In Contention


This year’s Best Picture category to feature 10 nominees

Posted by · 10:21 am · June 24th, 2009

OscarsThe headline says it all.  Is this some strange move on the Academy’s part to further dilute an already incredibly suspect process?  Or, more likely, is this a response to the outcry last year against critical favorites such as “The Dark Knight” and “WALL-E” missing the cut.  With 10 nominees, “the bubble” is all but eliminated and it’s a free-for-all.

As exiting Academy president Sid Ganis puts it in the press release (see below), “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 understand the desire to widen the net, considering the rather heated scrutiny the organization has received for some of its nominee choices, but is this the answer?

Of course, the way the release puts it, the AMPAS wants to “go back to some of its earlier roots,” back when the 10 nominees was the norm.  But that was 70 years ago.  Additionally, this raises a whole other slate of questions as it regards competition and Oscar advertising.  With consistent awards budget cuts, a move like this could be seen as a breath of fresh air for studios stifled by the competition.  Then again, it could open the door for even more campaign dollars.  Is a “Star Trek” Best Picture push suddenly viable?  But the fact remains, with a widened winner’s circle comes a vacuum where being distinguished is concerned.

The announcement dovetails nicely with a current AMPAS showcase of the 10 Best Picture nominees from 1939, a collective of classic-age cinematic gems including “Gone With the Wind,” “Stagecoach” and “The Wizard of Oz.”

I’ll have to turn this over in my head a bit but it seems the novelty of the BFCA’s 10 Best Picture contenders is the new black.  And I guess you can add one more “top 10 list” to the end of year collective: The Academy’s Top 10 Films of 2009.”  Incredibly bizarre.  What do you think?

(Additionally, Greg Ellwood at HitFix is reporting that the Animated Feature category was on the chopping block but survived after all.)

Full press release:

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.




→ 178 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

178 responses so far

  • 1 6-24-2009 at 10:43 am

    Bish Fiscuit said...

    Holy fucking Christ.

  • 2 6-24-2009 at 10:44 am

    red_wine said...

    Th is so gonna end in disaster.

  • 3 6-24-2009 at 10:47 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    At first glance, I thought it was a great idea. Why not? But in terms of the actual competition aspect, it seems you can eliminate at least five candidates right off the bat that don’t earn the corresponding director nod.

  • 4 6-24-2009 at 10:48 am

    Dean said...

    What the f*ck? This is so out of left field. My initial reaction for some reason is anger, this seems like a terrible idea.

  • 5 6-24-2009 at 10:48 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Also, if this means Star Trek gets a Best Picture nomination, I’m gonna cry.

  • 6 6-24-2009 at 10:48 am

    rosengje said...

    I would at least be interested in the idea if it wasn’t so obviously a transparent attempt to help big-budget studio films. Hopefully some smaller indies will benefit as well.

  • 7 6-24-2009 at 10:51 am

    adam said...

    Yikes.

    Doesn’t having 10 nominees devalue actually being a Best Picture nominee?

  • 8 6-24-2009 at 10:51 am

    benitodelicias said...

    10 nominees will only create more “outcry” and lots of more fighting once undeserving nominees show up and the Academy STILL manages to leave out critics and pundits pics…

  • 9 6-24-2009 at 10:52 am

    Billyboy said...

    For a moment there I thought it was April 1st.

  • 10 6-24-2009 at 10:52 am

    andrew said...

    OH my GOD!!!

  • 11 6-24-2009 at 10:53 am

    Mike_M said...

    Wow, shocking… this is going to be a clusterfuck.

    So Kris, when are we going to see you additional 5 predicted noms on the sidebar…? :)

  • 12 6-24-2009 at 10:53 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I’ll withhold judgment until I actually see what kind of list they come up with. But if there’s not one foreign-language film on the list (and let’s face it, there probably won’t be), then they’ll just look even stupider than they always do.

  • 13 6-24-2009 at 10:55 am

    Mark Kratina said...

    And The Dark Knight’s legacy grows……………

    The Academy Awards originally had more than 5 films for BP in the first ten years, didn’t it?

  • 14 6-24-2009 at 10:55 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Mike_M: Lots to consider now. Lots. It’ll be a while.

  • 15 6-24-2009 at 10:56 am

    The Dude said...

    Kris, like you, the first two movies I thought of were Wall-E and The Dark Knight. They’re trying to correct the wrongs of last year.

    This opens the door WIDE open. Forget the question “will an animated film get a nod?” Now you’ve got to start asking “can TWO animated movies get nods?” A ton of movies that people would count out early now have a fighting chance. Very cool.

    Although Chad brings up a good point…expanding the field to 10 pretty much guarantees that the 5 films that DON’T get best director nods are pretty much out of the running. Maybe they’ll be expanding that race, too? (I doubt it)

  • 16 6-24-2009 at 10:57 am

    Ken said...

    Can we now all agree that Pixar will finally get its first BP nom this year with UP? It would have been nice to see it happen without the added help, but small victories.

  • 17 6-24-2009 at 10:57 am

    Mark Kratina said...

    Strike my last comment/question- I hadn’t read the full presser.

    Perhaps the Academy should for 10 directors, too, so what happened to Chris Nolan doesn’t happen again.

  • 18 6-24-2009 at 10:58 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Ken: Yes, I think we can.

  • 19 6-24-2009 at 10:58 am

    adam said...

    Why can’t there be perhaps 6 or 7 nominees?

    I know it isn’t a nice pretty number like 5 or 10 but I do think were are going to end up with 3 or 4 movies every year that don’t really deserve to be there.

  • 20 6-24-2009 at 10:59 am

    Mr. Gittes said...

    Wow. Saturation comes to mind.

  • 21 6-24-2009 at 10:59 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Ugh. Do I have to do a chart of 20 now?

  • 22 6-24-2009 at 11:00 am

    Matt said...

    Urgh… imagine the past few years had they chosen 10 nominees:

    “Great Debaters.” Best Picture Nominee!
    “Knocked Up.” Best Picture Nominee!

  • 23 6-24-2009 at 11:01 am

    Rebecca Parker said...

    Well, I seem to be the odd person out, but I’m excited about this. I’ve long hoped that they’d expand the amount of nominees (although I thought maybe they’d go to 7 – 10 is beyond what I’d hoped for!) Let’s face it, there are more movies being made now than ever before, and more great movies being made now than ever before. I only wish the other categories would expand to 10 as well. Who does it hurt? More people being recognized, more people invested in the awards instead of being mad at it. I think this is exciting !

  • 24 6-24-2009 at 11:03 am

    P-Dawg said...

    I don’t think it will affect the outcome of which movie the Academy ultimately awards the Best Picture. This is just a ploy to pat the backs of other genres that are often left out of the running, despite being great movies. I don’t think this revived selection process will last long.

  • 25 6-24-2009 at 11:03 am

    Chase Kahn said...

    “I know it isn’t a nice pretty number like 5 or 10 but I do think were are going to end up with 3 or 4 movies every year that don’t really deserve to be there.”

    That’s different from any other year in what way?

    In all seriousness, I think it’s great. 70 years from the greatness of 1939 — which had 10 all-time classics nominated — perhaps 2009 can stir up comparisons…okay, maybe not.

  • 26 6-24-2009 at 11:04 am

    Hans said...

    Mmm, now one (of the many) problems I see. Up will get a nomination, and the headlines will state that Up is the first animated picture since BatB to get a BP nod. But now that statistic will have to be slapped with a big fat asterisk because of the fact that there are 10 nominees.

    Then again, I guess no one out there says that The Wizard of Oz is any less of a nominee than, say, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

  • 27 6-24-2009 at 11:06 am

    Matt said...

    Remember how infuriated people were when their favourite film was not included in the T

  • 28 6-24-2009 at 11:06 am

    Jake said...

    If it only this was in place for last year…

  • 29 6-24-2009 at 11:07 am

    Mr. F said...

    I am excited for this. Sure, you can eliminate 5 movies that won’t win just based on the director nominees, but at least some great movies that deserve to be recognized will get that citation in their record. If the critics can have up to 10 nominees, why can’t the Oscars.

  • 30 6-24-2009 at 11:07 am

    Matt said...

    Remember how infuriated people were then their favourite film was not included in the top 5?

    Imagine how ticked people will be when their favourite film gets snubbed from the Top 10!

  • 31 6-24-2009 at 11:09 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    People might want to take a look at years other than 1939, where utter shite like “Blossoms in the Dust” and “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” made the Top 10, before waxing nostalgic. (And even there, “Dark Victory” is a pretty godawful film.)

    That said, “La Grande Illusion” made the list way back when, so like I said … withholding judgment.

  • 32 6-24-2009 at 11:13 am

    reub said...

    It’ll open the doors to films lie Children of Men, Jesse James, Zodiac… The Hurt Locker or critically acclaimed comedies getting the attention.
    I like it.

  • 33 6-24-2009 at 11:13 am

    Davidraider88 said...

    I thought about this for a while. This increases the chance of crappy Best Picture winner. In a ten nomination year, movies like “The Reader” and “Juno” could upset and win. The only upside I see in this is the possible inclusion of more foreign films. Maybe films like “City of God” and “Pan’s Labrynth” could have gotten a BP nomination with these new rules. If you look at the nominees in the years where there were 10 choices, there were several mediocre films. Being a Best Picture nominee won’t mean as much anymore. I think this will increase the stature of the Golden Globes and the BAFTA’s

  • 34 6-24-2009 at 11:14 am

    Vito said...

    Wow. This is surprising. 10 is a little much, I think though. I think 5 is fine, even though some movies get screwed over. Maybe 7 would be a good number. Anyway, this will be extremely interesting when the time comes for serious predictions. As well as possible rating increases.

  • 35 6-24-2009 at 11:15 am

    Davidraider88 said...

    Why not expand to SIX or SEVEN, why does it have to be TEN nominees? With six or seven choices, films like TDK could have gotten in, you don’t have to expand by five.

  • 36 6-24-2009 at 11:16 am

    Chase Kahn said...

    Guy — it’s total nostalgia for me. And also “Gunga Din” and “Beau Geste” didn’t even make it that year.

    My point is, crap gets nominated with a field of 5, why not let more crap? I’ll take 4 more shitty movies if it means “Children of Men” or “Zodiac” sneak in.

  • 37 6-24-2009 at 11:19 am

    Mr. Gittes said...

    If the Academy did this, in part, to let “The Dark Knight’s” in than they’re absolutely crazy. The Dark Knight was a once in a decade deal, I believe. You know, summer blockbuster garnering serious Oscar considering. Oh, and just because Star Trek has a 95% rotten tomato rating does not mean it should be a best picture nominee. Wait – the field has been expanded to ten. Never mind.

  • 38 6-24-2009 at 11:19 am

    ganonlink1991 said...

    i good idea would have benn that the best picture category ALLOWS only up to 10 nominees and a minimun of 5, basing the number of nominees of the number of votes each picture gets that qualifies it for being a nominee. in that case there could be 6, 7, etc. nominees. i think that would be really fair

  • 39 6-24-2009 at 11:21 am

    Ben M. said...

    There is a big initial shock, but I kinda like it and I feel it will allow some more non-traditional contenders in (like Wall-E and Dark Knight last year, and I think perhaps Bourne the year before might’ve snuck in).
    One other funny thing that will likely happen, is we might well start seeing some films get BP noms as their only nod, it happened with Grand Illusion and last year, for instance, I think Gran Torino was in the top ten (it had a lot of the love in the academy and even seemed to have a chance to break into the top 5) despite not having any nods.

  • 40 6-24-2009 at 11:21 am

    Hans said...

    “I think this will increase the stature of the Golden Globes and the BAFTA’s”

    Well, the Globes DO nominate ten pictures as well.

  • 41 6-24-2009 at 11:25 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’m officially out of the year-in-advance prediction business. If I can’t come up with 20 picks for a chart in June, how the hell am I gonna do it in February?

    I’m stalling at 17:

    Amelia
    Avatar
    Bright Star
    An Education
    Funny People
    Green Zone (might not release)
    The Hurt Locker
    The Informant
    Invictus
    The Lovely Bones
    Nine
    Precious
    Public Enemies
    Shutter Island
    Star Trek
    Up
    Up in the Air

  • 42 6-24-2009 at 11:26 am

    Vito said...

    How about Moon getting in there, Kris?

  • 43 6-24-2009 at 11:27 am

    Hans said...

    Yeah, and might as well toss Drag Me to Hell in there =)

  • 44 6-24-2009 at 11:29 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Maybe the Coens’ A Serious Man.

  • 45 6-24-2009 at 11:29 am

    Michael said...

    So they basically lowered the value of the Best Picture award in one announcement.

    Nice.

  • 46 6-24-2009 at 11:29 am

    JAB said...

    so Up will be a best picture nominee… but some other movies this new rule might make serious contenders for a slot:
    Public Enemies
    Funny People
    The Hangover
    Harry Potter
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Antichrist

  • 47 6-24-2009 at 11:31 am

    Vito said...

    As great as The Hangover was, there is no way The Academy would seriously consider it. Funny People, probably.

  • 48 6-24-2009 at 11:33 am

    Vito said...

    Also, just had a thought. Maybe My Sister’s Keeper? That’s a nice sappy drama starring Abigal Breslin. Sounds like something the Academy would eat up.

  • 49 6-24-2009 at 11:33 am

    Hans said...

    Well, at least this isn’t a COMPLETE cop-out, like Ebert naming his Top 20 films of the year, no ranking or anything.

  • 50 6-24-2009 at 11:34 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Just added a note about the animated feature category. Apparently it was going to be done away with but survived after all.

  • 51 6-24-2009 at 11:34 am

    Mark Kratina said...

    I don’t mind the expansion to 10, but as it relates to 70 years ago, it just doesn’t relate.

    For one, more films were made in those days so picking 10 out of the many films produced probably did not seem watered down. Plus, there were a lot of quality films vying for the top 10.

    Today, fewer films are made and, I would argue, fewer films of quality. So, like others have mentioned, films of a lesser grade are going to get in (they were already getting in with 5 nominees).

    AMPAS should now go back and add 5 BP nominees- with the hindsight of posterity- for each year that only had 5. Just my two cents.

  • 52 6-24-2009 at 11:36 am

    Chris said...

    This pisses me off, because I said this should have happened last year. The Dark Knight would have SURELY been nominated for Best Picture. And I bet you that is why they are doing this. Morons.

    Anyways, this certainly boosts the chances of Public Enemies getting nominated.

  • 53 6-24-2009 at 11:37 am

    Hans said...

    “Just added a note about the animated feature category. Apparently it was going to be done away with but survived after all.”

    Veeerrrry interesting. This might have actually been welcome to some, but then it might have been seen as pandering to Pixar because, let’s get serious, what non-Pixar films have ever even had the slightest chance this decade at cracking the BP list?

  • 54 6-24-2009 at 11:39 am

    seasondays said...

    “I think this will increase the stature of the Golden Globes and the BAFTA’s”

    “Well, the Globes DO nominate ten pictures as well.”

    The BAFTAs DO nominate ten as well, remember best british film

  • 55 6-24-2009 at 11:40 am

    JAB said...

    @ Hans:
    …Shrek? i feel like that was pushed hard core

  • 56 6-24-2009 at 11:41 am

    tony rock said...

    mark kratina: What are you smoking? More movies are made now than in the past, that’s a well known fact.

  • 57 6-24-2009 at 11:41 am

    Hans said...

    @JAB

    Ah, yes, thank you, I knew there might have been at least one and I’d look like a clueless douchebag =)

  • 58 6-24-2009 at 11:41 am

    Vito said...

    JAB: Shrek isn’t Pixar, though.

  • 59 6-24-2009 at 11:41 am

    Me said...

    OMG!!! I’m in love with this idea! Considering how many movies will be released this year!

    Pedro Almodóvar’s “Broken Embraces”
    Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker”
    James Cameron’s “Avatar”
    Jane Campion’s “Bright Star”
    Lee Daniels’ “Precious”
    Clint Eastwood’s “Invictus”
    Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu’s “Biutiful”
    Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones”
    Rob Marshall’s “Nine”
    Hayao Miyazaki’s “Ponyo”
    Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island”

    Oh and the latest Pixar film “Up”

    That’s more than 10 films :D

  • 60 6-24-2009 at 11:42 am

    Vito said...

    Wait, my bad. I read the post wrong. Sorry.

  • 61 6-24-2009 at 11:45 am

    Jesse said...

    You know what, though? If this was true last year, Revolutionary Road and The Wrestler almost certainly would have been nominated and thus more likely to be remembered over time. Hopefully, this can benefit films like those, as opposed to Star Trek.

  • 62 6-24-2009 at 11:46 am

    Mark Kratina said...

    Tony:

    If you have some empirical data to back that up, I’m all ears. Explain to me how actors like Cary Grant could rip off 7 films in a given year in the 30s or 40s whereas stars today make maybe 2 at most?

    Films cost more to make, therefore less are made. Back in the day, they were cheaper, cost-effective, and they got churned out by the studio machine.

  • 63 6-24-2009 at 11:51 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Alright, my hand is forced. New Off the Carpet column on Monday. Ugh, I wanted at least one more week of freedom…

  • 64 6-24-2009 at 11:57 am

    James D. said...

    I wonder who would have made it in a hypothetical matchup last year. The Dark Knight, WALL-E, The Wrestler, Revolutionary Road? Then there could have been Doubt, Rachel Getting Married, Frozen River, etc.

    If they include foreign and documentaries, what happens to those categories? This whole thing is baffling me.

  • 65 6-24-2009 at 12:05 pm

    JAB said...

    I feel like Doubt was closer to a best picture nomination then a lot of people realize, what with 4 acting nominations

  • 66 6-24-2009 at 12:06 pm

    Adam M. said...

    I doubt I’m the first to say this, but…

    I think it’s now safe to consider “Up” a LOCK for a Best Pic nod.

  • 67 6-24-2009 at 12:07 pm

    Troy said...

    James, I’d say TDK, Wall-E, The Wrestler, and Doubt, with the last spot being a complete toss-up.

  • 68 6-24-2009 at 12:08 pm

    Troy said...

    And yeah, I’m not crazy about the idea, as it is likely just going to mean more crap being nominated, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s going to make me happy as hell seeing Up nominated.

  • 69 6-24-2009 at 12:09 pm

    Adam M. said...

    I think last year we would have also seen:

    The Dark Knight
    WALL-E
    Doubt
    The Wrestler
    Revolutionary Road

  • 70 6-24-2009 at 12:11 pm

    Simone said...

    After reading a lot of comments from people who live and breath Oscars, I do understand their concerns about the prestige of the Oscars being watered down, but in essence, I do look forward to this change. The snob level will decrease and I think lesser known but high quality independent films will be allowed to make the BP cut. Once such a film a nominated, it will have a fair share in actually winning than in previous years.

    Let’s give this new process a chance before we dismiss it.

  • 71 6-24-2009 at 12:12 pm

    Steve said...

    @Mark

    Just a quick look through IMDB
    2009: 17044 movies
    1999: 12470 movies
    1989: 6598 movies
    1979: 4958 movies
    1969: 4565 movies
    1959: 3081 movies
    1949: 2275 movies
    1939: 2280 movies
    1929: 2614 movies

    It seems to me more movies are being made today.

  • 72 6-24-2009 at 12:13 pm

    James D. said...

    Maybe Gran Torino would have snuck in. A lot of us feared it would happen right before nominations came out.

    I can see this makes great business sense. They can nominate blockbusters as well as honor art films. I wonder if it will change voting patterns and result in films winning that never had a chance before.

  • 73 6-24-2009 at 12:17 pm

    Diego(uruguay) said...

    I think last year we would have nominated:

    Wall-E
    TDK
    Revolutionary road(Total: 4 nominations)
    Changeling(Total: 4 nominations)
    Doubt

  • 74 6-24-2009 at 12:18 pm

    tony rock said...

    Mark: Actors and especially movie stars were far busier back in the day, but ask anybody else on this blog and they’ll tell you that studios churn out production on far more films today than they did in the past. With the advent of video, dvd, internet and other entertainment venues the rate at which companies put material into production is much much higher than in the 30’s or 40’s when film was still in its early years and studios only released between 5 and 10 movies a year, maybe not even that. It’s the reason single movies dont make as much money as they used to, too much competition. Working on finding some empirical data but here’s an article that talks about some of it…http://www.film.com/features/story/there-are-too-many-movies/17567092

  • 75 6-24-2009 at 12:20 pm

    red_wine said...

    Up is the only sure-shot nominee up till now, with Star Trek a very close and very likely second.

    But the academy manages to nominate shit even with 5 nominees, with 10, for the first time I think, there is a possibility we might see an overlap between the Razzie and Oscar nominations.

  • 76 6-24-2009 at 12:20 pm

    tony rock said...

    I will admit that only in very recent years have studios decided to begin cutting back on the number of films they produce. However, despite this, it still remains that fewer films were made in the old days.

  • 77 6-24-2009 at 12:22 pm

    Morgan said...

    As people have pointed out, I just don’t get the lack of correspondence between picture and director — yeah, it’ll be nice that some less traditional fare gets nominated, but without the director nominations, doesn’t it just seem kind of pointlessly patronizing to include them at all?

    And I am certainly not a believer in the universal quality of Best Picture nominees (of last year’s, the only one I liked was Milk) but it IS less prestigious when you expand the field to ten. Do not want.

  • 78 6-24-2009 at 12:23 pm

    rafa said...

    interesting. we will finally know if the academy is more on the serious business of recognizing quality films or just nominating the latest trend on super heros blockbusters.
    I bet on the first, to welcome almodovars and von triers alike on the yearly recognition!

    But I agree on the concerns for the final outcome, choosing one out of ten to the big prize might polarize votes to films like Juno, or even last years Slumdog. Cause I think it is difficult to form a consensus for one of the nominees like Wrestler, Rachel Getting Marries, Milk, Reader, Doubt, etc… No Country might not have won under this conditions…

  • 79 6-24-2009 at 12:23 pm

    Eunice said...

    This would spell disaster since it now increases the possibility of lower quality films to be nominated for *gasp* Best Picture.

    But the possibility of seeing a slate that includes the best of the best, and the best of the well-loved is far too exciting to pass up, and even the Academy sees the value of this optimistic notion.

    The thing is, if they don’t change the way they vote, we’re probably going to see a slate as bland as we’ve been seeing in the past few years: five movies that not a lot of people care about, some of which can easily be eclipsed by better productions who lose out just because they don’t have the money to campaign.

    Also, I think it’s about time that the Academy realizes that cinematic gold exists in genres other than drama, and in forms other than live-action movies. I’m excited to see ‘Up’ and ‘Nine’ as Best Picture nominees. That’ll put the Oscars back on the map.

  • 80 6-24-2009 at 12:30 pm

    Matt said...

    I could see the 10 nominations being very tokenistic… for instance, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows getting one just for being the “last of the series” or Judd Apatow getting a nom for “Funny People” just because he has yet to receive one.

  • 81 6-24-2009 at 12:30 pm

    brian said...

    The Road, and maybe Brothers too, Kris.

    Star Trek’s glow is going to be diminished heavily (at least for a few months) by Avatar.

  • 82 6-24-2009 at 12:30 pm

    Chase Kahn said...

    There were about 75 films released in 1939 — compared to what we see today — about 300ish. It’s not even close. That number includes foreign territory as well (Renoir, Carne, etc.)

  • 83 6-24-2009 at 12:36 pm

    brian said...

    This has so little to do with TDK and so much more to do with money.

    Don’t forget, last year’s Oscars were, really, a success, without TDK.

  • 84 6-24-2009 at 12:40 pm

    Marshall said...

    I agree that “Up” is our first lock.

    And watch out for massive campaigns for comedies like “Funny People,” but also for “The Hangover” and “Bruno.”. Hey, if they can make the field of 10 at the Globes, studios might be willing to mount a campaign becaus they won’t know if the voters will be inclined to include comedies of just more dramas. Most likely though for “Funny People” if it scores with audiences and critics.

    And now open the floodgates for the list of the five movies that would have made the other 5 nominees in past years. KRIS, PLEASE MAKE THAT THE NEW POLL!

  • 85 6-24-2009 at 12:40 pm

    Me said...

    I think the Best Picture lineup will be the following:

    “Avatar”
    “Bright Star”
    “Broken Embraces”
    “The Hurt Locker”
    “Invictus”
    “The Lovely Bones”
    “Nine”
    “Precious”
    “Shutter Island”
    “Up”

  • 86 6-24-2009 at 12:41 pm

    brian said...

    Good call on Bruno.

  • 87 6-24-2009 at 12:41 pm

    david said...

    I don’t like it.

    At least the Golden Globes have enough sense to award different genres in different categories. This lumping 10 films (apples, oranges, and bananas) into one category, where only 1 film will win an award, is just plain retarded.

  • 88 6-24-2009 at 12:43 pm

    Marshall said...

    also, I am intrigued by how this will affect vote splitting? Does this end the age of the “lock” because there are so many choices that Best Picture just becomes the least common denominator?

  • 89 6-24-2009 at 12:46 pm

    MattyD. said...

    This is so STUPID! I gagged when I saw this announcement. I feel as though this renders the prestige of the films nominated so less…..prestigious? I definitely think this will be a good opportunity for films the Academy would overlook in the regular 5 to have a chance, but that’s exactly what I don’t like about the Golden Globes. I can’t articulate my thoughts very well at the moment because I’m so very distressed over this. At least make the foreign film category better before you do THIS!

  • 90 6-24-2009 at 12:54 pm

    brian said...

    Good call on Bruno.

    So many of the potential nominees already are just “also ran”.

  • 91 6-24-2009 at 12:54 pm

    katie said...

    No No No No No No NO NONONONONOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • 92 6-24-2009 at 12:56 pm

    BurmaShave said...

    Tapley, there’s some expo poster online indicating that THE LOVELY BONES is pushed to 2010, you heard anything like that?

  • 93 6-24-2009 at 12:59 pm

    katie said...

    Maybe 7, but 10? What is wrong with them?

    The one change they need to make, is to mandate that all voters watch at least 80 to 90 percent of the films eligible. As it stands right now, voters watch only 20 to 30 percent — and that’s even when most of the films are MAILED TO THEIR HOMES!!

    That kind of ignorant decision making is what really bothers me and what really corrupts the entire system from within. Ignorance. If they can’t take it seriously, then why should I? If I’m going to drive 2 hours to a specialized theater, then they can certainly put in the time to watch all the films. How do you know what your favorites are, if you haven’t even seen them?

  • 94 6-24-2009 at 12:59 pm

    Vito said...

    What…That better not be true. They already delayed it a year before. I hope it’s a damn dirty lie. Haha.

  • 95 6-24-2009 at 1:03 pm

    Me said...

    WHAT??? I REALLY HOPE IT’S A LIE!!! I’m dying to see The Lovely Bones!!!

  • 96 6-24-2009 at 1:04 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Burma: Nope, haven’t heard a thing. Weird if true. It’s been ready to go for a while.

  • 97 6-24-2009 at 1:08 pm

    Me said...

    Here is the link to the poster:
    http://www.worstpreviews.com/images/headlines/temp/temp1621.jpg

    Although that poster looks so damn fake! I really hope it’s just a lie.

  • 98 6-24-2009 at 1:15 pm

    Joe W said...

    My best guess…

    Avatar
    The Lovely Bones
    Shutter Island
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Up
    Public Enemies
    Nine
    Moon
    Invictus
    Precious

  • 99 6-24-2009 at 1:24 pm

    Matt said...

    All of a sudden this shakes up things.

    Where the Wild Things Are?
    Taking Woodstock?

    This will be an exciting pre-Oscar season.

  • 100 6-24-2009 at 1:40 pm

    Patryk said...

    Another step toward the People’s Choice Awards.

  • 101 6-24-2009 at 1:44 pm

    Bart Smith said...

    This seems like a really weak year to expand Best Picture to 10 films, but I guess that want to use some variation of “10 for ’10” in marketing for the Oscars.

    There are years when I think you could probably come up with 10 movies that are solidly worthy of a Best Picture nomination but definitely not every year. It might work better if there’s some sort of fail safe to handle years in which there just aren’t that many great films. They could have a requirement that a film must appear on a certain number of ballots a to be eligible for a Best Picture nomination.

  • 102 6-24-2009 at 1:45 pm

    j said...

    ganonlink1991, I like your idea. I have a feeling if that were the case, a lot of voters would go for five, and a lot would go for ten, with few in between. Giving us 7 or 8 a year.

    As people have said, it all depends on what the nominees are, especially which ones don’t correspond w/director so probably are the extra five – whether more acclaimed indie, doc, foreign, or animated; or more movies that made tons of money (esp comedy/action) and can finally give the Oscars great ratings again.

  • 103 6-24-2009 at 1:50 pm

    j said...

    I was looking at the top movies on Metacritic each year, and if the Oscars’ expansion means more of their nominees come from those lists, I’d be happy. For example, last year’s most acclaimed: Wall-E, The Class, Waltz with Bashir, Man on Wire.

  • 104 6-24-2009 at 1:57 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    Why does everyone always wanna call it a thin year? GOSH! And movies like my sisters keeper being nominated, hehe, there will be at least 10 films good enough, and this allows where the wild things are and up a chance so count me in

  • 105 6-24-2009 at 2:03 pm

    entertainmenttoday.. said...

    I think ten is too many. I would go with 7. One year too late for the Dark Knight. Makes sense from a mainstram point of view. I only wonder if the Oscars will become the Golden Globes with that much choice. This story was a fast ball down the middle for your site Kris.

    chuck

  • 106 6-24-2009 at 2:11 pm

    Diego(uruguay) said...

    Congratultions “UP”!

  • 107 6-24-2009 at 2:14 pm

    Me said...

    C’mon!!!! Scorsese, Jackson, Campion, Iñarritu, Eastwood, Marshall, Miyazaki, Mann, Cameron, Almodóvar, Frears and the Coen Brothers are releasing films! This is definately not going to be a weak year at all! I mean, it looks like one of the most exciting years this decade since 2002!!

    Also, add Pixar’s latest hit “Up” as well as two buzzed independent films: “The Hurt Locker” and “Precious”. Also, who knows if there’s gonna be an independent gem that will pop out(Juno, Slumdog Millionaire) later this year.

  • 108 6-24-2009 at 2:15 pm

    brian said...

    I bet a whole shit load of movies planning on hitting early 2010 get bumped up.

  • 109 6-24-2009 at 2:15 pm

    Me said...

    Oh and don’t forget biopics such as Amelia and Julie & Julia and Taking Woodstock, Ang Lee’s latest film.

  • 110 6-24-2009 at 2:24 pm

    The InSneider said...

    Kris, don’t sleep on Biutiful, Broken Embraces, Brothers or Where the Wild Things Are. 1 or 2 of those should crack your list of 20… I don’t think Green Zone will release this year.

  • 111 6-24-2009 at 2:24 pm

    JC said...

    I think, in the end, the list will simply more closely resemble that of the AFI (for better or worse).

    I do hope some foreign language films find their way into the mix, though. I kind of wonder if The Diving Bell And The Butterfly and Pan’s Labyrinth (or The Lives Of Others) would’ve made the cut for 2007 and 2006 under this system.

  • 112 6-24-2009 at 2:38 pm

    the world said...

    just wait untiil people start bitching about a movie that didn’t make the top 10!

  • 113 6-24-2009 at 2:41 pm

    Ivan said...

    The crap of all this thing is that there is no more emotion to predict the best pic nominees anymore. With the precursors will be very easy to know the 10 choices. Also the brand “A best picture nominee ” will have the same value of a “BFC nominee”

  • 114 6-24-2009 at 3:00 pm

    Matt said...

    And the big winners are…

    The trades. Film campaigns will be ramped up more than enver to get a shot at the Top 10.

    I don’t even want to begin to imagine what the Variety “Bruno” front page ad will look line.

  • 115 6-24-2009 at 3:01 pm

    Walter said...

    On the plus side, at least we (probably) won’t have to deal with that pesky “orphan director” slot. So that a movie like, say, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly could actually be a Best Pic nom?

  • 116 6-24-2009 at 3:04 pm

    joshywa said...

    This could work out well commercially for the Academy (give the opportunity to nominate blockbusters). That would be cool. It could end up helping the Academy critically (allow them to nominate them gems they wouldn’t before cause they weren’t live action, fictional, drama). But really and what people keep thinking is that this will simply serve to nominate more oscar-bait movies.

    When people make their lists about what would be nominated in 2008 we’re saying: TDK, Wall-E, Revolutionary Road, Doubt, Changeling, Gran Torino) Would nominating these movies really boost the legitimacy of the Academy?

    Sure I would love to see deserving movies get nominated. The Class, Trouble the Water, The Dark Knight, Wall-E, Wan on Wire, Waltz with Bashir. We’re all hoping that these are the movies that benefit. But they won’t.

    Let’s look at 2007 see what that would have looked like?

    No Country For Old Men
    Micheal Clayton
    There Will Be Blood
    Atonement
    Juno
    Ratatouille
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    American Gangster
    Sweeney Todd
    The Bourne Ultimatum

    Actually that would be pretty cool. Do we really think that how it would have stacked up? I’ll post 2005:

    The Departed
    Babel
    The Queen
    Letters From Iwo Jima
    Little Miss Sunshine
    Pan’s Labyrinth
    United 93
    Blood Diamond
    Dreamgirls
    Children Of Men

    That would also be really cool. maybe this could work out really well.

  • 117 6-24-2009 at 3:16 pm

    Hans said...

    I wouldn’t be calling Up a lock yet. It is still an animated film. There is no way to really know where mainstream films like TDK or WALL-E fell in the final tallies last year. A lot of pandering and campaigning can happen between now and the end of the year.

    Just for fun, here are the films that made all 3 big Top 10 lists last year (NBR, BFCA, and AFI)

    Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    The Dark Knight
    Frost/Nixon
    Milk
    WALL-E
    The Wrestler

    I think that’s a BP lineup that quite a few could have gotten behind (maybe take out Button or F/N). Slumdog Millionaire, BTW, would have most likely made the AFI list had it been filmed in America.

    And to those worried about films like “The Hangover” making it well…why not? Critics and audiences have affirmed that it is a good movie, so should the Academy be biased against a genuinely good film if its target audience also happens to cast a wider net then your typical The Readeresque film? Last year I thought Role Models was an excellent movie, and even had higher critics ratings than the likes of Ben Button, Doubt, and The Reader. Jane Lynch should have been in the running for Best Supporting Actress, but because of this cliche genre bias, I knew it had zilch chance. If this is the reason for this expansion, then bravo, Academy.

  • 118 6-24-2009 at 3:27 pm

    Hans said...

    And for the heck of it, the films that made the 3 big lists in 2007:

    No Country for Old Men
    Into the Wild
    Juno
    Michael Clayton

    2006:

    Babel
    Letters from Iwo Jima
    Little Miss Sunshine

    2005:

    Brokeback Mountain
    Capote
    Good Night and Good Luck
    Munich

    2004:

    Sideways
    The Aviator
    Collateral
    Kinsey
    Million Dollar Baby

    As you an see, from 2004-2007, only two films (Kinsey, Into the Wild) had ever managed to make all three lists and not get nominated. In 2008 alone, that happened to three films (TDK, WALL-E, and The Wrestler)

  • 119 6-24-2009 at 3:29 pm

    Marshall said...

    HANS, YOU ARE MY HERO!!!!! I loved “Role Models” … Easily more memorable than F/N or the Reader. Jane lynch was amazing! Should have been in the running since she created one of the funniest characters in 2008.

  • 120 6-24-2009 at 3:32 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Come on Sugar!

  • 121 6-24-2009 at 3:40 pm

    John H. Foote said...

    Dumbest fucking move the Academy has ever made…stupid…stupid…stupid…

  • 122 6-24-2009 at 3:54 pm

    Alex said...

    5 spots are enough….just don’t squander them on crappy movies. this is so incredibly disappointing and stupid. infinitely stupid.

  • 123 6-24-2009 at 3:54 pm

    Edward L. said...

    Just heard the news… My first thought was that this dilutes the worth of being a Best Picture nominee, because it will be a lot easier to be nominated. But there is a major plus: it will be a lot harder to win!

    Nevertheless, I’m pretty shocked. I’m off to bed to sleep on it.

  • 124 6-24-2009 at 4:05 pm

    brian said...

    Best Picture Nominee My Big Fat Greek Wedding
    Best Picture Nominee Mamma Mia

  • 125 6-24-2009 at 4:07 pm

    Edward L. said...

    brian: Yes, but…Best Picture nominee Quantum of Solace would have made me smile!

  • 126 6-24-2009 at 4:12 pm

    Deniz Cansi said...

    You can watch the press conference here with some interesting question from the journalist

    http://www.oscars.org/press/pressreleases/2009/20090624.html

  • 127 6-24-2009 at 4:22 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    It’s pretty damning that a loud majority of the opinions here suggest that there are barely, if at all, 10 great movies released in any given year.

  • 128 6-24-2009 at 4:33 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Holy shit I just got home and read THIS? 127 Comments already?

    Anyhow, W-T-F? This must be a joke.

  • 129 6-24-2009 at 4:35 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    InSneider: I don’t think it will either, but until something official drops, I’m keeping it in the mix.

  • 130 6-24-2009 at 4:36 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    And Biutiful needs a US distributor before I stick it on the charts. Nothing goes from the Contenders section to the charts unless it secures domestic release.

  • 131 6-24-2009 at 4:38 pm

    Davidraider88 said...

    Ever since the announcement today, i think it’s safe to say that the majority of people and pundits have reacted negatively to this.

    It’s not that there aren’t enough Best Picture nominees, the problem its that sometimes the WRONG FILM(s) ARE NOMINATED

  • 132 6-24-2009 at 4:48 pm

    JC said...

    “It’s pretty damning that a loud majority of the opinions here suggest that there are barely, if at all, 10 great movies released in any given year.”

    Eh, everything’s so bloody subjective that you’re lucky if you can get the majority of people to agree on 10 “good” movies in any given year. Regardless, if a bit more attention is drawn to smaller, quality productions that would usually not make the Top 5 cut, we might get a more interesting list than usual. Of course, as I previously stated, we might just get a retread of the Top 10 AFI list.

  • 133 6-24-2009 at 4:49 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    So, Star Trek getting a BP nod? Won’t this category now become a consolidation prize with so many nominees? Could it be that Best Director now becomes the really coveted award?

  • 134 6-24-2009 at 4:55 pm

    M.Harris said...

    Kris,what do you think that this will do to the individual acting categories? Especially a category like, “Best actor in a lead role.” Which is usually the most crowded-with just five films being nominated.

  • 135 6-24-2009 at 5:12 pm

    CJ said...

    I’m very curious as to how this affects UP and AVATAR’s chances. Also makes me wonder about all the famous snubs, SOME LIKE IT HOT, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, DREAMGIRLS, and how they might have affected the outcome in years past.

  • 136 6-24-2009 at 5:58 pm

    molly digby said...

    Hopefully the films doing well at Cannes, Edingburgh, Sundance will get more of a chance,
    Best example so far Jury prize winner at Cannes and contender at Edingburgh at the moment, Fish Tank by Andrea Arnold, raw naturalistic and full of established and new talent. Hopefully the US audiance gets to see it too.

  • 137 6-24-2009 at 6:08 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I don’t know what, if anything, will happen with the acting categories. My knee jerk expectation is that they won’t be affected.

  • 138 6-24-2009 at 6:25 pm

    j said...

    Molly Digby, wsually Tapley’s year-in-advance predictions catch the obvious bait and only miss festival darlings. So fest hits already have good chances at Oscar noms.

    Plus even before the announcement of 10, fest darlings Precious & Bright Star, and to an extent Hurt Locker, were bandied about as possible Pic noms.

  • 139 6-24-2009 at 6:27 pm

    Roark17 said...

    That Lovely Bones poster was shown at CineExpo in Europe and it says 2010 on it because thats when it’ll be released there.

  • 140 6-24-2009 at 6:29 pm

    Kay said...

    wow.

  • 141 6-24-2009 at 6:30 pm

    Hans said...

    “I would not be telling you the truth if I said the words ‘The Dark Knight’ did not come up in the discussion.”

    -Sid Ganis at the press conference http://www.oscars.org/press/pressreleases/2009/20090624.html

    Actually acknowledges several questions popped up here. Perhaps not satisfyingly, but still interesting to watch.

    Before I post: Whoops, just noticed that the same link as at the top, but I guess this is for those groveling near the bottom of the comment pile.

  • 142 6-24-2009 at 6:49 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    FYI, just verified it, The Lovely Bones is indeed December 2009. That poster is for the international release.

  • 143 6-24-2009 at 6:52 pm

    Rogers said...

    We thought we got crap before… I will just have to wait to see what movies show up this time. It just annoys me that most of the movies nominated will lose that prestige sheen of being 1 of the 5.

    What list would I rather represent 2008 cinema? This one:
    Slumdog Millionaire
    Benjamin Button
    Frost/Nixon
    Milk
    The Reader

    Or this one:
    Slumdog Millionaire
    The Dark Knight
    Benjamin Button
    Frost/Nixon
    Wall E
    Gran Torino
    Doubt
    Milk
    The Reader
    Revolutionary Road (if we were lucky)

    The answer: Stop hurting my head and leave it at 5

  • 144 6-24-2009 at 7:03 pm

    Joaquin said...

    This definitely shakes up a few things, a year too late, I agree. The only problem so far is that there is almost nothing with a chance of making this Top 10 from the first half of the year, even with critical favorites like “Sugar” and “Sin Nombre,” etc.

    “Up” looks very, very, very likely. Though I wouldn’t have wanted the first Pixar Best Picture nominee to make it to the Top 10. Some years they deserved to be in that Top 5.

    As much as I loved “Star Trek,” right now, I really wouldn’t want to see it in that list. Should the quality of releases pan out later this year, then maybe. But right now? It’s like we’re talking “Iron Man,” last year. It was a good movie but not Best Picture material.

  • 145 6-24-2009 at 7:09 pm

    Tyler j. Pratt said...

    I think this will make the category even more competitive because more films that would never before have stood a chance at a nomination will be throwing their names into the fold and fighting for a nod. Theres never been any complaining when critics groups put out a top ten and then announce a winner, just think of it the same way.
    These ten films are the ten best of the year according to this group the Oscars, and then the members of this group will vote for what they believe to be the best. I guarantee you that with this rule in place, votes will be split and there will be suprising winners as a result. With more possobilities to chose from, the likelyhood that Academy members will vote on their own personal favorite will skyrocket which is a good thing, rather than have members vote on the more popular movie when their favorite is not a choice on the ballot. I guarrantee that had this been in place last year with say The Dark Knight, Wall-e, The Wrestler, Doubt and Gran Torino as the other five, Slumdog Millionaire would not have been as much of a sure thing to win, especially since the older members could have gotten behind Gran Torino, while the Actors may have put their weight behind The Wrestler and all other groups could have came behind Wall-e or The Dark Knight.
    With 10 nominees in place, voters would probably be more inclined to vote based on their own oppinion rather than succumb to a Slumdog like sheep mentality. And by doing this, the odds of a better movie or a more unique film winning would be exponentially greater.
    Over at my blog The Oscar Hut, the first part of my State of The Race: Best Picture 2009 article is up detailing in alphabetical order the ten movies I think will be nominated, from Avatar to Up. Along with this article there are polls, reviews, predictions, site links and much more. So come check it out and let me know what you think wheter it be a sentence or a three page e-mail positive or negative, whatever it may be, only at The Oscar Hut

    http://www.theoscarhut.blogspot.com
    tjpratt@bellsouth.net

  • 146 6-24-2009 at 7:15 pm

    Hans said...

    But, see, isn’t that the question that the Academy is making us ask now with this new shakeup, Joaquin? What exactly IS “Best Picture material”? Is it the genre? Did genre make The Reader deserve a BP nod over The Dark Knight? Is it critical consensus? Commercial consensus? The general “mood” of a picture?

    If a film like Star Trek or The Hangover is truly one of the ten best pictures of the year, then why not?

  • 147 6-24-2009 at 7:49 pm

    Melissa said...

    I don’t see why everyone is complaining. I mean didn’t the Reader get a best pic nod over pics like The Wrestler and Wall-E. So it happens every year. I think I would like to see how it turns out before having a tantrum.

    Star Trek was fun, but I agree not best pic material. But Maybe smaller films like The Hurt Locker will benefit.

  • 148 6-24-2009 at 8:31 pm

    Bing147 said...

    I think a lot of smaller films will benefit just as much as ‘genre’ films and in the end, more great films will get honored. And in the end, its not without precedent.

  • 149 6-24-2009 at 8:35 pm

    Jilpen said...

    I just hope Precious has an even bigger shot now.

  • 150 6-24-2009 at 8:37 pm

    Derek 8-Track said...

    Poor poor The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. :(

  • 151 6-24-2009 at 8:57 pm

    Bill M said...

    I know this comment is way up there but GUY: How is Dark Victory “a pretty god awful film”? Pretty god awful film I think of something starring Vin Diesel, Jessica Simpson, or Keanu Reeves.

    You might not enjoy melodrama’s from the 30’s / 40’s but you CAN NOT call Dark Victory pretty god awful!

  • 152 6-24-2009 at 9:08 pm

    JAB said...

    My biggest concern is that a film will get put in this category, but no other categories. For example, like someone said above, what if the Hangover winds up being legitimately one of the top ten movies of the year? Would it get any acting nominations? Probably not, i think the only thing it has a shot at is best orginal screenplay.

  • 153 6-24-2009 at 9:22 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    The Hangover isn’t even one of the 20 best movies of the year released so far so that’s not an issue.

  • 154 6-24-2009 at 9:23 pm

    Frank Lee said...

    The weighted voting system used for Oscar nominations will likely mean more movies with strong but limited support being nominated rather than films with broad but shallow support such as “The Hangover.” It does sound like “The Dark Knight” and “Wall-E” had substantial support last year and probably would have been in the top 10, and I’m sure that would have helped generate ratings for the Oscar broadcast. But I wonder how much ratings would have soared in the past from nominations for, say, “Husbands and Wives,” “Mulholland Drive,” or “Talk to Her,” all of which received either director or screenplay nominations.

  • 155 6-24-2009 at 9:38 pm

    Glenn said...

    This is just silly. Everybody is going to be able to determine which movies are the “proper” nominees and which are just filler. Even if this ten thing existed last year, Christopher Nolan still wouldn’t have been nominated and, effectively, been out of the race for best picture. There’s still not going to be much excitement in who will win. Even if they were nominated, titles like “The Wrestler” wouldn’t have a chance in hell of actually winning.

    And as others have said, we’d have nominees like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. Blegh.

    In regards to this year I think it definitely helps Avatar (sci-fi), Bright Star (women-y), Precious (black), Shutter Island (horror) and Up (animated) don’t you think?

  • 156 6-24-2009 at 9:39 pm

    Glenn said...

    And just think how much influence the BFCA think they’re gonna have now.

  • 157 6-24-2009 at 10:21 pm

    KBJr. said...

    I’m not very thrilled with this decision. I suppose this debate (like all contemporary debates I presume) is between the conservatives and progressives.

    Progressives are probably in a euphoric state at the moment. “Finally!” they exclaim, “most deserving films will not be snubbed.” Conservatives (such as I) are groaning. “What is this?” they ask, “the Golden Globes?”

    On its face, ten Best Picture films seems a bit overwhelming. It’s hard enough trying to catch the current five before the awards. Not only see them, but debate them, and adore them. With ten, there will be even less debate and adoration. Prestige, believe it or not, is a major factor as to why the Academy Awards is still considered heads and shoulders above all other awards bodies. It’s simply taken for granted that the five films recognized are the best of the year, “filler” nominees are a rare breed. Not so for the Globes, Grammy’s, Emmy’s or Tony’s. What we’ll have with ten nominees is the problem the Globes have had forever. An oversaturation of nominations, no prestige, a stepping-stone award…only in this case, the Oscar is the end of the line. Seriously though, can anyone name all of the, what, 12 best picture nominees (comedy & drama) from the Globes two years ago? I doubt it. I bet we could conjure up the five Oscar nominees however.

    What ten will do is either cover the “snub” quotia and create filler spots or miss the mark altogether and disprove the theory behind expanding the nomination set. Neither seems like a solution.

    If anything, expanding the acting categories to 6 or 7 would be a better fix. Picture the stay the most exclusive, instead now we’ll still have the traditional five nominees and another five bastardized, ghettoized, nominees. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

  • 158 6-24-2009 at 10:28 pm

    Rachel said...

    After getting over the initial shock I still think this is an awful idea. I just don’t get it! I have always loved the oscars and what they represent and this just devalues the honour that comes with being nominated for “best picture”. I think this change is not relevant for now, it may have worked 60 years ago but not now!

    I will reserve full judgement for when the nominations are announced. However I just have a feeling this is going to be a disaster.

  • 159 6-24-2009 at 11:15 pm

    Matt said...

    Kris,

    So glad you’ve given in to listing 20 movies. The Oscar race wouldn’t be the same without it!

    I kind of like gononlink1991’s idea of having the number vary each year based on meeting a minimum vote threshold (minimum 5/maximum 10).

  • 160 6-24-2009 at 11:40 pm

    Brian said...

    It really does save Variety’s ass. Or shave.

    I like gonoonlink’s idea as well. There’s going to be too much filler in the ten. There’s already too many fillers in the top 5 usually.

    We’re going to get a bunch of “nominated for two academy awards, including Best Picture” movies now.

  • 161 6-25-2009 at 12:12 am

    Zach said...

    A lot of you seemed to be worried about the idea of a list full of “filler”, because they’re wouldn’t be enough good movies to fill a ballot of ten nominees. But let’s take a look at AFI’s top 10 list from last year (which was widely-thought as a weaker year):

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    The Dark Knight
    Frost/Nixon
    Frozen River
    Gran Torino
    Iron Man
    Milk
    WALL-E
    Wendy and Lucy
    The Wrestler

    All of these films (with maybe 1 or 2 exceptions) were critically adored. And this was from a “weaker year”! Yeah films like “Iron Man” or “Wendy and Lucy” were never in serious contention for the big prize, but apparently AFI believed that they deserved some sort of “Best Picture” citation.

    I admire the fact that the Academy is opening its doors to less prestigious fare, and sort of challenging what it now means to be Oscar-worthy.

    Unless of course they snub “Up”. Then they suck again.

  • 162 6-25-2009 at 12:29 am

    Brian said...

    Memoirs of a Geisha probably would have been nominated for Best Picture. Fucking TERRIFYING.

  • 163 6-25-2009 at 12:59 am

    jackal said...

    it´s hard to find 5 films, imagine 10

  • 164 6-25-2009 at 3:03 am

    Michael W. said...

    Man, I really don’t know how I feel about this. But it definitely has something to do with the two very talked about films last year that wasn’t nominated. Which I think was fair enough since neither The Dark Knight nor Wall-E was in my top 5.

    I just hope this means we will se some more original work from 6 to 10, and not just some well received blockbusters that will be fillers and a way to get viewers.

    But for now I think this means Funny People is as close to a lock as you can get at this point. It has been testing really well and the last two Apatow films both got Writers Guild and AFI mentions. Best picture and original screenplay seems very likely.

  • 165 6-25-2009 at 5:31 am

    cheeseman said...

    Will make for some very fragmented votes (and surprising outcomes) in some years. No doubt Slumdog would have won convincingly in 2008, but what about Crash in 2005? (I doubt it.) As long as we don’t have a repeat of The Greatest Show on Earth…

  • 166 6-25-2009 at 8:01 am

    Chris G said...

    “I would not be telling you the truth if I said the words ‘The Dark Knight’ did not come up in the discussion.”

    -Sid Ganis at the press conference http://www.oscars.org/press/pressreleases/2009/20090624.html

    Fuck, I love this. This is almost better than having the Dark Knight being actually nominated last year, since now it’s pretty obvious that the fact it didn’t get in has sparked a FURIOUS discussion, not just amongst fans, but also in the industry.

    In other words, if this turns out to be a failure, the worst thing that has ever happened to the Oscars was NOT nominating The Dark Knight.

    To me, all the following movies were better than the ones that were actually nominated:

    The Dark Knight
    Revolutionary Road
    The Wrestler
    WALL-E

    If it becomes a success, people will go on and on about how these other movies should have been nominated and could have changed the outcome of the vote.

    Either way, the JOKE is on them.

  • 167 6-25-2009 at 8:57 am

    Pauley said...

    I can never understand how people can maintain such levels of cynicism. The whole reason for websites like this it to talk about film and whether they are worthy of being awarded or not. All this is doing is widening the field of films for us to consider. I personally think it’s a good idea and at least makes for a change.

  • 168 6-25-2009 at 11:12 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “The whole reason for websites like this it to talk about film and whether they are worthy of being awarded or not.”

    Oh, I didn’t realize you were in charge of drafting our mission statement here at In Contention, Pauley.

    Look, the bottom line remains the “Best Picture” distinction is simply less distinguished. This is People’s Choice territory. It’s a money grab and an attempt at remaining relevant and in my opinion, it’s not the best idea when it comes to addressing those concerns.

  • 169 6-25-2009 at 11:12 am

    Joker said...

    It’s all about MOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNEEEEYYYY. Any crap will happen with money.

  • 170 6-25-2009 at 3:47 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    So I woke this morning up and I was sweating from a nightmare. Apparently it was the threat of Transformers 2 being a contender now as well.

  • 171 6-25-2009 at 7:45 pm

    Me said...

    Oh come on people. Only 10 films will be nominated, not 50! Transformers 2 or The Hangover will certainly not be nominated. I mean, I can name 20 films ahead of these two:

    Amelia
    An Education
    Avatar
    Biutiful
    Bright Star
    Broken Embraces
    Chéri
    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
    The Hurt Locker
    Invictus
    The Lovely Bones
    Nine
    Precious
    Ponyo
    Public Enemies
    Shutter Island
    Star Trek
    Up
    Up in the Air
    Within the Whirlwind

  • 172 6-25-2009 at 8:10 pm

    Chris said...

    Hell, in that video someone asked Sid Ganis if The Dark Knight had anything to do with this decision, and he even admitted that he’d be lying if he said that it didn’t come up in the conversations. They know they screwed up. Big time.

  • 173 6-26-2009 at 4:06 am

    Glenn said...

    Yeah, I mean why on earth was “The Dark Knight” snubbed for “Frost/Nixon” – THE coaster of the awards season?

    :P

  • 174 6-28-2009 at 4:27 pm

    Seany P said...

    I guess one positive is that if Billy Crystal ever hosts again his medley where he throws all the best picture nominees in a song will be twice as long. That could be something to look forward to

  • 175 8-17-2009 at 12:38 pm

    Steve Salvador said...

    I don’t understand why everybody thinks this is such a bad idea. Technically yes, it does devaluate the nomination a bit. But wouldn’t it have been nice to have seen The Dark Knight nominated for best picture last year? This year we have a superb animated animated film (Up) that should definitely get its justified nomination. But I do agree that Star Trek should never be nominated for best picture.