Crosstalk: Should the Oscars go back to having only 5 Best Picture nominees?

Sean O’Neal: In 2009, the Academy announced that it would expand the list of Best Picture contenders to 10, a move that its then-president Sid Ganis characterized as a throwback to the crowded nominees of the 1930s and 1940s, as well as a bold step toward a future of recognizing a broader scope of movies. The decision, Ganis said, would “make it more interesting and less cloistered”—a subtle reference to the growing exhaustion with the category’s refusal to consider more popular fare, which had fueled many an op-ed during the previous year’s snubs of The Dark Knight and WALL-E. It was time for the Oscars to start reflecting the movies people actually go to see, and Ganis speculated that opening up the borders might allow for documentaries, foreign-language films, animated films—“maybe even a comedy.” Loosening up would probably also increase the chances of people actually …

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