Oscar Idol?

Posted by · 12:31 pm · September 1st, 2009

OscarsI’ve been having a number of conversations today about the Academy’s new Best Picture voting rules.  Some see it as further evidence of the organization snuffing out campaigning by leveling the playing field even more (which, if we’re being honest, is bad for AMPAS business).  Others see it as the fairest way of establishing a winner.  I’m somewhere in the middle, but all of that is neither here nor there.  I ran across this comment at The Hot Blog and I just had to share:

They need to treat the nominees as a top 10 list and not “nominees.” Then, structure the broadcast around the top 10 like American Idol and gradually count down the vote tabs from #10 to #1 throughout the program to create suspense.

Call me crazy, but this would be brilliant.  I kind of understand the desire to spare the feelings of those who would be “voted off” first.  That’s why the tabulations are destroyed after a few years.  No one wants people to know they were in last place, but come on — the nomination is the victory in many of those circumstances.  And talk about building a viewership.  We’re already inching toward People’s Choice Awards territory as it is, so why not bring all the walls down?


→ 25 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

25 responses so far

  • 1 9-01-2009 at 12:39 pm

    Sean Stangland said...

    That is a damn good idea. It would potentially make the broadcast even longer, but it would certainly keep everyone watching. And we’d finally get a glimpse at how the voting breaks down.

    But there’s no way the Hollywood intelligentsia would let this happen, is there? Like you said: would you want everyone to know your film was in the bottom five?

  • 2 9-01-2009 at 1:10 pm

    Mr. F said...

    That would be awesome.

  • 3 9-01-2009 at 1:12 pm

    Loyal said...

    That’s probably the best idea I’ve heard yet.

    Bill Condon and Laurence Mark aren’t producing again, right? Someone needs to get that idea to Tom Sherak.

    The sting of being “voted off first” is lessened by being a nominee in the first place IMO.

  • 4 9-01-2009 at 1:17 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Nice idea, but too popular. No way it’ll happen.

    On a related note: The Netherlands selected their Oscar submission: The Silent Army. Screened at some sub-competition at Cannes and apparently lauded. Very juicy background story about the film which was critically derided over here for its sentiment and a pop singer in his first major film role. But the film got re-cut for international audiences and apparently became a lot better. Still not the right choice though I feel since the critically lauded and widely adored “War in Winter” is a major and brilliant achievement.

  • 5 9-01-2009 at 1:20 pm

    The InSneider said...

    I don’t understand how you could want to see Up in the Air more than Avatar right now, but I do agree with you on this one, Kris. It’d be a sick idea and a lot of fun. But… how would the final 2 be announced. After #3 is given out, they’d just award #1 to the Best Picture and #2 wouldn’t even get to celebrate their fairly significant accomplishment. What are your thoughts on how that’d go down?

  • 6 9-01-2009 at 1:20 pm

    Ryan Hoffman said...

    Brilliant idea. You could just announce the top 5.
    Of course, though, this will never ever happen.

  • 7 9-01-2009 at 1:22 pm

    The InSneider said...

    And Sean, would you really consider 6-10 The Bottom Five? They’re still 5 of the top 10 movies of the year. I don’t see how producers would be embarrassed because their film was #7 and not #4, unless I guess it was the presumed winner going into the evening.

  • 8 9-01-2009 at 1:23 pm

    Dan said...

    Do it

  • 9 9-01-2009 at 1:34 pm

    Loyal said...

    For those saying this will never happen, I never thought 10 nominees would happen in my lifetime either.

  • 10 9-01-2009 at 1:52 pm

    Bill said...

    This would throw a molotov cocktail into the world of Oscar trivia.

  • 11 9-01-2009 at 2:11 pm

    Sawyer said...

    It’s a Beauty Pageant!

    Miss Best Picture!

  • 12 9-01-2009 at 2:38 pm

    Mike_M said...

    Interesting idea, I like it…

    How great would it be to have shots of the 3 remaining producers and studio heads when they open the envelope? At that point there is a 33% chance for each of them.

    Maybe don’t even mention who got 2nd and 3rd (any maybe other places) do some group eliminations.

    Would be great to watch.

  • 13 9-01-2009 at 3:51 pm

    david said...

    Maybe eliminate 3 films at a time…take it from 10 down to 7…then 4…then 1.

    That way if you eliminate them in small groups the actual order of ranking won’t be as humiliating for those that are eliminated early.

    Yet…you still kind of learn where the Academy’s voters tended to place certain films.

  • 14 9-01-2009 at 3:54 pm

    Tom said...

    There is actually a logical way to do this without mentioning what movie ranked each spot. Follow me for a minute.

    Lets say last year The Dark Knight, Wall-E, Doubt, The Wrestler and Revolutionary Road also get nominated for Best Picture in an expanded field.

    Slowly throughout the ceremony eliminate the films that are not going to win BP. Just have the accountants at PWC put in sealed envelopes films that won’t be winning in a strategic order. This way nothing could be leaked. For example once Doubt lost supporting actor and supporting actress, it wouldn’t be winning BP. So it’s gone. Wall-E – no screenplay or sound categories = gone. Milk – screenplay and actor wins = make it to final announcement. Eliminations could be done one at a time or in groups.

    Most viewers usually get an idea of what films are still in the running if they are actually watching. So for arguments sake at the end only The Dark Knight, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Milk and Slumdog Millionaire would be left since each of them had won at least 2 Oscars before BP was announced. And The Dark Knight fans would still be watching because their movie was still in the running.

    It could be done in an entertaining way without giving away the actual rankings or what films were going to win in the other categories.

    I hope that made sense. The Academy would never anything like this.

  • 15 9-01-2009 at 4:05 pm

    THE Diego Ortiz said...

    how about random elimination? except for the last pic.

  • 16 9-01-2009 at 4:10 pm

    A.J said...

    it can’t be in the actual order. it just can’t.

  • 17 9-01-2009 at 4:13 pm

    Loyal said...

    I think Tom is onto something…

  • 18 9-01-2009 at 4:30 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Sorry, the idea just sounds cheap to me. People can use the “they’re all winners” argument as much as they like, but the fact remains that nobody would want to be in tenth place. And there’d almost certainly be some snarky media joshing towards the film that “came last.” It’s simply not in the spirit of the competition.

    If there was any call for rankings, I’d prefer a simple gold-silver-bronze trio at the top, Cannes-style, with the rest left unranked. Still, I see no need for a change.

  • 19 9-01-2009 at 4:33 pm

    Armando said...

    Top 10 countdown during the last hour of the show and name them just before the commercial breaks!

  • 20 9-01-2009 at 4:38 pm

    Mike said...

    What about eliminating the bottom 5 all together, and then separately from 4 all the way to one. Then no film would be acknowledged as the fewest vote getter, but there would still be lots of suspense.

  • 21 9-01-2009 at 6:22 pm

    Marvin said...

    A hot mess. It would potentially lead to my not watching the Oscars anymore.

  • 22 9-01-2009 at 6:37 pm

    red_wine said...

    The current way in which the winner is gonna be picked, with the weighted balloting system and over 50% of the total votes required, no Top 10 list or order would be generated. This system will only yield 1 winner so there’s no way this Top 10 ordered list could be implemented.

  • 23 9-01-2009 at 7:54 pm

    HC792 said...

    It’s terribly desperate, and it would cheapen the worth of a BP nomination even more. Talk about jumping the shark . . .

  • 24 9-02-2009 at 5:16 am

    Mike said...

    I like the idea, too.