Sid Ganis, president of The Motion Picture Academy, announced today the best picture category at next year’s Oscars will be enlarged from five nominees to 10. Ganis said, “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.” Translation: The Pixar mafia henchmen beat the ever-lovin’ snot out of them because “Ratatouille” and “Wall-E” both got the best picture snub.
The question to ask now, even with Ganis’ explanation, is why? I mean, don’t get me wrong, last year I would have been pleased to see “Wall-E” and “The Dark Knight” added to the list of best picture nominees, but these are awards and there are voters and hey, that’s the way it goes. No, something tells me the motivation behind the increase in nominees isn’t grounded so much in artistic rationale, but rather an attempt by an elitist, insular sect of Hollywood to open it’s proceedings, particularly the category with most clout, to the folks dwelling between Los Angeles and New York City.
Ultimately, I don’t like this move at all. After I remove my personal feelings I am absolutely petrified and nearly certain the best picture category will morph from a handful of elite, well-made films nominated to a diluted smorgasbord of cinema ranging from the great to so-so, and all in the name of connecting with those who probably don’t want to connect anyhow. This is going to be a failed experiment. Mark my words.