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Multiplatform Journalism- Final Assignment

Oscars widen field to include 10 Best Picture nominees

In a move that surprised many, the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences (AMPAS) have announced a major change for the 2010 ceremony. Instead of the usual 5 Best Picture nominee format, there will be 10 Best Picture nominees. Sid Ganis, president of AMPAS, made the announcement.

“After more than six decades, the Academy is returning to some of its earlier roots, when a wider field competed for the top award of the year. The final outcome, of course, will be the same - one Best Picture winner - but the race to the finish line will feature 10, not just five, great movies from 2009. 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. I can’t wait to see what that list of ten looks like when the nominees are announced in February.”

Announcing the Best Picture nominees back in 2006.

Many believe Ganis was referencing the Dark Knight snub of 2008. The Dark Knight, the latest installment of the revamped Batman series by director Christopher Nolan, was the highest grossing film of 2008 and also one of the best reviewed movies. Despite a push from many critics and the studio, the film was only nominated for technical awards and one major award, a Best Supporting Actor nomination for the late Heath Ledger. Ledger won and the film also won a Sound Editing award. The snub caused major outrage, from critics and movie watchers, to regular film fans. 

"I thought The Dark Knight was awesome", said Jacqueline Taylor, who calls herself a 'regular old movie fan'. "It was suspenseful and made me jump in my seat a lot. I was actually quite disappointed it wasn't nominated for Best Picture. It was amazing."

The last time the Oscars had 10 Best Picture nominees was in 1943, when Casablanca won the coveted award.

10 Best Picture Nominees- one film fan's humble opinion

Back in June, the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences (also known as AMPAS) decided that instead of the usual 5 Best Picture nominees, the 2010 Academy Awards ceremony would have 10 Best Picture nominees. Not since the 1940's have there been 10 Best Picture nominees. Some people like this idea, but many are, not surprisingly, skeptical about this. How can there be 10 Best Picture nominees, but only 5 director nominees? Will this mean more mainstream films can a nomination? And, more importantly, will there even be 10 movies worthy of a Best Picture nomination?

The news of the 10 nominees came as a shock to almost everyone who follows the Oscars closely. The reason given? According to the Academy's president, Sid Ganis:

After more than six decades, the Academy is returning to some of its earlier roots, when a wider field competed for the top award of the year. The final outcome, of course, will be the same - one Best Picture winner - but the race to the finish line will feature 10, not just five, great movies from 2009. " 

Video of the announcement can be found here (it won't allow us to embed)

The Hangover and Star Trek. Two of the biggest movies of 2009. Will they get some love from the Academy?

After hearing this, almost all film buffs thought back to the 2009 Academy Awards and the one movie that wasn't nominated for Best Picture: The Dark Knight. The sequel to 'Batman Begins', The Dark Knight was one of the best reviewed movies of 2008, with a 94% 'Fresh' rating on the movie review website Rotten Tomatoes. It managed to make more than $1 billion at the box office and broke numerous records. Almost everyone thought it was a shoo in for the Best Picture Oscar. The day the nominations were announced, the film managed to get nominations for Best Supporting Actor for the late Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects. No nomination for Best Picture or for Best Director. This outraged many critics, film experts and fans. If a film was nominated for all those awards, wouldn't that make it a Best Picture? Apparently not. In fact, many people have called this expansion 'The Dark Knight Effect'. Maybe, thanks to this expansion, movies that didn't have a chance at being nominated before, like Star Trek and The Hangover, will get a chance at a nomination.

The last time the Oscars had 10 best picture nominees was in 1943, when Casablanca, now regarded as one of the best movies of all time and a classic, won. Does this mean this year's Best Picture winner will be regarded as a classic 60 years from now? Only time, and perhaps the Academy, will tell.


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Dec. 18th, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC)
Well this is interesting news. *laughs* The Oscars are so political, but like any trainwreck - I cannot look away. I've watched the Oscars every year for almost my entire life. I love all the glitz and glamour! But I'll never forgive Oscar for passing up Clive's performance in Closer for Morgan Freeman. *grumps*
Dec. 18th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
UGH don't even remind me! That still hurts my heart. Like, I love Morgan Freeman, but Clive deserved that Oscar so bad. It's even worse since they've snubbed him for Children of Men and will most likely snub him for The Boys Are Back. Such a damn shame. If it were up to me, he'd have a couple of Oscars by now.
Dec. 18th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
It makes me crazy how Clive has been passed over by the Oscars!!! *grrrr* But yes, I'm a huge sucker for all the pomp that goes into the Oscars. Perhaps he'll be a presenter so we can see him all decked out for the event.
Dec. 18th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
It really bugs me. I still say he's one of the most underrated actors out there.

Oooh I would love for him to present at the Oscars! Last time he did, it was with Cate Blanchett and they were so adorable together! I wonder who he could present with this year...
Dec. 18th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
I am so pumped for the Oscars.

& I enjoyed reading this.:)
Dec. 18th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
Same here! Except for the inevitable Clive Owen snub :(

Thank you! I'm thinking of making this a regular thing.
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