What a shock! For the first time since 1943, there will be ten Oscar nominees for Best Picture and not five. The 2010 Academy Awards will have 10 movies in the Best Picture category. Wow– that was way out of left field.
It’s a little late for “The Dark Knight” and “Wall-E,” but at least everyone can stop wondering whether Pixar’s “Up” will get a Best Picture nomination next year, because it’s pretty much guaranteed now. I actually like this idea a lot because it opens the door for a lot of edgier movies (like “The Wrestler,” last year’s best movie) to get the “big guns” nomination that they deserve. On the other hand, this is going to seriously throw off Oscar prediction pools and allow a niche movie to possibly take home the big prize!
NYTimes’ Media Decoder is reporting that in a Q&A session that followed the announcement, AMPAS president Sid Ganis said: “I would not be telling you the truth if I said the words ‘Dark Knight’ did not come up.”
More thoughts: Will this make choosing the best movie of the year easier? I don’t think so. If anything, it’ll make it harder. So we’ll have a worse winner (although it doesn’t get much worse than “Crash), but they’ll nominate some better films in the process (which will all split the vote so something mediocre and inoffensive can win)! Feeling queasy again…
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.