Ten Reasons Why Ten Best Picture Nominations Is a Good Thing

By
Photo: Getty Images

AMPAS prez Sid Ganis shocked the world today with the explosive announcement that March's Oscars will make room for ten Best Picture nominees instead of the usual five. Sure, this will make writing our Oscar Futures column much more difficult, but there are a few silver linings. After the jump, ten reasons why this is good news.

1. The Academy has become increasingly snobby about its membership these past few years, so unless they drastically alter their admissions policy too, there's still practically no chance of something like Paul Blart or G.I. Joe winning Best Picture. By default, nominations will be a little more populist, but there's probably no real danger of big-studio crap overwhelming the small stuff. If this had come last year, The Dark Knight would've sneaked in there — fine with us.

2. One or two slots reserved for crowd-pleasing hits will boost ratings, which puts a spotlight on movies the popcorn-eating masses would've otherwise ignored. Would any Dark Knight fans tuning in last year have Netflixed the movies competing for Best Foreign Film? Probably not — but maybe!

6. A bigger field means fewer sure bets. We knew weeks in advance last year that Slumdog would probably win Best Picture, just like we knew No Country for Old Men would the year prior. Maybe this year there will be a surprise in that envelope.

4. This may spell doom for the yearly tradition of one film being crowned the Little Movie That Could (à la Slumdog Millionaire, Juno, and Little Miss Sunshine) — now practically any little movie could! — but did Slumdog or Juno really need $140 million anyway? Spread the wealth, guys!

1. The Academy has become increasingly snobby about its membership these past few years, so unless they drastically alter their admissions policy too, there's still practically no chance of something like Paul Blart or G.I. Joe winning Best Picture. By default, nominations will be a little more populist, but there's probably no real danger of big-studio crap overwhelming the small stuff. If this had come last year, The Dark Knight would've sneaked in there — fine with us.

6. A bigger field means fewer sure bets. We knew weeks in advance last year that Slumdog would probably win Best Picture, just like we knew No Country for Old Men would the year prior. Maybe this year there will be a surprise in that envelope.

7. Hey, comedy might finally get its due! With five extra slots, surely at least one funny movie will be nominated (Funny People, maybe?). And perhaps someday the studios will program a few non-depressing movies for the fall, instead of just broken-family dramas and Holocaust-y stuff. And this could push a few of our more serious thespians over to the light side — wouldn't it be great to see Daniel Day-Lewis and Viggo Mortensen loosen up in an Apatow bromance?

8. Hey, foreign movies and documentaries might also finally get their due! Not that this will help resolve any of the wacky barriers to nods in their own categories, but both genres now, technically, have a better shot at Best Picture.

9. With ten slots, the Academy pretty much has to start nominating Pixar movies, even though they're animated and will someday make actors obsolete. We're just sad this change didn't come soon enough to help Wall-E.

10. Most important of all! Five more nominated movies means Hugh Jackman's opening musical number at next year's Oscars will be twice as long as last year's. Remember how great this was?