In 2009 we saw the list of best picture nominees expand from five to ten. The reason for doing this was presumably the snub of The Dark Knight the year before. With more nominees the academy could include films that it usually wouldn’t. That year District 9 and Up were both nominated, films that would have never had a chance in years past. Sadly it now seems that they wouldn’t have had a chance this year either.
For the first two years after the expansion everything seemed to be going fine, ten films got in including the constantly under-represented genres like science-fiction and animation. Last year was the first red flag, when only nine movies were nominated and no movies that weren’t traditional “Oscar bait.” We might have chalked that up to 2011 being a pretty sub-par year for movies, but 2012 has been one of the best in recent memory.
That’s why when this year every movie nominated was the usual Oscar stuff. I previously wrote a list of great films that didn’t have a chance of being nominated, but there were plenty of other movies that were given good odds at cracking the nominations. Movies like The Hobbit, The Avengers, and The Dark Knight Rises were all given a chance slipping into the last spot. Skyfall was being picked by many to earn a nomination after picking up a nomination from the producer’s guild.
Instead none of these movies were nominated, so what got the tenth spot? Nothing. In 2012, an amazing year for film, all those films, and other great ones like Flight, The Master and Moonrise Kingdom weren’t fit to be nominated for Best Picture. Instead they left a spot empty.