Wednesday, June 24, 2009

And Then There Were...Ten?

A few months ago, I thought the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences had finally gotten its head out of the sand. Now, I’m not so sure. The Academy’s president made a rather surprising announcement today: for the first time in more than 60 years, next year’s Academy Awards will have 10 nominees for Best Picture instead of five. Here’s a bit of what he had to say:

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 recognise 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.

Personally, I don’t think this makes a bit of sense. Even with five nominees, there always seems to be at least one that isn’t in the same league as the others. And with ten nominees, I don’t even want to think about how much garbage is going to be included. People will argue that there are “deserving” movies that don’t get nominated each year, but if you think about it, that’s kind of the point. If every good movie was nominated, it wouldn’t mean nearly as much to be a nominee.

Of course, I’m prepared to eat my words if this ends up working out for the best, and the Academy has proven me wrong before. But for now, I have my doubts – and if I see any Transformers posters with the words “For Your Consideration” on them come this fall, I swear there will be hell to pay.

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