Well, I've been taking some time off recently for various reasons, but I just have to write something about this. The Academy today announces that the Best Picture nominees will now be ten next year. Yes, double the size of the standard five. This is a bit of a head scratcher. At least to me it is.
This does seem exciting to an extent, but after taking some time to think about it, I think it's too many. Why not follow the Emmy's lead and do six. Even seven is not bad, but ten! We're talking the most prestigous Best Picture prize of the award season. It's an elite class of five films. Sometimes they get it wrong. Nobody's perfect, but with ten nominees the Academy risks the chance of nominating films not really worthy of a Best Picture nomination.
Many, many years ago the Academy did have ten nominees. That stopped after 1943. There were some years where it worked. See 1939, but for the most part you look at the nominees from those years and don't even recognize the films at all.
Look at last year for example. If you use seven nominees, the obvious choices are The Dark Knight and WALL-E to be added. I don't think most people would disagree. That keeps the category still elite with few complaints (*cough* The Reader *cough*). You add ten, then you are probably looking at Changeling, Doubt, Gran Torino, Rachel Getting Married, Revolutionary Road, or The Wrestler to round out the final three choices. It just waters everything down.
I have a feeling this is going to be a mess and I can't believe they agreed to it in the first place. They must have got pressure from the studios. Not really sure what happened, but don't be surprised if this experiment ends after only a couple years. It just doesn't work.
With this announcement, I'll be posting some updated predictions in early July with my ten Best Picture nominees.