In an interesting move, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has announced that they will extend the amount of films that will be nominated for Best Picture. Instead of the usual number of 5 that has been used for the past 60 or so years, this coming year at the Oscars will see 10 films up for the Best Picture Oscar. My first reaction is negative, probably quite close to what Oscar Frenzy has written on the topic.
I think the reason is because most movie companies heavily use the Oscars as a way to promote their film. Alternatively, Oscar Fenzy suggested that it would increase viewership of the Oscars itself, which is a fair assessment. Oscar Frenzy was the same site commenting (I refrain from the word ‘complaining’ because it was a fair discussion) on how ‘The Dark Knight’ wasn’t nominated in lieu of other films like ‘Milk’ or ‘The Reader’, which were supposedly good films in their own right-I’ve seen neither.
Consequently, with this announcement we should see more of those ‘lesser’ films be nominated. Having 10 films does open up more possibility for foreign films, animated films and the like to have a chance at the big Oscar. This announcement reminds me of when they introduced the category of Best Animated Film in 2001, I believe it was. There was controversy-some people liked it because it recognized a mostly unrecognized part of the movie industry. Some people didn’t like it because they knew better animated films would have less of a shot at being nominated for ‘Best Picture’. But with 10 nominations, if we see an animated film as one of them, it does say something-it says that animated film was good enough to get a shot at the top. But then, it would be a little weird to even have the Best Animated Film category because what if the one animated film that got the Best Picture nod didn’t win the Best Animated Film Oscar? Would be interesting.
I guess we sort of dealt with that scenario once. ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ was nominated for both Best Foreign Film and Best Picture. It was the only foreign film to be nominated for Best Picture that year. It did win ‘Best Foreign Film’ so it worked out then. You’d almost expect a film nominated for a ‘sub-category’ and Best Picture to surely win the ‘sub-category’-like Foreign Film, Animated Film, etc. So, there are many ways this announcement could go.
This is going to be a weird fact to accept. It’s going to be weird for me to see 10 films be up for Best Picture. But as much as I don’t like this annoucement right now, I think I’ll get over it the way many people got past the ‘Best Animated Film’ category. Errr…maybe people are still bitter about that. I remember Ebert mentioning how he thought ‘The Incredibles’ would have had a shot at Best Picture if it were not for the Best Animated Film category, especially considering it was nominated for Best Original Screenplay. But I don’t want to get too far off the topic, though. Bottom line, the Oscars will have a different atmosphere. We’ll see quite a few films be nominated, but still only one will win. At least they didn’t say something like, “2 of the 10 films will win the award”.