Oscars Expand Best Picture Nominations

Owen Wilson at Oscars 2008

From Variety

The Motion Picture Academy announced Wednesday that for the first time in more than 65 years, the field of best picture nominees will be expanded to 10 contenders for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards.

“Having 10 best picture nominees is going allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize,” said [Academy president] Sid Ganis in announcing the shift. “I can’t wait to see what that list of 10 looks like when the nominees are announced in February.”

People are speculating this will allow more animation and comedies to slide into the top slot. What this means for Wes?

If heavy hitters like Pixar’s Up end up in the Best Picture category, that could create space for a smaller animated film in the Best Animated Film category, like Fantastic Mr. Fox. It would also ostensibly give comedies that in the past have only managed screenplay nominations a shot at the big prize, which means that films like The Royal Tenenbaums (Nominated for Best Original Screenplay in 2002), or The Darjeeling Limited (well reviewed but without the money that bigger, lesser films had) could compete with the standard Oscar fair Not that the awards mean much, of course, but they do provide exposure.

Tip: AV Club, AwardsDaily

6 thoughts on “Oscars Expand Best Picture Nominations

  1. Hopefully they can find a nomination for him again, instead of ignoring his work while hi-lighting that of his inferior hack imitators (Little Miss Sunshine and Juno).

  2. While I do think it’s unfortunate that Wes’ films have been neglected while films that show his influence have consistently been praised, I don’t neccesarily think those filmmakers are hacks. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the directors of Little Miss Sunshine have been directing for over 15 years in music videos and advertising and have an innovative streak and distinc style of their own, and I happen to quite like Juno.

    Anyway there’s always the comfort that Wes is making great, unusual films exactly the way he wants to.

  3. Hi Loraxeon,

    I should have been more specific–I was talking exclusively about the awards those films won, which was for writing. I knew of Dayton’s and Faris’s previous work, and I was happy to see them find some success in feature films. And I liked Juno too, and am (so far) a fan of Reitman, but I think Juno would have been a disaster in a less capable filmmaker’s hands. Reitman definitely dialed down the “quirk” factor–Cody has said so expressly.

    My point was that the Academy and critical establishment condemn Wes Anderson for writing like Wes Anderson, but they reward at the highest level writers producing pale (very pale, in the case of Little Miss Sunshine) imitations of his past work. It boggles my mind.

  4. I see you what you mean. Quentin Tarantino said something about Cannes that I think applies here too, that that only list more prestigious than the winners (and nominees) is the list of filmmakers who didn’t win. Kubrick got one Oscar, and that was technical, Hitchcock got none, and Scorsese only just got one a few years ago.

  5. I agree with that. The Academy, at best, is behind the curve. Not winning is a badge of honor. Maybe that’s why Anderson didn’t win for Tenenbaums, but what’s-his-name won for Little Miss Sunshine. I just find it distressing that the “keepers of cinema” can be so hypocritical.

  6. Though the decision has met with mixed reviews:http://www.newsy.com/videos/oscars_and_then_there_were_ten
    (as you pointed out) I think it will be good for ghettoized genres like Animated feature and documentary. But I wish they would not put a limit on the number and just require movies to reach a set threshold of votes, however many make it will be up for nomination.

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