Two years back the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided that five wasn’t enough best picture nominees. Some thought this had to do with 2008′s biggest blockbuster The Dark Knight not making the cut. Regardless, for the last two ceremonies there have been ten nominees. This year the academy says that there will be five nominees, but for there to be more that every picture over five must recieve at least 5% of the first place picks.
From an insider perspective, having ten best picture contenders didn’t really change the race. When The Hurt Locker won best picture, it was mostly seen as a two picture race between Locker and Avatar, with Inglourious Basterds the Dark Horse. No one was suggesting that The Blind Side, or District 9 were in any shape to get the big prize. And for the most part this trend followed this last year, with the best picture Oscar a contest between The Social Network and The King’s Speech.
Of course this may be different for those people who don’t read or follow the Oscar prognosticators, and there are probably people who play the Oscar pool by betting their favorites instead of the odds. This decision suggests that the ten picture idea didn’t play out as well as had been hoped. What this means is that each year this rule continues, it will be interesting to see if more than five nominees comes from it being a very good year in cinema, or the lack of a clear favorite.
Do you prefer five or ten?