Everyone's all abuzz about the fact that starting next year — which is to say, with the films of 2009 — there will be ten nominees in the best picture category instead of five. There used to be ten nominees, but not since 1943.
The idea, as I understand it, is to open up the field, which is all very well and good. But since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is going back to the future, I have to wonder why they don't instead go back to have two best picture categories, one for dramas and one for comedies and musicals. That strikes me as a far better way of spreading the wealth around, because let's face it: It's rare for a comedy to snare a best picture nomination and rarer still for one to win. Dividing the category up would acknowledge the apples and oranges factor: A great movie is a great movie, but when faced with a choice between a soul-searing drama and a bust-a-gut comedy, Academy voters tend to reward seriousness of intent.
Or is that just me?
See The Hollywood Reporter's analysis here.