Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Academy Changes Number of Best Picture Contenders, again

Today in Why Not Just Leave it the Hell Alone?, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) released a statement that said they will decrease (or keep the same, but not increase) the number of films that can be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar this year.

Instead of automatically nominating ten contenders, as they’ve pointlessly done for the past two years, the Academy will nominate no less than five, but no more than ten films this year.

According to AMPAS, this sigh-inducing change will require that a film receive at least five percent of the first-place votes during the first round of balloting to receive a Best Picture nomination. 

So, basically, expect to see anywhere from five to ten Best Picture nominees. 

This change, which appears to be more annoying than necessary, comes at time when there is no longer ten Best Picture-worthy American films made a year. Most people suspect that the Academy boosted the nominees to ten after The Dark Knight and Wall-e failed to land a Best Pic nomination in 2008.  Since doubling down, the coveted Best Picture award gave equal opportunity to films about helping a poor black teen simply because she’s a human being (Precious), and others about helping a poor black teen simply because he has the chance to be a superstar (The Blind Side).

And, as we’ve seen these past two years, whether it’s five or seven or ten, it matters little how many films are nominated for Best Picture. The winner, whether sentimentally forgettable (The King’s Speech) or daringly bold (The Hurt Locker), is typically agreed upon weeks before the envelope is open.

For argument’s sake, if the nominations were tomorrow, what would deserve to be nominated? For my money:

The Conspirator
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Midnight in Paris
The Double Hour
The Tree of Life
Super 8

Eight.  Not bad.  How many will be there come January?  Time will tell.


  1. Really...?

    "Why Not Just Leave it the Hell Alone?" indeed.

    Do you think any of the 8 movies you pointed out will actually be nominated?

  2. Super 8 will be, as payback for the exclusion of Star Trek. Tree of Life probably.