Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Sid Ganis dropped a bombshell today: the number of best picture nominees is doubling to 10, from its current five.
“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,” Ganis said in a press release. “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.”
Decades ago, the Oscars had up to 10 best picture nominees for several years. "Gone With the Wind" famously beat a number of great films for best picture in 1939, including "Stagecoach," "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," "Ninotchka," "The Wizard of Oz" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."
But in the mid-1940s, the system changed to its present five films, and five films it's been ever since. That's led to any number of crowd-pleasing but not "Oscar-worthy" (as the Academy believes) films not making the cut. Just last year, there were howls of protest for the failure of "The Dark Knight" to crack the Academy's top five.
Will the greater number of nominees make you more likely to pay attention to the Oscars?
– Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer
Considering the Academy nominated 10 films for Best Picture in the 1930's and 1940's–It's is a great idea IF they nominate something else beside:
"Serious human drama movies released at the end of the year".
Films such as critically aclaimed entertainment action movies, comedies, animated. foreign language, documentarys. If there's a greater diversity in the type of movies that are nominated, this will be an excellent idea.
As Todd Leopold wrote: This could mean movies such as the criticial and commerically blockbusters Up (2009) and Star Trek (2009) might get nominated.
If it's more of the same; 10 "serious human drama films released at the end of the year" instead of 5 "serious human drama films released at the end of the year", expect the ratings to continue their downward slide.
The Academy has to expand the Type of critically aclaimed movie that gets nominated not just the Number of movies that get nominated.
Ten movie picks should make this more entertaining.
Of course, the real issue is going to be what films are they going to pick this year. Last year's batch of tripe withthe exception of Batman Begins was rather questionable at best.
I hope some good films are actually picked this year.
My wife and I do not go to the Theaters to watch the Lovey Dovey stuff, the funny stuff or the romantic comedy stuff. Our point of view is pretty simple actually. We pay the money to have a roller coaster ride, see the explosions, guns blazing ot have the bejiggers sacred out of ourselves.
And... no folks its not me who is making those decisions either. My wife is the one who gets the tickets from 'Dango and says lets go! I am normally pretty happy playing my video games, working on my trains, or caring for my Roses and other flowers.
But one thing is for sure, she can pick 'em and I have to give credit where credit is due. You want a good hair raising flick, sci-fi horror, gore fest, shooter or just a good plain action flick, then y'all need to talk to my wife!
So for this year, Academy, why don't you call my wife for some suggestions. Cause I guarantee if Transformers isn't part of that line-up, she'll be turning on the DVD Player and DTS Surround System that SHE installed!
More nominees for *one* category (best picture) does not necessarily mean a longer show. 5 more nominees times approximately 15 seconds for every read-off and corresponding film snippet equals about a minute more of the ceremony. Not a big deal timewise.
I do believe, however, that the more nominees, the less prestigious the "nominee" title is and I sure hope that they mean "up to 10 nominees" and not "10 nominees." Then those picked actually deserve it.
Now that I think more about it. We all know it's a marketing gimmick, but that's how the Academy Awards started. They were used as a marketing tool to showcase their prime examples from each studio. So... not surprising that they'd expand it. It's still a poor idea. I wouldn't oppose categories specific to genres, but still keeping the overall top 5.
I found some of the comments to be true, but I also believe that the academy has overlooked a lot films over the years that were oscar worthy. There are a number of reasons why the academy did what it did. Let just say maybe this is another form of affirmative action. I'm not going to mention the names of the films I felt should have been noticed. There has always been who is the most popular in hollywood that is the deciding factor in who is oscar worthy. Unless the performances in one film with cast members who are not well known in the industry may get noticed but don't necessarily win the coveted title.
It doesn't matter how many get nominated or even how good they are; the winner will almost always be the big-budget, feel-good epic accompanied by a Oscar-promo campaign that makes D-Day look like a church fete.
Sometimes one of the overlooked "small" pics that relies on script and vision instead of SFX gets noticed with a nomination. They virtually never win but the nomination gives them an audience they would otherwise be denied. Increasing the field may mean more than one deserving small pic gets noticed...but I doubt it.
One reason so few movies are released each year that are "Oscar worthy" is part of the business is knowing what 5-8 films will be released that you will compete with. That is part of the business. Knowing that now 10 can be nominated would allow more films to be released looking to get the nod.
And the oscar season for the films of the year really hasn't started. A few are released early, others are released as the end of summer comes others right at the deadline to see if they can make consideration.
Undoubte4dly this is for making more money for the film industry and since that is one industry our country still does well in shouldn't they try to make more money??
Ten is certainly worth trying. Too often the nominations are politically sensitive, or more about social relevance than filmmaking. That's fine, but it often means a real contender is overlooked. The hell with 'Dark Knight' for while it was the best action film last year, it was chock full of high-school level junk science and was waaaaay too long. Very overrated, but so was Slumdog, which was barely worthy of nomination and certainly not the best film of 2008. On the other hand, The Wrestler was overlooked and was easily one of the best five last year, if not the best.
Really a bad idea. Just try to name 10 movies worthy of Best Picture. Even with the five contenders, it has been tough to figure out how some pistures won. I still can't reconcile how "Shakespeare in Love" beat "Saving Private Ryan" a few years ago.
If pictures that people hae actually seen are nominated, then you know more people will watch the Oscars. I hope Star Trek is nominated. The Dark Knight came close last year. Both films basically fall into the same category summer blockbusters (films that the Academy often ignore). The fact that Dark Knight came so close last year gives me hope for Star Trek.
Great idea. Let's add another 20 minutes to an already overly-long telecast.
This is just an attempt to drum up more business at the box office, nothing more! I will still wait to see most of the films in my home on HD, big enough screen, surround sound and great muchies! Going to the movies is no longer the pleasant experience of my childhood. Loud, rude, inconsiderate patrons, uncomfortable, crowded seating and outrageously expensive popcorn detract from my enjoyment.
That's a smart move by the academy to help the movie industry. Now they can cushion thier ailing bottom line with the added rentals and sales of DVD's and VOD's/PPV's that all those best picture nominees will drum up!
is it plausible that the 6,000 Academy Members diligently see let's say 40+ films in a year to select the best 10? or just nominate the 10 they have seen that year?
This is a horrible idea, plain and simple. There were perhaps two films last year that may have been considered snubbed–The Dark Knight and Wall-E, if you go by critics' lists. But five? Last year that would have meant that some flicks like Valkyrie would be nominated. Bleh! Makes a Best Picture nom pretty meaningless.
What might be better is this: IF there is a large amount of support for a film outside of the top five, above a certain set percentage of the ballots, that five would be expanded to six. That would add one more deserving picture to the mix. But ten just bloats and therefore dilutes the category. VERY BAD IDEA.
Do we really want to see 40yo Virgin as a Best Picture nominee?
I'd rather watch that low-brow comedy than that "Oscar winning" piece of feces "Crash".
In my opinion, nominating ten movies for best picture is way too many. Wouldn't this open the door to nominate ten actors and actresses?
Does this mean they'll finally start nominating the yearly PIXAR movie, or will PIXAR still be relegated to animation categories only?
Indeed are there 10 Oscar worthy films this year – at least so far.? It might help the box office for those films at the end of the year. Will I care more about the Oscars? No. I used to be a dedicated Oscar maven but the last decade or so I've been less and less interested in movies in general, let alone Oscar nominations. For the first time in my life I didn't watch the Oscars this year. I didn't care. Make better movies and I'll care.
Maybe this will allow for more of the Independent films to make it up there. That's only a maybe of course and I think this will only allow for more of the mediocre big budget films to get up there instead. That's the unfortunate part.
To MWC: Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If you go beyond the films that most people have heard of, then you can usually find 10 solid, Oscar-nomination worthy films, yes.
Lets be honest – its never about quality – its only politics and studio paid advertising. More movies mean garbage gets air time and more tickets sold! So the good movies get their votes diluted and the lesser movies make more ticket sales. Hollywood isnt art – its just business!!! Sad sad!
there aren't even 5 worthy
Oh, how very lame. Are there even 10 great movies a year to nominate? Ugg. Sounds like pressure from the industry to generate more sales.
LAME LAME LAME.
How about, instead of expanding the nomination, the "Academy" get their heads out of the sand and take movies like Wall-E and the Dark Knight with the same level of "critical foresight" that they give to snoozers like "The Reader" and the exceptionally boring Benjamin Button. Do you think anyone is going to remember movies like this 10 years from now?
I think the Academy is now going to be hard-pressed to find 10 movies. One the one hand, there's going to be some real dogs if it's a lean movie year. On the other, this may give some small indys a chance to be recognized.
There are only 2 or 3 films that ever have a chance to win anyway. Why increase the deadweight to 7 or 8 films that don't have a shot?
they are expanding the field to include movies the people actually want to see.
Each year it gets harder and harder to find 5 good moves to nominate, now they're going to double up??? Before you know it some Paris Hilton flick will be nominated...
10? 10? I was hoping for something like 50 movies, let's really muddle the field and water down the whole lot. I like the idea, of say, 43 best actor awards. Actually, now that I think about it, I haven't watched the Oscars in 20 years, so never mind. Hooey.
Unless it's a year with a movie like Titanic or Lord of the Rings, winner will be a film with a small, fanatical fan base within the Academy. Oscar nominated as a marketing tag will mean very little to the average person. It will also likely further compress the "good films" into that narrow December window since any reasonable film has a shot if he maintains visibility when the voter makes his/her choice. Popular films will still get the brushoff because now Academy voters can "reward" more independent films.
MWC you took the words right out of my mouth. I'm trying to remember 10 movies that have been released in the past year and all I'm coming up with are fluff pieces like Twilight. The day Twilight gets an Oscar is the day the awards should shut themselves down.
Six would be fine
I always saw the 5 nominees as almost equal. 10 Best Picture nominees dilutes the honor a bit.
Can the Academy find 10 depressing movies to nominate in any given year?
If Hollywood was able to consistently make as many great films each year as it did in 1939, then I could possibly see the point of expanding the Best Picture nominees to ten. Having ten nominees will just dilute what is means to be "Oscar-worthy". It's like a sports league exanding its playoffs. This is being done purely for hype, ratings, marketing ("Nominated for Best Picture!"), and, ultimately, for money purposes. Has nothing to do with going back to Ocsar's roots or tradition.
All that this means is that just about EVERY film released willl qualify for the nomination. Sheesh.
There ARE 10 worthy oscar movies released in a year, easily. Most don't see wide release because the average movie goer wants an escape, so we get junk like night at the museum 2. I think this is a mistake tho, keep it at 5, otherwise it's going to be a pile of films most people have never seen / heard of.
I am fine with the 10...I just wish they would break it down into top 5 dramas...and top 5 comedies.
Should be interesting...
Suuuuuuuure it's about the award cermony and recognition. And probably nothing to do with being able to sell DVD's of more "Academy Award-nominated!" films.
MWC: Yes, there are 10 Oscar-worthy movies released in a calendar year, if the Academy is willing to consider foreign and independent pictures. I see ~75 new movies in theaters each year and that represents only a portion of what's released - and I always find 10. I've seen six new releases this year I would say are worthy of a Best Picture nomination. One must get beyond the multiplex at the mall to find good cinema.
Let's be honest. This is just a plot to increase ratings for the Oscars. The films that will be added won't actaully be "Oscar-worthy", they'll just be crowd favorites. Do we really want to see 40yo Virgin as a Best Picture nominee?
my thoughts exactly. 10?
don't we have a hard enough time getting 5 worthy films out in a year?
Just an excuse for studios to market more of their films as "Oscar Nominated".
Does this mean Hollywood will now be required to actually make ten really good films per year, or simply that we will just see more of the standard poor-quality movies be able to claim they are "Oscar-nominated" in their advertising? Perhaps those making the decisions in entertainment world should focus more on creativity, originality and quality than on rewarding themselves with increasingly meaningless "awards".
I do not think there are enough good movies out there to have 10 – poor done movies are going to be added just to fill out the 10.
Everyone need a Sanjiah ...
If Hollywood and the American movie business in general pay more attention to their artistic and innovative sense, and stop picking winners based on popularity and buzz, I will pay more attention.
Hell, are there 5 Oscar-worthy movies released in a calendar year?
This is just going to lead to unworthy films being nominated to fill the void.
No, there are not 10 "Best Picture" worthy films released in any given year anymore.
Hollywood makes films to appeal to an audience who has been dumbed down to the point of stupidity. Then they complain every year because films that don't appeal to the dolts get nominated but have low box-office returns.
Oh, how very lame? Are there even 10 great movies a year to nominate? Ugg. Sounds like pressure from the industry to generate more sales.
LAME LAME LAME.
No. However, this at least has the potential to recognize movies that happened to not make it because of a good selection for that particular year (would make the list of 5 in another year). The downside is that the list might contain more movies that only appeal to film geeks and the average person would not even put them on the DVD rental list. It may be more appropriate that the list could be "up to 10" to give the flexibility to choose less in a stinker year and not have "fillers" in the top 10.
So now we'll have 10 movies that nobody has seen that will be nominated.
If it expands to 10, I will be less likely to watch all of them. But I guess that's okay because there are rarely ten Oscar-Worthy films released by major studios. Instead of just expanding the number, why don't they concentrate on choosing better films? The Dark Knight and Wall-E should have been nominated over The Reader and the Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Darn – just a year too late. Dark Knight would have surely earned a nod if the group was expanded to 10, and quite possibly even won given the fan love for the movie as well as Heath Ledger.
I think they need to stop nominating such crap, then 5 wont be hard to reach, there are not 10 best pic quality movies made in a year, what now we include Pineapple Express or Pelham 1 2 3...no way stop nominating movies from Europe & else2where AMERIKAN MOVIES ONLY!
That's a terrible idea. With ten in total, it will be obvious who they will be. Instead of being an honor to be nominated among a select few, it will be more of an insult not to be on the list. I make an effort to see most nominated films in the major categories, and that's tough enough. With the field widened to ten, I might just give up all together. How about just increasing it just by a couple, maybe to seven?
i think its one year too late, The Dark Knight was robbed of the nod. At least next year we will hopefully see James Cameron's Avatar for best picture nod
No joke. I agree MWC.
I feel it should remain at five nominees, afterall the top five are the top five most pre-nominated films to begin with. This comes off as an attempt to bolster ratings with the inclusion of 5 lesser voted for films in order bolster television ratings and nothing more.
The Academy Awards are full of industry politics and not driven by box office reciepts or popular opinion. I do not see any fruitful impact in the real world other than perhaps to drive up a few more box office tickets to see the additional 5 films prior to show time.
this is a bif mistake i think they should really ruined it and make best of 50.... usually even out of the top 5 at least 2 movies have no business beeing there, but this is America and this is yet again all about marketing and money now movie makers have bigger chance of geting their less then mediocre movie on desplay at what have use to be the second biggest social event in the world!!! ( yes Canned were always always #1) anyway this is said to see
Most years do not produce five Oscar quality movie.
MWC - My sentiments exactly!
Interesting! I wish the Academy would also release how many votes each film received so you knew where they placed. It would be great if they returned to this as well so you knew how close films like "Brokeback Mountain" and "Saving Private Ryan" were to beating those years winners "Crash" and "Shakespeare in Love". Bringing back the old might be a way to spark wider interest. I would like to thank the Academy...
This is probably a mistake. Will make it possible for a film with narrow, but passionate, support to win (after all, it could take as little as 11% of the vote to win - probably always the winner will get <25%).
Also, with smaller amounts of votes needed to win - it may increase shenanagins of the film promoters to the voters). This is risky territory.
I think Oscar-worthy has become such a loaded term. I think it can do nothing but help to put more possibilities into the conversation– with only 5, they seem to only have room for one of any "type" of movie (i.e. if a historical epic was already likely to get nominated then the chances for another epic to get nominated are minimized)
Typical politically correct nonsense. Each year, some 400 or 500 films compete for the Oscar. Being released to a theater qualifies them. So this is either an exercise is stupidity or self aggrandizement. Will there not be a controversy as to who is 10th, and who is 11th – just as there was with #5 and #6? Furthermore, is it not disrespectful to those tremendous films of 1939, to open the door to Jack Black, Tom Green, The Rock, and whoever else shows up as #10 in a bad year?
I believe 10 nominations are too many under this catagory. 7 nominations should suffice if expanding at all. There really haven't been really many excellent films to warrant the expanding nominations. If basing this against 1939 which was a banner Hollywood year, there has NOT been a year since when so many excellent fims have been made. We already have additinal categories such as Foreign Films and Animated films, that presently is a total of 15 nominations. Like Sports, there are too many teams and the talent is diluted. Let's keep it as is...or at the very most 7 nominations.
Suggestion: have seperate categories for Drama, Comedy/Musical, etc. like the Foreign Globes.
So, the usual mind-numbing 5-hour show will now be ten hours long?
Ooooh boy! I hope there are more big dance numbers!
not really, they're going to have to start including well written comedies and action movies
There clearly are not ten films worthy of a Best Picture nomination any year. I can see why they thought expansion would be a good idea, but doubling the amount is overkill. Six or possibly seven would have been enough. Ten is ridiculous.
Yes, but not by Hollywood. And many of those never see a theater outside of LA and NYC. Maybe this will force some changes in the distribution system.
So your telling me that "Year One" has a chance...
It's going to be a 5 hour show!
Last year I can think of one movie that should have been nominated – "The Wrestler" but certainly not five more. I try every year to see the nominees, but at ten that is too many to even try.
I will go see more nominated movies...
Bad idea. It looks like "Everybody Gets a Prize Day," and will dilute the real contenders. Soon it will be like the NBA or NHL, where all but a few teams make it to the post-season.
They should have moved it up to 11. Now more DVDs can be re-released as "Best Picture Nominated". /sigh
My 10 for last year:
Man on Wire
Great. Another 2 hours of show for us to have to sit through now. At least Live from the Red Carpet (with fake producer Ryan Seacrest) can run more packages and less of his inane PC questions.
So what, the winner is based on politics within the Academy. Feel sorry for some old timer that has never won, okay, gve his/her picture the nod. The less I know about a film, and the less it has been hyped, the more I am likely to enjoy it. The extra nominations will all be disappointments.
This award began as a way for the studios to make money. It has nothing to do with art. Now more films will be able to advertise as Best Picture. It's all about money.
Some years that might be a good thing. Other years we might have to fear something like "The Hangover" ending up being "Oscar Nominated".
Interesting. Maybe movies that would not be "normal" Oscar calibre films finally see some love. An action movie perhaps, or comedy?
I've only watched the last few Oscars for the fashion. This change might get me more interested.
It's really just the Academy paying lip service to the public. The same boring group of old white men will decide who wins best picture. Very suldom does this group get it right.
Seriously, are there even 5 Oscar-worthy movies this year?
Please, give us a break. The show already lasts for 4 hours or more,
This expression of self-congratulations by multi-millionaires who expect handouts is not an event I pay attention to, even if they nominated 100 movies. The truth is, it is all about blatant self promotion in the entertainment industry, and very little about quality entertainment. Have the public vote, rather than Hollywood Insiders, and you would generate more interest in the blab-a-thon that is broadcast on TV.
I guess that means the Transformers sequel is a lock for a nomination. And Adam Sandler will finally get to say "it was an honor just to be nominated."
This might help create more drama. With so many films being eligible, a runaway favorite will be hard to find. It'll keep the award from feeling like a foregone conclusion. Although it may dim the luster of being a Best Picture nominee.
LOL! MWC that was hilarious! I get it. The sarcasm because you don't feel there are any good movies. Stop. My sides hurt! Just F'ing HILARIOUS!
If anything that reduces the significance in my book.
I think it said "up to 10 Best Picture Nominees".. in the third paragraph from the bottom. It could be less than 10 nominees I think. The year is only 1/2 over! Many more films to be enjoyed before nominations come out!
And I'll bet y'all thought there was no way the Academy Awards show could be made even more boring . . .
Marketing ploy by Hollywood – now 10 movies can add the 'Nominated for Best Picture' tagline to their advertising.
really... who cares... life is 2 short for this junk
He's doing this for buying power.. "Best Picture Nominee" looks great on DVD packaging. It's a way to boost DVD sales and attention to more films... quite ingenious, Sid.
(Doesn't even matter if the Top Ten are really worthy.. they will be with the title)
I still won't waste my time watching the Oscars.
worst. idea. ever.
maybe...MAYBE go to 7 but 10 will just dilute the field with filler. maybe land of the lost will get in now!
Well, in a world of extreme media and trying to gain heightened exposure for seemingly sub-par items of interest, this isn't surprising. Obviously, the added five nominees will generate additional revenues for the studios during the always popular Oscar PR drives, which is ultimately why this decision was made. However, in recent years it's been difficult to come up with even five Oscar worthy movies, let alone 10. Black Night was good, and it had exceptional performances (ie. Heath Ledger), but the movie on the whole hardly warranted an Oscar nod. It would be interesting if someone did a case study examining film over the last 10 years to determine what the nominees would have looked like under this scenario. I would wager that the qualtiy of the additional five films and ultimate integrity of the "Academy" would be compromised.
While I watch the Oscars every year, the overall quality of films has been declining over the last 80 years. I think they ought to reduce the number of nominated films to 4 or3 rather than increase it. Increasingly, the awards are only about marketing rather than quality.
Are there 10 Oscar-worthy movies released in a calendar year?
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