"I'd like to thank the Academy..."
The Wrap website reports that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that next year's Best Picture category will be doubled to include ten nominees. In a press release, AMPAS head Sid Ganis, “Having 10 Best Picture nominees is going to allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize.”
In other words, more critically-acclaimed blockbusters like "The Dark Knight" and the Pixar films, not to mention the kind of indie favorites ("Memento," "Being John Malkovich") that end up exiled to the screenplay categories, will make it into the inner circle of nominees. This should mute criticism that the Academy is out of touch with both mainstream audiences and and hipsters and -- this is crucial -- hopefully increase viewership to the big show. Now the question becomes: Can they find ten 2009 movies that are worthy?