Well this is a bit of interesting late night news as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just sent out a bit of a bombshell of a press release announcing the number of nominees for Oscar’s Best Picture Award moving forward won’t necessarily be ten as it has been the past two years. Instead, it could be anywhere from five to ten nominees depending on the strength of the field. Instead of giving you the rundown myself, here’s how the press release read:
What makes all of this even more interesting is the fact we won’t know how many films have been nominated until the morning they are announced. So on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 when the Best Picture nominees are being announced the closer they get to the letter Z for those titles we’ll know how many films made the cut.
What’s unfortunate about this press release is we don’t get any information on what films might have made the cut in the recent years where only five were nominated. One could easily assume both WALL•E, The Dark Knight and probably The Wrestler would have made the top ten in 2008, the year that seemed to instigate the Academy’s change from five nominees to ten. And in that sense, it’s probably easy to assume recent Best Picture nominee The Blind Side may be the driving force for this latest shift. After all, people last year (myself included) were debating just what film would get “The Blind Side spot” among the ten.
In other notable changes, the pre-nominee shortlist for the Best Visual Effects has been increased from seven contenders to ten to make up for the fact the category now has five nominees instead of the previous three. The documentary feature and documentary short category eligibility periods have also been changed so they are now in line with the calendar year and thus with most other awards categories, which does mean they will have an extended eligibility year this year from September 1, 2010 to December 31, 2011.
Additionally, the rules for the animated categories have changed slightly. Here’s the new wording:
I don’t see this last one as being too significant outside of the “maximum of four” addition as the rules last year read: “In any year in which 8 to 15 animated features are released in Los Angeles County, a maximum of 3 motion pictures may be nominated. In any year in which 16 or more animated features are submitted and accepted in the category, a maximum of 5 motion pictures may be nominated.” So, not a huge change there.