In what appears to be an attempt to include more audience-friendly films in the Oscar competition, The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences announced today that The 82nd Academy Awards would have twice as many Best Picture nominees. According to Academy President Sid Ganis:
"After more than six decades, the Academy is returning to some of its earlier roots, when a wider field competed for the top award of the year. The final outcome, of course, will be the same – one Best Picture winner – but the race to the finish line will feature 10, not just five, great movies from 2009 ... 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: Expect more box office hits in the field next year. Or perhaps more art-house obscurities. Either way, this change is sure to make Oscar prognosticating livelier than ever.