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Oscar Doubles Best Picture Nominees from 5 to 10 — the Question is WHY?

POSTED:

The Academy just decided the more the merrier. Starting next year, some movie fatcat will strut onstage at the end of the March 7th Oscar telecast and read 10 nominees for Best Picture instead of the usual 5. Stop with the jokes. I know it's usually a stretch to get even 5. From the early 1930s till 1943, the Academy customarily nominated two handfuls of movies for the big prize. But why go back to that policy now? You'll hear lots of reasons. But the decline in TV ratings for the Oscar show is the one that sticks to the wall. Audiences won't tune in when their favorite movies aren't nominated. The Dark Knight struck box-office gold last year, but the Academy stupidly snubbed it for Best Picture, along with the animated success, WALL-E. Now it's time to make good on missed opportunities.

Let's look at what happened on the 2009 Oscar show.

The 5 nominees for Best Picture were:

First of all, The Reader and Ben Button did not belong there. The Dark Knight and WALL-E should have had those 2 spots. Both were hits the Academy snubbed, so let's add them.

But after that, what 5 additional movies deserved spots on the gold list. I'm sure you have 5 picks in the small, neglected category. Here are mine:

My feeling is these 5 movies would have had no chance in hell of getting onto Top 10. The Hollywood suits who vote in these extra 5 movies would be wanting some love for the big studio movies that cost money, make money, and bring in audiences for the Oscarcast. For example:

  • Twilight
  • Mamma Mia!
  • Sex and the City
  • Iron Man
  • (almost a justifiable choice)

    We'll have to wait and see how it plays out when the Oscar nominations are released on Feb. 2, 2010. If Transformers 2 shows up as a contender, me and Oscar are through for life. But here's my theory on how to tell the real contenders for Best Picture from the shills. Look at the five nominees for Best Director. Those names will show where the Oscar heat is.

    At the half-way mark in 2009, let's make our own list of movies that deserve a nomination for Best Picture in the new Oscar 10-pack. Here are a few of mine:

    Whoops, I'm out of ammunition. Over to you guys . . .

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Peter Travers

Rolling Stone senior writer Peter Travers has reviewed movies for the magazine for more than 20 years. Send your comments and questions to him here.

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