Oscar shocker: There will be 10 best picture nominees next year


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Back in January, everyone wondered how close ‘The Dark Knight’ came to earning an Oscar nomination for best picture.

Now we know: It missed by exactly one year.

In a shocking announcement, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences announced that next year there will be twice as many nominees in the best picture category, a bit of the news that is already sending a jolt through Hollywood. For studio marketing and advertising teams, it opens up new opportunities to promote films -- although it also will water down the prestige of a nomination.

Here’s a press-release quote from academy President Sid Ganis, who framed the decision as a return to the earliest traditions of the trophy that towers over Hollywood.


“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,” said Ganis. “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.”

Ganis and his team, of course, are more concerned with discouraging trends in the ratings of the show than any sort of bridge to the gala’s past. Last year, there were major changes in the broadcast in an attempt to goose the suspense and energy of the show. If they really want to make for compelling moments, they should show a clip of ‘Dark Knight’ director Christopher Nolan’s reaction today when he gets the news in London that his Batman just got ambushed by the Calendar Man.

-- Geoff Boucher


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Images: Top right, Oscar statuette by Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences; poster by Warner Bros.