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Your Oscar pool just got a bit more complicated

Eariler today I received a link from an outraged fellow Oscar enthusiast: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just announced that this year they will be expanding the Best Picture nominees from five films to TEN. Here's a quote from the press conference via IMdB from Academy President Sid Ganis: "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," commented Ganis. "I can't wait to see what that list of ten looks like when the nominees are announced in February." My first reaction: AAAAARRGGH! TEN!?! Is that really necessary? Does this mean any film that makes a crapload of money gets an automatic Best Picture nod? Are they fishing for viewers by ensuring more of the "popular" films get recognized? Are the Oscars trying to be the MTV Movie Awards? Or is it that the studios want more films recognized so they can print "Best Picture Nominee!" on twice as many DVD covers? Then I shared the news with a fellow staffer. His reaction: "Why the hell didn't they do this last year??" He was referring to how we were all torn up about the exclusion of The Dark Knight last year; with ten slots for Best Picture it would have made it easily. The debate continues: What's the point now of having a Best Animated Picture category? Up has Best Picture nomination written all over it, and many of us thought Wall-E did too. Shouldn't great films like this be allowed to compete with the likes of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? Will worthy animated films get nominated for both categories? Does this mean they trying to include smaller indie films (like Frozen River) that are usually only honored for screenplay or acting? Will an actual comedy finally have a shot? Like Mr. Ganis, we're also curious how this will all play out come awards season and will be following along as the good people at AwardsDaily hash through it until nominations are announced in February. As always, let us know what you think. In the meantime, I'm going to start a campaign--For Your Consideration: Star Trek star-trek-xi-poster