Oscar Expands Best Picture Race to 10 Nominees
The Hangover, Best Picture nominee? Perhaps.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday it is doubling the number of Best Picture nominees — from five to 10.
"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," AMPAS President Sid Ganis said in a press conference. "I can't wait to see what that list of 10 looks like when the nominees are announced in February."
The larger field might mean the inclusion of more commercially successful films, not to mention smaller, foreign and animated films. The Academy received flak last season when The Dark Knight and Pixar's Wall-E were snubbed in favor of, say, the barely seen Holocaust drama The Reader. This means we should probably pencil in Up now. (Beauty and the Beast was the last animated flick to make the Best Picture cut, in 1991. No superhero film has ever been nominated for Best Picture.)
The expansion is a throwback to the Academy's early years in the 1930s and '40s, when anywhere between eight and 12 films were shortlisted (or longlisted). The last time the 10 films were nominated was the 1943 ceremony, when Casablanca was named Best Picture. Going My Way was the first film to win the top prize in the limited field of five.
Several film organizations, such as the National Board of Review and the Broadcast Film Critics, already name 10 picture nominees.
The change will take effect for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. Nominees will be announced Feb. 2. The ceremony airs March 7 at 8:30 pm/ET on ABC.