"I AM big. It's the pictures that got small." Oscars double Best Picture nominees


It's an honor to be nominated. Yeah, yeah, whatever. But it's really more of a financial windfall.

The body that awards the Oscars knows that when it nominates a movie or a performer, people pay to see what the fuss is about. It's one of the biggest reasons people want to be nominated: It puts cash in the register and often, it puts legs on a career, unless you win Best Supporting Actress.

Knowing too well that Hollywood is producing fewer movies -- fewer than 200 this year compared with 236 in 2007 -- the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that starting in 2010, it will double the number of Best Picture nominees from five to 10.

If you think you have trouble seeing, let alone remembering, all the nominees now, just wait. In 2010, the Oscars are almost going to feel like a roll call, culminating in a laundry list of potential winners for the big prize.

What that will do to the result is anyone's guess -- I predict some additional vote-splitting that may make the chances for an underdog win that much stronger, although anything to prevent another Crash is fine by me -- but the Los Angeles Times predicts the Oscars telecast will suffer now that producers have to air double the number of highlight clips.