Every year up to now, people have complained that their favorite movies never made the cut when Oscar time rolled around. Now, the complaints will be about an undeserving film getting a nod. And probably that their favorite film still didn’t make the cut.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis announced today that starting with next year’s Oscar ceremony, the list of eligible nominees in the Best Picture category will increase from five to ten.
Ganis had this to say:
“Having 10 Best Picture nominees is going to 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.”
From this statement, one would hope the the typical, high quality Pixar films would escape the Best Animated Film ghetto and get the Best Picture nomination they deserve. Also, that worthy Foreign Films and Documentaries can get some time in the spotlight. Or, even worthy summer blockbusters such as last year’s The Dark Knight will be recognized.
Of course, this does not address the numbers of worthy actors, actresses and directors who are excluded each year, as their categories will presumably still keep their five nominee limit.
But, if we are to believe that this rule change will insure that no worthy film would go unnoticed, we simply must look to the past.
The five film limit was enacted in 1944. Before that, there was no limit to the number of films that could be nominated for Best Picture. The number in the years prior ranged from eight to an amazing twelve nominees.
But this didn’t not mean that there were not still glaring omissions. In 1935, the year with the twelve Best Picture nominees, the Alfred Hitchcock classic The 39 Steps. was snubbed. Modern Times and My Man Godfrey were not included in 1936’s ten nominees, but less-remembered films such as Anthony Adverse and Three Smart Girls were. And the screwball classic Bringing Up Baby was snubbed in 1938, another year with ten Best Picture Nominees.
So, those of you hoping for Star Trek, The Hangover, or even Up to be announced as a Best Picture on February 2nd, don’t hold your breath. More films will be honored with a nomination, but there’s still a chance that your favorite will be snubbed.