The Oscars Will Return to 10 Best Picture Nominees in 2022
In the early days of the Oscars, as many as 12 movies could be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in a given year. (It Happened One Night, for example, beat out 11 other titles, including The Thin Man and Imitation of Life.) In 1944, the field was shrunk down to a maximum of five nominees, which is how things stayed for more than half a century. In 2009, the field was expanded again to 10 nominees, supposedly as a throwback to the earlier format (but more likely a response to outcry about several excellent films, including The Dark Knight, that had been overlooked the year prior).
The ten-film field only lasted for two years before the Academy revised the rules again so there could be anywhere between five and ten movies based on certain percentages of votes cast. (This year there were nine nominees including the eventual winner, Parasite.) Now the Academy has announced another change, back to a set field of ten nominees, starting with the Oscars that will take place in 2022.
Via Variety, here is Academy CEO Dawn Hudson on this change and others, all done as part of a new initiative to “increase diversity in the film community” and in the Oscars themselves:
While the Academy has made strides, we know there is much more work to be done in order to ensure equitable opportunities across the board. The need to address this issue is urgent. To that end, we will amend—and continue to examine—our rules and procedures to ensure that all voices are heard and celebrated.
I remain torn on which format is better. I grew up with the five nominees rule, so that’s what I think of when I think of the Oscars. Five movies is arguably better for film fans who want to make sure they see every Oscar Best Picture nominee every year, because it’s a lot more manageable to see five movies than ten.
On the other hand, the more movies that can get a financial boost from being a Best Picture nominee the better. If the bigger field of nominees leads to more people from more backgrounds getting to make more movies as a result, then that’s a great thing. And no matter how many movies are nominated, I’ll see them all, and probably wind up loving some and disliking others.
Gallery — Every Oscar Best Picture Winner Throughout History: