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The Academy Awards, one of the biggest nights for film, is right around the corner.This year the Academy chose to make a change in, arguably, the biggest category of the night. Instead of having five movies up for “Best Picture,” there are now ten. Grumbling among critics abounds.

The Week compiled a list of ten reasons, from ten different critics, on why this move might not have been the smartest for the Academy.

Michael Medved, a film critic and radio show host, argued in a special to CNN that with double the amount of nominees in the category, “the number of moviegoers to have seen [every movie] will shrink even further.” I completely agree.

I used to get excited when the new award season rolled around each year, but I usually hadn’t, and still haven’t, seen 90 percent of the films nominated. Adding five more movies to the pool might cause more people to be alienated from the award show simply because they didn’t have the means to see all of the films.

On the other hand, maybe people will have seen more of the films, since genres vary so much from expected nominees like “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker,” to sports-themed inspirational films like “The Blind Side,” to sci-fi flicks like “District 9.”

Some titles have been talked about time and time again by many people around me, so maybe the Academy did make the right choice in trying to expand the variety in the titles.

In the Los Angeles Times, columnist Neal Gabler said, “It wouldn’t be the first time that the pursuit of money trumped the pursuit of quality.”

He said the reason for the move could be all about gaining ratings for the Oscars.

According to The Week, “The Academy runs the risk of devaluing the standard it’s supposed to set.”

Well, does it?

I don’t believe the audience should concern themselves with the number of nominations. This isn’t The People’s Choice Awards, so the average watcher doesn’t have a say in which film wins anyway.

As far as the winner goes, there are two ways to look at the situation.

The recipients of the award can think that their triumph will be downplayed, because they were one-of-ten, and the competition is no longer as exclusive.

Or, they can be optimistic and think that their victory is even greater now that they beat out nine other films, instead of four, for the prestigious title of “Best Picture.”

Dr. Kevin Sandler, a film professor at ASU, said in an e-mail, “They had ten best pictures up until 1939 or so and it did not seem to affect [the awards] back then. The frontrunners would be the same with five, seven or ten.”

“It is all marketing and often the better picture doesn’t always win,” he added.

Isn’t that the truth? Sandler is completely correct. No matter how many films are in this category, there will always be one winner.

Personally, Megan would love to see “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” sweep the awards. How about you? Share at

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