In a stunning movie no doubt meant to broaden the value of the best picture race, the 82nd Academy Awards announced today that they will increase the number of nominees for the top category to ten candidates from five. 

At a press conference today, Sid Ganis said, “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,” said Ganis. “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.”

This is actually nothing new for the Academy Awards.  For nine years, there were more than the expected five nominees. In 1931/32 there were eight nominees and in 1934 and 1935 there were 12 nominees. This ended in 1943 when "Casablanca" won the best picture Oscar.

There were some rumors that the Acadmey would do away with the Best Animated Feature Film category along with this move, but at this time it still exists.

Last year, many believed "The Dark Knight," the second highest grossing film in U.S. domestic box office history and a critical favorite, narrowly missed out of a best picture nomination.  This move is intended to rectify such oversights.



The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010. The Oscar ceremony will be presented on Sunday, March 7, 2010, live at 8:30 p.m., ET on the ABC Television Network. The ceremony will once again take place at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood.

Update: 26 films make the field for this year's Oscar race. Really.