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Oscars' Best Pictures Nominees To Go From 5 To 10...

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#41 of 43 Adam Lenhardt

Adam Lenhardt

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Posted August 31 2009 - 04:34 PM

I'm an ardent supporter of "first past the post" voting systems over these proportional schemes, but:
Originally Posted by mattCR 

In other words: there is no real rundown process, the nomination IS the vote, and it basically goes into the final tally.  

This is complete crap, because it means any film without huge recognition has almost no chance to build any momentum.. because the voting is way long over.  More then that, the system that favors this tally method will largely benefit films which manage to please the majority, but not necessarily develop ardent advocates.

Not true. The nomination process for Best Picture consists of Academy members submitting their choices for Best Picture. The ten films with the most submissions become the nominees. In a second round of voting, which will presumably occur the same time as the second round voting has always occured, all Academy members rank the ten nominees in order of preference. It's sort of like in grade school when you pick your group partners by lottery; you put down your first, second, and third choices. Odds are, you're probably going to get your first choice since it's weighted the highest. But if not, you'll get your second choice or (if you're really unlucky) your third.

So yes, it will benefit films that are widely liked over films that are passionately loved by a small few. We'll probably see more winners like Gladiator and less winners like Slumdog Millionaire. While I think anything the muddies the intent of the voters is a bad thing, I'm not sure the final results will be worse: the formula of small films that achieve wider popular appeal winning Oscars has left the awards ceremony bordering on irrelevancy -- thus the drop in ratings.

At some point the Academy has to make a decision: is Best Picture a mechanism for the filmmaking community to acknowledge the film it collectively admires most, or is a declaration of the movie that will be remembered as most excellent down the road? If the Academy Awards remain a celebration of the filmmaking community, all of these changes are a corruption of the essential point of the gathering. If they are to be focused outward toward the culture at large, this new scheme will probably provide a better Oracle for the movie of a given year.

My guess is: the nominations get more diverse and more interesting, while the winners get less diverse and less interesting.

#42 of 43 Craig S

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Posted August 31 2009 - 07:46 PM

I have long hoped the Academy would go to a ranked system. That means the film that is truly the CONSENSUS choice of the Academy will win. What's wrong with that?? The current system has given us recent winners like A Beautiful Mind and Crash. Does anybody really believe these were the best pictures (or even close) of their year? I believe a ranked system might have turned out Fellowship Of The Ring and Brokeback Mountain instead. I know the Oscar-following members of this forum would have in general preferred those choices over the actual winners. 

At any rate, given the track record of late, it's worth trying. I may be alone here, but I like these changes to the Best Picture category.

Three truths about movies, as noted by Roger Ebert:


* It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.

* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.

* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.

#43 of 43 TravisR


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Posted September 01 2009 - 05:45 AM

Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt View Post

My guess is: the nominations get more diverse and more interesting, while the winners get less diverse and less interesting.

That's my guess too and it's even more reason for me to care more about what gets nominated rather than what wins. Not that they never get it right, I just like the idea of looking at a number of people's good work rather than saying that x, y or z is the best.