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.