After Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight was snubbed by voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2009, the board of governors decided to remove the longstanding five-film maximum. Since then, a variety of films — some expected, others surprising — have been nominated for the prestigious Academy Award. But after this year’s incredibly low ratings, the Academy is considering a return to the five count.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, a significant portion of Academy members and the board of governors aren’t too happy with the low ratings. Rather than the writers’ ill-conceived predictions box joke, they’re blaming the increased field of Best Picture nominees and want to do away with it:
“They tried it, and it really didn’t do us any good,” says one high-level source. While no official proposal has been placed before the Academy’s board of governors, that could happen as soon as March 24, when the governors are next due to meet.
Then again, the number and type of Best Picture nominees since the initial change hasn’t affected members’ voting tendencies. Nor was the Academy necessarily consistent with their approach to increasing the field:
After going up to 10 nominees, the Academy shifted direction two years later, this time mandating anything from five to 10. Eight films were nominated this year, with nine films nominated each of the three previous years.
But rather than add blockbusters to the mix, Academy voters have simply opted for more art-house films. All of this year’s nominees, with the exception of Sniper, were specialty releases, including the eventual winner, Birdman, from Fox Searchlight Pictures.
No wonder the ratings were so low, guys! Everyone who actually gives a sh*t about the nominated films is already there in the Dolby Theatre’s audience. Oh well, at least no one tried to pull the Nolan-got-snubbed-again card with Interstellar this year. (No nominations for Nolan whatsoever.)