Academy Changes Oscars' Best Picture Category Again, But Is There a New Problem?


Whatever you may think of AMPAS's decision to expand the number of Best Picture nominees to ten, it's hard to deny it's brought a jolt of excitement to Oscar jockeying. Unfortunately, it's also come with a few murky problems attached, including the realization that with such a vast number of nominees, the Best Picture winner could potentially be chosen by less than 20% of voters.

Now, though, AMPAS is hoping to guard against such a niche win by changing the final ballots. Previously, voters would pick only a single film to win, but now they'll be asked to rank all ten nominees and those results will be tallied by a preferential voting system (already used to choose the nominees in the first place), ensuring that the eventual winner will need a broad base of support from the entire membership.

Still, assuming that the voters will have seen all ten nominees may be a reach; while a smaller film like The Hurt Locker would pick up plenty of votes under the old system, one wonders whether it'll now be wounded by the low rankings of voters who haven't seen it. Developing...


  • whoneedslight says:

    Without having seen what will most likely be a deluge of fall/winter contenders, is it wrong that I'm already feeling depressed that The Hurt Locker might not win?

  • snickers says:

    I'd like to see District 9's visual effects recognised for their awesomeness.

  • VoV says:

    So basically the Academy is going to change the voting system to something akin to the way the Heisman trophy is awarded??
    Well ...
    I guess that works. And even though it means a lot of members may rank some movies lower just because they haven't seen a film, in my mind, that's better than some late-release film that no-one except the Hollywood elite have seen snagging the award and leaving the crowd-pleasing megafilm in a lurch.
    Too often the critic-wowing films get the nod and the crowd-pleasing films get ignored. I'm not saying that Transformers 2 should be getting a BP Nomination, but in my humble opinion, last year's Slumdog was a great nominee, but considering the crowd-pleasing money-maker of the year (The Dark Knight) was not even NOMINATED, I was rather peeved at the choices.
    Sure, of the five nominated (Curious Ben Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, Slumdog, and The Reader), Slumdog was a great choice for the best film. Amongst that group, it was the most enjoyable and the one I wanted to see a 2nd time the most ... however, if you add The Dark Knight into the mix, it becomes a whole new ballgame.
    Personally, I'm beginning to find that the Academy is simply becoming too far removed from the rest of society and only under dire circumstances do they seem to find a film for Best Picture which also is a film that most of the world actually wants to OWN on video / DVD.
    Here's a new idea Academy voters ... ask yourselves this when choosing a "BEST PICTURE" ... is this film just overly artsy and charming? Or will America actually want to rent, watch, and buy this film when released for retail sales?

  • Considering how the Academy is criticized for the age of its voters, I'm calling it now: Pat Buchanan will win Best Picture next year.