The annual announcement of the Oscar nominations always offers up plenty of fodder for discussion. But before we get there, travel back in time with me to June 2009 when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS for short) made a canny if questionable PR move: after 66 years of a 5-wide Best Picture shortlist, the 2009 film year would bring us 10 (!) Best Picture nominees. That announcement reinvigorated Oscar buzz—so many people were talking about the Academy Awards last June** it felt just like February. But it’s way too soon to tell if the decision has reinvigorated Oscar itself. That’s a more complicated prospect, and you need more than one go at an experiment to see if it works. You also may need better movies. No matter which lucky film is named the Best of the Best, none of them will be as good as Casablanca, the last winner from a 10-wide Best Picture field way back in March of 1944.
Read the rest at Tribeca Film.
* It's true. The Academy's June announcement set the web on fire. Right here at TFE, the blogpost containing that information had the most comments ever, topping the 200 mark and far outpacing other recent comment crazes like the August: Osage County casting ideas