Big News: Academy Will Choose From TEN!

up-oscarOver 60 years ago the Oscars once had the field of best picture nominees to at least eight with a maximum of twelve. That’s right, 12 nominees up for best picture! The year 1943 was the last year to showcase such a wide array of potential winners as it was scaled back to five the following year; to where it has stayed… until now.

Incredible move, but Oscars.org and Sid Ganis is reporting that starting this year, the field will be moved back up to 10.

“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.

“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.”

This is something I’ve actually contemplated for years. Why does it always have to be five every year? I’ve always thought it was stupid. Well, now I guess I can say, “Why does it always have to be TEN every year?”.

So until this news sinks in a little bit and I have some time to think about it, I don’t have a lot of commentary. If nothing else it will be interesting come February 2nd to see which of these other “fantastic movies” makes the cut.

Ten. Wow. Thoughts?

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Kurt Halfyard
Admin

This will only open up the field to a wider array of passive-aggressive outraged bitching (something I enjoy by the way). Now when Synecdoche, NY is left out of the TEN possible choices, I'll be twice as angry. Ditto Zodiac.

There'll just be more room for Ron Howard, Rob Marshall and Sam Mendes.

/cynic.

rot
Guest

I don't like this idea at all, its not like they are going to change their selecting style, it will just be twice as many bad choices made.

and really, are there ten Oscar worthy films made every year? They are padding it usually with something like Little Miss Sunshine with only five.

Rusty James
Guest

It could open up the field for more upsets though.

@ and really, are there ten Oscar worthy films made every year? They are padding it usually with something like Little Miss Sunshine with only five.

Doesn't this question kind of address your own concern? Maybe there aren't more than 5 worthy films in any one persons opinion but the Oscars aren't meant to reflect one person's opinion.

And if you're truly calling for more diversity among the nominees you can't turn around and criticize them for nominating LMS and Babe. Those are also unconventional nominees.

I agree that it's difficult to imagine this change will result in underseen films getting more recognition. But some films that could benefit from this:

Assination of Jesse James, Che, Inglorious Basterds, Dark Knight, Being John Malkovitch, Where the Wild Things Are, Boogie Nights, Passion of the Christ, Ghost World, Children of Men…

Roy
Guest

I don't care to be honest, it's just a TV show. I like the movies I like, and don't really care what some random people decide to say is good. I'll watch it for some good entertainment though.

Ashley
Guest

I agree with Roy, my favourite films of the year rarely line-up with the Oscar nominees, but I still watch the telecast because I like the politics of it all. Predicting the winners, no matter who SHOULD win, it's all a game that I get caught up playing every year.

If they bring Hugh Jackman back, I'm hooked. If not, the new ten-spot race will at least make for a more interesting show, whether the extra nominees deserve it or not. My guess is that they hope to highlight one or two more truly deserving films, one or two commercial films to get better ratings, and then they'll have a spot left over where they can mess up as they usually do.

Goon
Guest

I have neither negative nor positive feelings overall, but I guess I'm okay with it at least once just to see what happens. Its an interesting experiment.

c/p from a post i made on FilmJunk:

"The most realistic upside is movies that are considered art house and very good but too small or quirky to be nominated… will maybe get nominated. Maybe it means something like Up would get nominated. I could even believe if this was in place already that the Dark Knight could get nominated.

The most realistic downside is that movies that the studios NEED to get awards in order to make any money but are universally considered not up to snuff (ie. The Soloist) may end up getting nominated.

In the end there’ll be a mix of some welcome new nominees and a few more ‘wtf’ ones."

Btw, unlike Kurt I would not be upset if Synecdoche was left off of 10 choices. Even though it was my no. 2 of 08, I know it is inherenly divisive enough to accept it not making any concensus list of such a broad range of people.

Henrik
Guest

I don't care about this at all.

However, I am sick of hearing about how Batman wasn't nominated at the oscars. As if that's the big travesty, and the opportunity for the academy to do something right and popular. It's as if people are forgetting that FUCKING THE WRESTLER wasn't nominated either. That's the fucking oversight. Not Batman.

rot
Guest

yeah but 10 films, can you really feel proud for any nominee that is in a category of ten films. That lowers the bar for all nominations. Essentially this is the Golden Globes then.

they need to keep five films, but change the way they choose films so that the five films really matter. It should be less about business and more about prestige, of celebrating cinematic history.

rot
Guest

They need to get cinephiles involved in the voting, people not attached to the business side of things. The people that go to the theaters every week and actually do see the obscure stuff as well as the popular stuff. If only a percentage of the vote should be a segment of movie bloggers. The commenters are the unwashed masses, they don't get a vote, but us cream of the crop, we deserve are due.

thoughts?

Goon
Guest

"They need to get cinephiles involved in the voting, people not attached to the business side of things."

And how the fuck would anyone draw the line of who gets to vote and who doesn't? You must bring the tickets to X amounts of screenings before voting? You must bring a photo of your DVD collection? You must answer a trivia question on the way in?

It's the Academy's awards, right or wrong. It's their show, we watch. We give input on the show and their tastes, but I don't see any right to intrude. If RowThree suddenly got a mass influx of people who love Twilight or Transformers, R3's year end lists still wouldnt owe them anything.

While the Oscars may pander, we have no right to demand it of them.

rot
Guest

I guess ultimately they don't really care about being relevant, like I said, its about the best banked movies and connections within the incestuous Hollywood community that get nominations. I am not expecting that to change, I am just saying wouldn't it be nice if it wasn't that way. Wouldn't it be nice if the sole reason a film was put on a ballot was because someone genuinely loved the film irrespective of its other considerations?

and I said, those who vote are movie bloggers, the Campeas, the Rodneys, me.

what a perfect world.

rot
Guest

but seriously, movie bloggers could do a consensus poll, critics have their consensus poll, perhaps those polls should have a part of the weight to offset this cronyism in Hollywood. At least with foreign films it would be nice to have people who actually care about film deciding, rather than national bodies.

Goon
Guest

"Wouldn’t it be nice if the sole reason a film was put on a ballot was because someone genuinely loved the film irrespective of its other considerations?"

I don't give the movie blogging community enough credit to believe they would do this and not end up doing something stupid like voting strategically as a bloc.

Henrik
Guest

I think rot is joking about the blogging community getting to vote. Didn't bloggers already make a list of the best films, which basically is just the imdb list?

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Most people contributing to that list, Henrik, were not happy with the results of that list. Anything comprised of a large group of people will result in DEATH BY COMMITTEE. Individual opinion will always be more interesting than group anointing.

Which is the same as Oscar.

But you've got to admit, the folks love a spectacle and more fodder on best picture probably will increase the chance of ratings. Which is what the Oscars are about these days anyway…Well, ratings and Box-Office Boosting and selling fashion mags.

Andy
Guest

Yes, because when there are 100 or more people voting on movies, each has their own individual "lesser known" movies that are dear to them and all 100 aren't going to agree on those, whereas all 100 are going to have something like The Godfather on their list SOMEWHERE.

Goon
Guest

Kurt, I'll agree that individual opinions are more interesting, but I will gladly take a detour every so often to see what comes out of a consensus opinion. That examination is often more interesting than the art they agree upon.

I think we're all lucky that consensus opinion when it comes to the Oscars is decidedly more high quality then the consensus opinion that results in the Grammys or the Emmys. Emmy politics IMO are much worse than Oscar politics. The snubs of so many HBO, Showtime, even Sci-Fi channel, shows in favor of stuff like Two and a Half Men, is infinately more of a snub to me then the Wrestler getting snubbed.

Henrik
Guest

Only the Golden Globs have good taste. They gave Babel best picture, Mickey Rourke best actor.

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