picture nominee's in 1939: Do you really think that Wizard of Oz still would've made it? Sorry, but no. It wasn't thought of as an all time classic at the time as it is now. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington might have, Stagecoach might have. Wuthering Hieghts definitely would have, since that's a typical Oscar Bait story. Same with Of Mice and Men.

    But yeah, a little too late. There's a quote out there where Sid Ganis specifically mentions TDK, which makes me love it even more. He's practically admitting that last years noms were a mistake.

    btw: Thanks to a boring third act, I'm not as much of a fan of Wall-E as I am of Up, which to me was flawless from beginning to end. However, both are Best Picture worthy material, and both should've been nominated.

  • William

    1940*

  • Yamato

    Let me be the first to Congratulate Pixars UP for it's Best Picture nomination. Only thing that won't sit well with me is that it will come with an asterisk stating that the field was expanded to 10 nominees instead of 5. I would've preferred it crashing the traditional list of 5 Best Picture nominees, but a small victory is a victory nonetheless. Any guesses on the other 9 nominees

  • junjun

    The first thing that came to mind when I saw this was The Dark Knight and Wall-E. Their snubs-along with that of the Wrestler-clearly served as impetus for this expansion.

  • Roger

    I'm not sure if Up will get a Best Picture nod with the big boys and not get a Best Animated Feature nomination instead, as has been the case for Pixar movies.

  • Bustray

    @Roger: That depends on the amount of good movies come out this year... 10 slots are a lot to fill, and WALL-E very nearly got a nomination last year. Up has gotten even better reviews, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

  • Kel

    I actually don't like that they're going back to ten. TEN FILMS? They'd be hard-pressed to find ten good films even worthy to be nominated. People will still say, this film doesn't deserve it, etc.

    This is a completely political move, people complained so loudly to the pretentious academy about Wall-E and The Dark Knight (either of which could have taken The Reader's place IMO) that they decided to change it to ten films. Thus, they can nominate films like Wall-E and Up without actually seriously considering them to win Best Picture. This just means that an animated film will NEVER win Best Picture. Beating out nine other live-action films would just be too much for the pretentious academy to handle when Up is nominated along with future Disney and Pixar films.

    It kills both the prestige of a best picture nominees and the fun of predicting the nominations. Again, ten nominees is a lot.

    I think if Up or Wall-E or any other Pixar films were going to be nominated for Best Picture, then it should have been nominated when it was five. It means so much more. Beauty and the Beast was nominated with four other nominees, people can say it was a weak year all they want but Disney accomplished something that won't be done ever again unless the Academy goes back to five, which I'm sure they will at some point. Not dissing BatB, great film but Pixar really got shortchanged here.

    For those who think it's good, I THINK it's an incredibly hollow victory for Up, and any other films nominated that wouldn't have been if it was five nominees. It means less and that's a shame.

    It was five nominees for over 55 years, changing it back to 10 is a mistake. It'll still be the same thing but even worse, two or three films vying for the prize while the other 7 are just filler instead of two or three films being filler.

    Anyone agree? Please feel free to tell me intelligently why you think it's a good change.

  • GregM

    Best original song gone, sort of. Zero or two to five noms in the category. Just when I thought the voting tabulation couldn't get more confused.

    http://www.oscars.org/press/pressreleases/2009/20090626.html

  • Angel

    Wouldn't it suck if the Academy now just picked 10 arthouse/indie films? Movies like The Dark Knight and Wall-E could still be overlooked if there are more than 10 indie movies on the market.

  • Paydenmac

    @ok:

    I think Adventureland was worthy of Best Picture actually, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it nominated...