Magazine article Variety

Does More Mean Less in Pic Race?

Magazine article Variety

Does More Mean Less in Pic Race?

Article excerpt

Acad still split over whether the expanded category is a good thing

So here we are in Year IV of the Era of Somewhere Between V and X Oscar Best Picture Nominees. And even though awards season obsesses over the smallest details, conversation about this controversial expansion has been mostly silent this year.

That might be a sign of conditional acceptance of the new status quo, with an understanding that the issue figures to be revisited as soon as next year. Or it could simply be that during the heat of the campaign, everyone is simply too distracted to debate the merits of the more-than-five.

My guess is that in the runup to the nominations, campaigners and kudo-watchers alike enjoy the luxury of having the extra nomination slots for potential contenders. Before the expansion, the best pic category was basically limited to 10 potential nominees to reach the final five, but now, it's liberating for all concerned to consider that 15 or 20 films that could reasonably make the picture parade.

But as soon the next pict ure Oscar is awarded - if not sooner - expect the debate over five or more to resurface, centering on two principal issues:

1 ) Have the Academy Awards cheapened themselves with their "Everybody Gets a Trophy Day" approach?

2) Has the expansion to as many as 10 nominees accomplished what it ostensibly set out to - encouraging the selection of more popular films that would make the Oscarcast of greater mainstream interest (aka, "The Dark Knight" provision).

On the first point, the answer is largely subjective.

Let's take last year as an example. Was the best picture nomination that went to "The Descendants" diminished because nominations also went to eight other films? Realistically, the answer to that question depends less on the number of nominees and more on just whether you liked "The Descendants" or not. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.