We've heard in recent years that that the unwashed masses were tuning out on the Academy Awards because popular favorites (i.e. wide-appeal blockbusters) were being ignored in favor of critical darlings that few people had seen. To broaden the race and stir up excitement, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences once again expanded the Best Picture category to 10 nominees last year -- and promptly rewarded little-seen critical fave 'The Hurt Locker' with the Oscar.
Should this year's critical favorite also receive the Oscar? 'Toy Story 3' is the best-reviewed film of the year, according to Rotten Tomatoes (per Reuters), followed closely by 'The Social Network.' The latter film is the one that's been most often cited by critics' groups and appears to be in a dead-heat with 'Black Swan' for Best Picture honors. Following in the footsteps of last year's 'Up,' 'Toy Story 3' is likely to be nominated both for Best Picture and Best Animated Feature Film, but probably won't be considered a serious contender for Best Picture. Is that fair?