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Despite 10 nominees, Best Picture will come down to two pictures

February 2, 2010 - Andy Gray
If the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences wanted to broaden the appeal of the Oscars by expanding the Best Picture category to 10 nominees, well mission accomplished.

This year’s ceremony would have gotten a boost regardless because “Avatar” – now the top-grossing film of all time – probably would have been in the category if there only were two slots.

But “The Blind Side” (current gross $238 million), Pixar’s “Up” ($293 million) and the sci-fi tale “District 9” ($115 million) probably wouldn’t have.

Regardless of who’s filling the other eight slots, Best Picture is shaping up to be a duel between the top grossing film of all time and one of the less-seen films in the category – “The Hurt Locker.” Since “The Hurt Locker” already is available on DVD, that should change before the Oscar ceremony on March 7.

Actually DVDs could play a pivotal role in this year’s Best Picture race. While all the contenders will offer plenty of free screenings in theaters to Academy voters, many opt to watch the DVDs they are provided in the comfort of their own homes.

“Avatar” is a spectacle made to be seen on a big screen. Will voters who watch it home be less impressed and opt for a movie whose power isn’t diminished by the smaller platform?

With many of the acting races feeling locked up, it’s one of the few things movie fans will have to debate over the next month.


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