Yet Another Update For Oscar’s Best Picture Category Rules
For the first time since 1944, in 2009 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced there would be 10 Best Picture nominees. This year, they’re changing the category again, in ways that make the race more interesting and, indeed, probably harder to predict.
When a list of the films eligible for Best Picture are sent out to voters, only those with at least 5% of first-place votes will be included as nominees for the Oscar. It is assumed that there will still be a minimum of five nominees, but now there could be any number of films between 5 and 10 nominated for Best Picture. According to retiring Academy executive director Bruce Davis: “In studying the data, what stood out was that Academy members had regularly shown a strong admiration for more than five movies. A Best Picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit. If there are only eight pictures that truly earn that honor in a given year, we shouldn’t feel an obligation to round out the number.”
While the category was expanded two years ago in an effort to include more popular titles and thus boost the Oscar telecast’s ratings, this new system should help make for a much more interesting race – and prevent questionable titles like The Blind Side from popping up in the Best Picture category.