The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences have announced in a small blurb that the best picture nominees this year have been bumped up from five to ten. This decision seems to be a direct response from the controversy over The Reader getting a nomination instead of The Dark Knight, despite getting mixed reviews and being relatively unknown to the mainstream public. That decision angered critics and mainstream audiences alike. There have also been other controversies over the exclusions of Pixar films and Apatow comedies.
“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 – one Best Picture winner – but the race to the finish line will feature 10, not just five, great movies from 2009 … 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’m not sure what to think yet. Here’s hoping more box office hits and art house obscurities will get a better chance at a nomination instead of more insufferable Oscar bait. But the more I think about it the more I think the latter will win out. If this rule were established last year, yes, The Dark Knight and Wall E would have gotten nominated but most likely Changeling, Gran Torino, and Revolutionary Road would have as well. It’s better to have those modern classics snubbed rather than be in the company of such crap.