Whoa, next year there will be ten nominated films up for the Best Picture Oscar instead of the customary five. I’d love to see a statistical analysis of how different the results are between long nominee lists and shorter subsets. (via crazymonk)
Update: It’s not quite a statistical analysis, but a couple of folks have guessed at the impact. First, from Tyler Cowen:
With five entries there are usually only two or maybe three real contenders. Strategic voting is present but manageable. There can be split votes across a particular actor or genre. With ten entries it is much harder to tell which picture will win. Counterintuitively, it might be harder for “odd” pictures to be nominated because they might end up winning. Popular movies like The Dark Knight will win more often because it will be hard not to nominate them (it didn’t even receive a nomination).
With more Best Picture slots open, studios and indies alike could be pushing harder to get their movies seen. What does that mean to you, the home viewer? It might — just might — mean that some smaller movies get longer runs in the big city arthouses, and even end up finding their way into the hinterlands. Everyone knocks the taste of the Academy (and often with good reason), but it’s not like everything that gets nominated is dowdy and self-serious and simplified. And it’s certainly true that plenty of excellent movies contend for the honor of contending each season. More of those excellent-but-low-priority movies may put up more than just a token campaign, and as a result, the average movie fan may become more aware of them, and may even get to see them.
And then there’s this little tidbit from the NY Times:
In all about 300 films were eligible for awards in 2008. Were that to hold going forward, roughly one of every 30 films would become a best-picture nominee.