Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oscar Expansion Makes Sense

Next year, the Academy Awards will expand the nominees for Best Picture.

Since 1944, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has limited the number of nominees for Best Picture to five. But, in 2010, that number will double, and the same number of films will be nominated for Best Picture as were nominated the year "Casablanca" took home the gold statuette.

The maximum number of nominees in all the other categories will remain at five.

I think it is a smart move. I mean, you can make a case that perhaps only five actors or five actresses should be nominated for the acting awards, that only five directors should be nominated, and so on.

But expanding the number of nominees for Best Picture allows more bases to be covered. Films that have been primarily recognized for technical achievement now can be considered along with films that had great acting or great directing or great writing — but little in the way of special effects.

Most probably will not win, but they will be considered.

Fans of genres that have been overlooked in the past will be drawn to the telecast now. I definitely anticipate a ratings boost for next year's Oscars.

Want to get a glimpse into what the future might hold? Associated Press movie critic Christy Lemire speculates about what the Best Picture field for 2008 might have looked like if the 10–nominee restriction had been in effect.