Register Sunday | December 16 | 2018

Oscar Doubles Up

This morning to Motion Picture Academy revealed that as of the 2010 Academy Award ceremonies, the number of best picture nominees will be doubled from five to 10. It's a return to a tradition some 67 years old, when ten best picture nods was the norm. But one has to wonder why the Academy opted to rejig the procedure. (Although I guess it explains what it is this mysterious board of shadowy figures does at their meetings, besides chuck darts at "For Your Consideration" ads to pick the nominees for Best Foreign Language Film.)

Sure, ratings for the awards have slumped recently and everyone was up in arms last season when Wall-E and The Dark Knight got snubbed. But it doesn't seem like there's been any real influx of quality films in the past couple years. At least not enough to double the nominees. In a year when, by all accounts, even Cannes was wholly unremarkable, it seems a bizarre move.

So does this mean we can expect to see more contrived Oscar-bait (cf: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button or, Forrest Gump II) and dreadful feel-goodery (cf: Crash) churned out this, and every, fall season? Will we see a reneg on the conventional wisdom that the Academy will never nominate a comedy? An increased openness toward foreign and animated films? Or is this just some sort of weird technicality that somehow allows Slumdog Millionaire to reel in a few more undeserved accolades retroactively?

Whatever it means, it's sure to put a kink in even the most finely-tuned office Oscar pools.

Just for fun, here are my (admittedly premature) best picture picks for 2010...

  1. The Road
  2. The Road
  3. The Road
  4. The Road
  5. The Road
  6. The Road
  7. The Road
  8. The Road
  9. Drag Me to Hell*
  10. The Road

*Being the requisite non-prestige genre picture.