It was only six years ago that the Academy Awards decided to make a rather major change to their Best Picture category. For years the number of nominees up for the big prize was limited to only five titles, but a rule change made it so that as many as 10 films could be up for the award. Apparently that experiment may be coming to an end, however, as there are now reports saying that the Oscars are considering going back to the previous format.
Sources have told The Hollywood Reporter that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences is now deliberating a possible change to their nominations rules that would once again limit the number of Best Picture candidates to five. As the trade report notes, making this change would be an admission that the rule change over the last six years was a mistake, but it also seems that the writing is on the wall that the experiment didn't work. At this time, it doesn't sound like any big decisions are being made, but an Academy spokesperson did say,
As we do each year, the Academy will meet in the coming months to evaluate not only the telecast, but also the awards season in its entirety.
So why make the change? Apparently, it's because a large portion of the Academy believes that a sacrifice is being made without any real return. The trade says that members of the board believe that having as many as 10 Best Picture nominees "[waters] down the prestige" of the prize,and expanding the category hasn't done anything to help boost ratings numbers for the awards show.
When the rule about Best Picture nominees was changed in 2009, the argument at large was that it would potentially allow further awards exposure for movies nominated in other categories, but that got squeezed out of the running for the big prize. The rules were changed again in 2011, to say that between five and 10 movies would be nominated, with only features that received a requisite amount of support from voters actually getting put up for Best Picture. Since then, the Oscars have failed to fill the register, and this year only had eight titles in the big category.
This is an interesting turn of events, and the decision could potentially be a divisive one in the minds of Academy Award fans. Do you think the rules should change, or should they stay the same? Answer our poll below: