In Contention

Yes…and more than one movie, actually…

Posted by · 9:44 am · February 4th, 2010

Cover of Entertainment WeeklyAlright.  It must be said.  I’m as guilty as anyone, perhaps more than most, at positioning this year’s Oscar race as a two-horse sprint to the finish between “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker.” But slowly it’s occurred to me that this Oscar race has been boiled down so quickly because it makes for such a sexy headline.  There’s David and Goliath, there’s the exes thing, there’s plenty of meat in the idea that these two films are out in front of the pack.

And now I see it once again with Entertainment Weekly’s cover query: “Can anything beat ‘Avatar?’

Has the press (again, guilty) been lazy in allowing things to be positioned as such?  Well, yes and no.  The usual indicators tell us that these are the two films in question for obvious reasons. Guild support has been rampant for both, after all.  And the list of Oscar nominations had each out in front, tied with nine nominations apiece.  But there is a crucial point that many a journalist (again, guilty) is failing to consider when calling this thing.

This year the Best Picture category (and only the Best Picture category) will use the preferential voting system rather than the standard one-vote system to determine the winner.  In so many words, the answer becomes: Which film is the most acceptable to the group, regardless of passion pockets?

This scheme, for instance, could render the fact that no film that failed to receive an acting or screenplay nomination has won Best Picture since 1932’s “Grand Hotel” moot.  Then again, the good news doesn’t stay on “Avatar”‘s side for long, as it’s most certainly a film with staunch detractors.

“The Hurt Locker” doesn’t necessarily have vocal dissent holding it back, but the preferential ballot could nevertheless allow any sort of displeasure with the film to be a bit more pronounced.  Meanwhile, a film like “Up in the Air,” which seems like a soft lob and agreeable all around, could be poised to surprise.  The same could be said of Pixar’s “Up” or, hell, even “An Education,” which is sure to have a healthy British contingency going for it somewhere near the top of a great many ballots.  “Precious” and “Inglourious Basterds” certainly have their detractors, but one never knows how perceptions can shift.

Granted, the preferential system didn’t hurt Kathryn Bigelow’s film at the PGA Awards, which utilized it for the first time this year.  But now we have a whole different set of professionals added to the mixture.  Anything can happen.

At the end of the day, we have to consider what these ballots are going to look like.  If a bunch of #1 votes go to the perceived two frontrunners, that’s fine.  But if these other films manage to dominate the #2 and #3 positions down the board, as well they might — well, let’s just say we could be in for a big surprise come Oscar night.

→ 53 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

53 responses so far

  • 1 2-04-2010 at 9:48 am

    Brian said...

    Basterds to has something of a shot.

    I still wonder if District 9 getting in proves to be Avatar’s pig-gun kill shot in this race.

  • 2 2-04-2010 at 9:50 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Indeed it does.

  • 3 2-04-2010 at 9:57 am

    aspect ratio said...

    Avatar is sexy, big, successful. It sells magazines and whatever else to the masses who are familiar with it. The Hurt Locker basically doesn’t exist to “entertainment journalists” like EW, the only thing about it is playing up the Bigelow vs. Cameron angle as if it’s a divorce proceeding out of Intolerable Cruelty.

  • 4 2-04-2010 at 10:00 am

    Adam Smith said...

    It begs the question: how many number 1s do we think The Blind Side got? I doubt it poses much threat, but you never know. Fingers crossed it comes nowhere close.

  • 5 2-04-2010 at 10:05 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    …I didn’t want to say it…

  • 6 2-04-2010 at 10:16 am

    B said...

    Hahaha, ever since Tuesday, I can’t shake the horrible feeling that somehow, someway, the preferential voting system will benefit The Blind Side. I mean it’s impossible though…right???

  • 7 2-04-2010 at 10:20 am

    david said...

    It might actually end up being a two film race between The Hurt Locker and Up in the Air. I really don’t agree with the backlash against Avatar, but a great many seemed to want to dislike the film even before it screened.

    I hope they go back to five nominees. Using this voting system might allow for a very undeserving film walking off with the top prize (like the Blind Side).

  • 8 2-04-2010 at 10:25 am

    Morgan said...

    “I still wonder if District 9 getting in proves to be Avatar’s pig-gun kill shot in this race.”

    I don’t know about that. Academy viewers familiar with District 9 will surely realize it got invited to the dance for much different reasons than Avatar did.

    District 9 doesn’t just occupy the sci-fi/SFX niche – it also occupies the more classic Academy niche of the “squalid, socially conscious film about the lower classes” (the “Precious” niche) and maybe also the “hot-shit young auteur” (the “Inglourious Basterds” niche… tho QT isn’t young any more).

  • 9 2-04-2010 at 10:25 am

    aspect ratio said...

    Considering the ultimate winner will have to have a majority win from ALL votes against the film that comes in second, I dare make the bold prediction that The Blind Side doesn’t stand a chance.

    Not to mention that films with two nominations in total don’t win Best Picture, ten nominees or not.

  • 10 2-04-2010 at 10:30 am

    Joe said...

    “Grand Hotel” had lots of big stars. If anything, it might be comparable to “Crash” or one of those big-cast movies. “Avatar” is certainly not that. If any film in the past has scored a huge upset, it has almost certainly had the actors’ support. (Since the SAG has only been giving out awards for 15+ years, we only have “Shakespeare in Love” and “Crash” to point to.) They desparately tried to sell the acting in “Avatar”, but nobody bought it. So, can a film that has almost zero support from the actor’s branch win?

  • 11 2-04-2010 at 10:31 am

    Morgan said...

    I don’t think the Blind Side is going to get it. And in the end, I just don’t think enough voters will love Avatar as more than just a popcorn film and they will most likely go for the Hurt Locker by a wide margin. Rendering this question moot, and the Oscar telecast boring as usual.

  • 12 2-04-2010 at 10:37 am

    david said...

    Can you imagine the looks on the faces of James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino if when they opened the envelope, and read, “And the winner for Best Picture is The Blind Side!!”

    It would be priceless. Both the best and worst moment in Oscar history.

    (No disrespect meant to the Blind Side…I haven’t even seen it yet, but it seems to be a real audience favorite)

  • 13 2-04-2010 at 10:42 am

    Morgan said...

    Joe makes a good point. What I’d like to know is what Avatar’s “natural constituency” is within the Academy that would give it a clear leg up over the Hurt Locker. It’s not an actor’s movie, so is it a director’s movie? A producer’s movie?

  • 14 2-04-2010 at 10:45 am

    david said...

    Avatar is an audience’s movie.

  • 15 2-04-2010 at 10:51 am

    Morgan said...

    True, but it’s a movie that people go to whether they like it or not. (I, myself, almost got sucked into a 2nd viewing, and I was bored by it. But my aunt wanted to see it and she didn’t want to go alone.) That doesn’t translate into a clear voting bloc.

    *All* the movies are “audience’s movies”…

  • 16 2-04-2010 at 11:00 am

    Billyboy said...

    Can someone tell me why exactly are they switching to the preferential voting system? What are the reasons for this…

  • 17 2-04-2010 at 11:00 am

    david said...

    I was just suggesting that I really don’t like Avatar’s chance at winning Best Picture. This was a film designed to make big bucks first, and everything else (including awards) secondary.

    How in the world you could be “bored” by Avatar is beyond my limited comprehension. I can see not connecting with it on an emotional level, but at least for me, it was like being on a thrill ride at an amusement park. I’d never liked 3D before this film, but this changed the whole way I think about the technology now.

    Did your Auntie like it??

  • 18 2-04-2010 at 11:05 am

    cineJAB said...

    Do British voters really vote for British films just because they’re British films?

  • 19 2-04-2010 at 11:14 am

    Morgan said...

    Well, sorry, I guess your comprehension is limited then! (no offense) I didn’t even think the 3D was that good. I guess at my age, I need a little more than the same canned gee-whiz moments and Cameron tropes.

    (My Auntie decided not to go. So no, I didn’t get sucked into a butt-numbing second go-round.)

  • 20 2-04-2010 at 11:14 am

    Aaron said...

    HAHA i was just thinking that cineJAB…it’s like they’re incapable of liking or voting for anything that’s not British made…

  • 21 2-04-2010 at 11:17 am

    Robert said...

    “How in the world you could be bored by Avatar …”

    Well, after the first 90 minutes I was quite bored because its script was so heavy-handed and the scenes so repetitive of each other. The last hour + is the “raison d’etre” of the film, i.e., the climatic battle and, on that front, it delivers. I ended up giving it a thumbs up but I certainly don’t have an interest in seeing it again.

  • 22 2-04-2010 at 11:35 am

    david said...

    You shouldn’t go to a film like Avatar to be critical of the script, any more then you should go to a film like The Hours for some “feel good” fun. That’s just unrealistic expectations.

    It simply is what it is. A mega-budget popcorn movie. I think the reason some are so critical of this film is because it is competing with films like The Hurt Locker and more standard Oscar fare. If say, it was only nominated in the tech categories, and not Best Picture, I don’t think the backlash against it would be nearly as severe by it’s detractors.

  • 23 2-04-2010 at 11:36 am

    Steven said...

    Can someone tell me why exactly are they switching to the preferential voting system? What are the reasons for this…

    Because without it, a film that gets 10.00001% of the #1 votes could potentially win Best Picture. Doesn’t sound too good…


  • 24 2-04-2010 at 11:51 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Billyboy: It’s meant to stop block voting, which can sometimes make it easy to tip the scales and especially in a year where you only need roughly 400 votes at #1 to win.

  • 25 2-04-2010 at 11:54 am

    Kay said...

    I still hope that people vote for the best film of the year and that is inglorious Basterds — it does not compare to Avatar in any way — it’s actually a great ride, great dialogue and a story that is so inventive.

    How does the winner in other categories get determined — do people just choose who they want to win?

  • 26 2-04-2010 at 12:00 pm

    Megan said...

    “How in the world you could be bored by Avatar …”

    I found the movie somewhat desensitizing about 35 minutes before it ended. There was the big, climactic, piece de resistance battle scene, and I found myself shifting around and going into cruise control.

    That’s the thing about movies like that. Sure, they’re entertaining, but without a meticulous balance between dazzle and substance, you can find yourself getting bored.

    At this juncture, I’m sticking with Hurt Locker. I didn’t find it to be the orgasmically fantastic masterpiece it’s been made out to be, but it’s solid film-making, and the most deserving.

    A week or two ago, there was the post with Morgan Freeman and other actors and their somewhat disheartening opinions on films like Avatar. It bears repeating that actors are the biggest voting branch in the Academy, and that could be a fell blow indeed to our good blue friends on Pandora.

    I see a great many people giving HL Numero Uno.

    And the films that stand to benefit from this system are Up in the Air and MAYBE Basterds. I see the film getting good marks from the acting branch to be sure, but the general opinion on it is so split that who really knows.

    Because of UitA’s loss on the editing nod ( I was very surprised), I find things currently as such:

    1) Hurt Locker
    2) Avatar
    3) Inglourious Basterds

    And I don’t see too much changing by March.

  • 27 2-04-2010 at 1:27 pm

    Jake D said...

    I think Avatar’s down in 3rd place, quite honestly. Avatar’s going to get a lots of #1’s and #2’s, but also a lot of #8’s and #9’s. I feel like anyone who’s seen Hurt Locker is probably going to put it at least #3, #4 which will seriously help it out in later rounds. Inglourious Basterds might be pretty polarizing, but I doubt it’ll get the really low votes that Avatar get, considering Avatar’s reputation as derivative, etc.

    It might be kind of romantic to assume it’s Bigelow vs. Cameron, but I don’t think Avatar’s as close as most think it is. Remember that Titanic was a period piece, based on a real event, etc. etc. Avatar doesn’t have that advantage. For all its box office glory, it’s still sci-fi.

  • 28 2-04-2010 at 1:35 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    i think up could win, inglourious basterds, avatar, hurt locker and up in the air, the rest dont seem to have a chance, if the blind side wins, good god

  • 29 2-04-2010 at 1:44 pm

    Shell said...

    Jake, I agree with you, and despite EWs cover, I don’t think Avatar is going to win. Right now I’d say it’s

    1) Hurt Locker
    2) Inglorius Basterds
    3) Avatar

  • 30 2-04-2010 at 2:06 pm

    Megan said...

    Here’s something interesting on Yahoo Movies:

    It’s the noms, then the expert picks alongside the general public’s favorites.

    Take a good look at the #2 movie. Also, check out the jaw-dropping percentage for favorite lead actress. Finally, relish the hilarity of the #2 pick for supporting actor.

    This, folks, is why I prefer the esoteric opinions of the Academy over the general public.

    I’ll take my head out my ass, now.

  • 31 2-04-2010 at 2:23 pm

    Al said...

    The reason the press is hyping avatar is for commerical appeal. It NEEDS to be the film to beat in order for public interest. I sincerely doubt its the frontrunner. I always have.

  • 32 2-04-2010 at 2:43 pm

    Morgan said...

    I’ve thought that District 9’s presence on the top 10 list could hurt Avatar’s ranking. Undoubtedly some people are going to consider these two “sci fi blockbusters” head to head, and may compare Avatar unfavorably to District 9 (say, ranking District 9 a “6” and Avatar a “7”). They are two very very different approaches to sci fi, and to blockbusterdom. Hard to predict what, if anything, District 9’s presence takes away from Avatar in a weighted voting system.

    Which sci-fi movie do you think actor voters would rank higher? I would think “District 9,” which has a strong central performance – if in fact it’s true that actors are not so enthusiastic about mocap performances.

  • 33 2-04-2010 at 2:51 pm

    Andrew F said...

    I still think the film that’s going to benefit the most from the preferential ballot is “Precious”. But enough to make it the winner? I’m skeptical, but I wouldn’t rule it out.

    “Basterds”, my favourite film of the year, I don’t think will get it. Why? It’s the ‘passion film’, not the universally agreeable film. It’ll certainly get a fair share of #1s, but probably a whole whack-load of 9s and 10s. The way I see it, “The Hurt Locker” will get the most #1s and a lot of respect votes. It’ll avoid being in the lower rungs of most ballots.

    “Up in the Air”, on the other hand, will also get lots of respect votes. No one’s favourite, but no one’s target of derision, either. It’s the sparkling underdog. Doesn’t have the anti-Sci Fi/lack of writing/acting noms/backlash of “Avatar”, doesn’t have the backlash of “The Hurt Locker”, the charges of tastelessness of “Basterds”, or the heavy-handedness of “Precious”.

    So my bet? If it’s not “The Hurt Locker” we hear, it’ll be “Up in the Air”.

  • 34 2-04-2010 at 2:56 pm

    Morgan said...

    A good question to ask would be, what is the credible ranking range for each film? That is to say, for example, 90% of the voters will rank the film between which ranks? (this should leave out the “passion pockets”)

    I would say…

    Avatar: 1-7 range
    The Blind Side: 5-10 range
    District 9: 5-10 range
    An Education: 3-6 range
    The Hurt Locker: 1-4 range
    Inglourious Basterds: 2-6 range
    Precious: 3-7 range
    A Serious Man: 4-7 range
    Up: 4-6 range
    Up in the Air: 2-5 range

    This is why Avatar needs loads of hype right now: because its likely “score range” is so wide, IMHO. Inglourious Basterds and Precious are the spoilers.

  • 35 2-04-2010 at 2:59 pm

    Morgan said...

    To clarify: I mean that Hurt Locker or Avatar will probably be the winner. But votes for Inglourious Basterds or Precious will probably decide which one (Hurt Locker or Avatar) will emerge victorious.

  • 36 2-04-2010 at 3:01 pm

    Andrew F said...


    Agreed — except look at your rankings. It’s “Up in the Air” (2-5) as the spoiler, not “Basterds” (2-6).

  • 37 2-04-2010 at 3:30 pm

    Craig said...

    The Hurt Locker will win in number 1 votes, I’d be willing to bet. Avatar and Basterds will be 2 or 3 (either could hold either spot), though I’m not sure how far behind Locker they’ll be. Up in the Air will get loads of 2’s and 3’s, but it won’t have enough 1’s and will stand a distant 4th after the initial vote. What gets eliminated right away? My money would be on The Blind Side, because though not everyone will drop it at 10, I’d be willing to guarantee it has less passionate support than anything else. So people can stop worrying about it’s chances: there are none.

    My guess is that Basterds and Locker get more in the 2-5 range than Avatar does, since it’s pretty much a love it or hate it picture. So Avatar will bow out in third. Then it’s just a matter of which film gets it’s second place votes, Basterds or Locker. If this happens, Basterds could very well be posed to upset. Either way, I don’t think this race is anywhere near as clear cut as 90% of people are making it out to be. A lot can happen with a preferential ballot. (In case anyone missed it, this experiment was done over at awards daily and a similar thing happened. Go check it out, if you’re interested).

    Kris, I’m interested to see what your ballot would look like if you were to put these 10 in order?

  • 38 2-04-2010 at 3:37 pm

    Me. said...

    I saw “The Blind Side” yesterday and oh, what a bad film. Seriously, it sucked. Superficial lameness for television on a boring Sunday. And what the…? What was special about Sandra Bullock? What? Please someone explain? Her performance was lame, neutral and just plain… normal if you know what I mean. Also, I have a feeling it will win Best Picture if the Oscars want to piss off everyone. The audience wants AVATAR to win and heck… out of all the people I know who saw the film, not ONE affirmed to me that she deserves the Oscar.


  • 39 2-04-2010 at 3:43 pm

    Craig said...

    You clearly have no idea have the voting process works.

  • 40 2-04-2010 at 4:02 pm

    goodvibe61 said...

    I believe it’s a three horse race right now, and the third is definitely Inglourious. I believe it will get it’s fair share of #1 votes, and it will do well getting #2’s and #’s as well. We’re just entering the home stretch now, and it will be interesting to see how momentum moves in the next few weeks. But Lawrence Bender definitely has a least a legitimate shot.

    It can never, never make up for the slight he got over Pulp Fiction actually losing to Forrest Gump. How the most influential picture of the past 15 years could lose to a movie like that is one of those things that makes the Oscars what it is (controversial, stupid, water cooler fodder, all of that).

    But that’s a different story. This year, I see the possibilities for Avatar, Hurt Locker, and IGB.

  • 41 2-04-2010 at 4:02 pm

    stylewriter said...

    I fully expect The Hurt Locker to get a majority of number one votes which would render the preferential voting system moot.

    That said, an excellent point was made about Avatar and preferential voting. You cannot talk about “passion pockets” without acknowledging some of those pockets go in the opposite direction. If I had an Oscar ballot, for example, Avatar would be listed seventh on my ballot or nine (I haven’t nor will I ever see The Blind Side). Passion goes both ways and I have a feeling there are a lot of really pissed off voters who are fed up with Avatar being portrayed as anything more than the horribly written and badly acted eye candy it is.

  • 42 2-04-2010 at 4:48 pm

    Oscarblimp said...

    This preferential system is very confusing and hard to analyze to begin with. I might just have a nosebleed thinking about how AMPAS will vote. I’ll just wait for March 7 to see who’s going to win.

  • 43 2-04-2010 at 6:41 pm

    dan said...

    Take it for what its worth:

    But I’ve heard that many AMPAS members are going to be putting The Hurt Locker either #1 or #2 on their ballot come voting time. Avatar is all over the map on where its placing. I think Kris has a valid point about Precious looming in the background.

    I think The Hurt Locker will win with potentially Precious on its heels? If you are looking for an “upset” on Oscar night, watch out and see if the Basterds get Original Screenplay and/or Editing.

  • 44 2-04-2010 at 7:51 pm

    Craig said...

    Precious won’t get enough number 1 or 2 votes to keep it in the conversation, let alone keep it there to the very end. It’s not looming. It has no chance.

  • 45 2-04-2010 at 9:18 pm

    Glenn said...

    This idea that actors wouldn’t put “Avatar” as highly on their ballot because it’s “not an actors movie” is ridiculous. Sure, they didn’t put the actors down on their own acting ballots, but best picture has nothing to do with it.

    Or is it only the actors that apparently do this? Do cinematographers list their favourite movies of the year based on how good the cinematography is? Do sound mixers weigh their ballot towards movies with the best sound mixing? I’m sure they don’t so why do actors, apparently, weigh their ballots towards movies with the best acting? Is an actor not allowed to think “Avatar” is the best film of the year because the acting in “Up in the Air” was better?

    Did the screenwriters branch all put “A Serious Man” at the top of their ballots? I highly doubt it, so clearly there are other Academy members of other branches that liked the film even though it didn’t get nominated. I’m sure there were some non-actors who liked “The Blind Side” enough too to rank it highly even if the film held no particular interest to their personal branch (say, for instance, art direction – art directors can like “The Blind Side” too).

    And so on.

  • 46 2-04-2010 at 9:58 pm

    Craig said...

    I think we’ve seen a fairly good (if small) example of actors not liking Avatar/not taking it seriously in the round table video from last week. I’m sure they’re not the only ones holding the opinion.

  • 47 2-04-2010 at 9:59 pm

    Craig said...

    I think we’ve seen a fairly good (if small) example of actors not liking Avatar/not taking it seriously in the round table video from last week. I’m sure they’re not the only ones holding the opinion. And if they really liked the film, the SAG would have nominated it for ensemble cast anyway, if not awarded it the win (Slumdog Millionaire anyone?)

  • 48 2-04-2010 at 10:00 pm

    SHAAAARK said...

    Lol at people pretending this is even really a race. Avatar doesn’t have acting or writing nominations, it doesn’t have the lead in overall nominations (it tied with The Hurt Locker), and it lost the PGA and DGA. It’s been a while since Oscar has rewarded a war film, and The Hurt Locker just has almost everything going for it except box office. and if the Producer’s Guild didn’t care, why would the Academy?
    Oh, and the preferential ballot is going to hurt Avatar. It may be popular around the world, but what about within Hollywood? There is a definite anti-CGI, anti-3-D, ant-mo-cap, anti sci-fi faction in the Academy. Avatar by its nature is a film that gets ones and twos and tens. The Hurt Locker will be all over ballots, though mostly at the top.
    Anyway, a most likely to win rankings thingy:
    1. The Hurt Locker
    I suppose it’s possible
    2. Avatar
    No, but it would be awesome
    3. Inglourious Basterds
    4. Up
    That ship has sailed.
    5. Up in the Air
    6. Precious
    Glad to be nominated
    7. The Blind Side
    8. District 9
    9. A Serious Man
    10. An Education

  • 49 2-04-2010 at 11:12 pm

    DC Remmert said...

    Up would be a totally inspired choice for Best Picture and would cap an outstanding year for annimation. Within the first 20 minutes its the most beautiful touching movie I have ever seen and would be the only movie on the list (have not seen Up in the Air) that I would put on the level of Avatar, The Hurt Locker, AND Precious. I would even put Ed Asner on par with Ellen Degeneres as far as vocal performances go. I LOVED Avatar and honestly if any film wins besides it, better be UP. Ive come to terms with the Hurt Locker…. I didnt hate it… I didnt love it. Films are supposed to inform. But movies are supposed to entertain and if its a battle between the most informing vs. the most entertaining… I say let them cancel each other out. Go with the film with the most heart. The movie that doesnt go out of its way to send a message and doesnt depend on special effects or political statement. Any Academy voters reading: vote for Up… and reward the most heartfelt movie of the year!

  • 50 2-05-2010 at 12:35 am

    PJ said...

    I’m not exactly sure about the rules the Academy has stipulated, but does anyone know if members have to rank all the films on their ballots? In my experience where the preferential voting system was used for elections, there has never been such rule that you must rank all available candidates. If that applies to the Oscar ballot as well, then members can stop ranking when they run out of films they like. So for example, not ranking three films instead of ranking them 8-10 would have an impact on which films are eliminated early. Similarly, if a bunch of people rank one film only (as no.1 obviously) then there wouldn’t be any 2-3 votes to help out other films later on. Am I just hopelessly confused about the system, or does this throw most predictive calculations around into disarray?

  • 51 2-05-2010 at 2:42 am

    Glenn said...

    I like how people are acting as if “Avatar” is the end of actors and acting as we know it and saying that actors won’t like it and yet they never once bring up the fact that “Up” is ANIMATION. Hence, actors are only required for voice work. Good god. Any number of those actors criticising mocap or whatever as the end of acting would give anything to be in the highest grossing movie of all time. I mean, there are ACTORS in that movie. ACTORS giving PERFORMANCES. If the members of the actors branch – remember, over 1000 members in that branch alone – can’t figure that out then maybe they are doomed. Doomed due to stupidity. But, then again, a lot of them probably didn’t get there because of their smarts.

  • 52 2-05-2010 at 5:20 am

    John H. Foote said...

    The Blind Side being nominated is the exact happening many of us feared, a lousy movie up for Best Picture — can it win? God can you imagine?? But I think the Oscar will go to The Hurt Locker, and that works for me despite my belief that the years best film was Up — Avatar was incredible, and a lot of fun, but partway through there was a letdown and the story became all too familiar — should be Hurt Locker, but the Basterds cannot be counted out…not yet. Avatar and Hurt could split the vote…but Bigelow wins Best Director.

  • 53 2-06-2010 at 10:36 am

    Rob Richie said...

    Writer Craighere seems to really under preferential voting — much more so than many reporters and bloggers. A picture first has to do well in first choice rankings — only at that point is it important to be ranked highly on a majority of ballots.

    Bottom line is that when it comes down to the final two movies, the winner will be the one that more voters prefer than the other. It’s as simple as that.

    By the way, I have no idea what Kris means when writing : “This year the Best Picture category (and only the Best Picture category) will use the preferential voting system rather than the standard weighted system to determine the winner”

    Hunh? No ‘standard weighted system.” The other system is the nominee with the most votes wins, even if that’s just 21% and 79% of voters really don’t like it. Given that in most categories you can win with less than 25% and can get nominated with less than 25%, you can get “upsets” that are actually poorly reflective of what most Academy voters want.