Academy changes number of Best Picture nominees again

Senior Editor
06.15.11 17 Comments

Two years ago, the Academy announced that they were switching their system from five best picture nominees back to the ten nominee system that was in place before 1944.  The problem with having ten nominees, however, is that you get end up with a couple crap nominees everyone knows won’t win, like The Blind Side or The Kids Are Alright (aka White Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Gay Married?), which is a bit anti-climactic. The Academy’s solution is a new system they’ve just announced, in which Best Picture can have anywhere from five to ten nominees, depending on how many billion-year-old academy voters gesture approvingly at it with their stroke canes.

After much analysis by Academy officials, it was determined that 5% of first place votes should be the minimum in order to receive a nomination, resulting in a slate of anywhere from five to 10 movies. That number won’t be announced until the Best Picture nominees themselves are revealed at the January nominations announcement.

“With the help of PricewaterhouseCoopers, we’ve been looking not just at what happened over the past two years, but at what would have happened if we had been selecting 10 nominees for the past 10 years,” explained Academy President Tom Sherak.
During the period studied, the average percentage of first place votes received by the top vote-getting movie was 20.5.

“In studying the data, what stood out was that Academy members had regularly shown a strong admiration for more than five movies,” said Davis. “A Best Picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit [It SHOULD… -Ed]. 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.”

If this system had been in effect from 2001 to 2008 (before the expansion to a slate of 10), there would have been years that yielded 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 nominees. [Press Release via Deadline]

This sounds like a perfectly logical way to do it, though of course it doesn’t solve the greater problem, of old people loving insanely boring stories about rich people.  The King of England (*record scratch*) has a stutter!  Kate Winslet… plays the Buttress of Windsor, the saucy Victorian widow whose slightly-less-than-stiff upper lip turned high society upside down! Glib aristocrats are like crack to old people.

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