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New tweaks to the Best Picture nominee system make number of nominees a mystery

Jun. 15, 2011by: Mike Sampson

In the latest attempt by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to tweak and fine-tune the Best Picture race at the Oscars, the Academy yesterday voted to add a new element of surprise to the proceedings. Just a few years back it was announced that the field of nominees in the Best Picture category would be expanded to ten instead of five. Now, nobody knows how many films will be nominated.

A new system has been instituted wherein anywhere between five and ten films can be nominated for Best Picture in any given year. The public won't know how many films are nominated until the day the Best Picture nominees are announced in January.

Says Academy executive director Bruce Davis of the decision, "A Best Picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit. If there are only eight pictures that truly earn that honor in a given year, we shouldnt feel an obligation to round out the number." Huh. Well that makes sense. But how exactly do you figure out where the cut-off is?

With the assistance of accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Academy believes they've found a mathematical way to figure this out. The average percentage of first place votes received by the top movie (say THE KING'S SPEECH last year) was 20.5%. Now, only films that get at least 5% of first place votes will be considered nominees for Best Picture. That could be nine...but it could also be five. If that math was applied to last year's nominees, only nine films would've been contenders (sorry WINTER'S BONE).

What do you think of the changes? Honestly, I think it makes a lot of sense and will certainly spice up the Oscar predictions racket. The 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 5:30 a.m. PT.

Source: Oscars

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10:12AM on 06/15/2011

fuck the oscars

...who cares
...who cares
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6:31PM on 06/15/2011
hmm idk maybe a site about film culture and the people who visit it...
hmm idk maybe a site about film culture and the people who visit it...
10:33AM on 06/15/2011
I don't know what to think, to be honest. Ten is a lot of movies. Some might argue five is too few. I get that TDK got snubbed, but unless they nominated a director for every Best Picture nomination, having extra Best Pictures is pointless. I remember when the Best Director nomination didn't necessarily coincide with Best Picture (David Lynch for "Mulholland Drive"). Point there being an individual had potential to get awarded for directing even if the movie lacked that special...something. But
I don't know what to think, to be honest. Ten is a lot of movies. Some might argue five is too few. I get that TDK got snubbed, but unless they nominated a director for every Best Picture nomination, having extra Best Pictures is pointless. I remember when the Best Director nomination didn't necessarily coincide with Best Picture (David Lynch for "Mulholland Drive"). Point there being an individual had potential to get awarded for directing even if the movie lacked that special...something. But when five of the ten are also nominated for Best Director, those are the only five that actually have a prayer of winning. Never mind if "Inception" got nominated last year if they didn't nominate Christopher Nolan. I'd almost rather they go back to the way it was, even if fan favorites didn't make the cut.
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7:32PM on 06/15/2011
Wall-E was the one that was snubbed.
Wall-E was the one that was snubbed.
12:29PM on 06/15/2011
The Dark Knight did not get snubbed. There is no way in hell that was one of the best movies of that year.
The Dark Knight did not get snubbed. There is no way in hell that was one of the best movies of that year.
1:44PM on 06/15/2011
This is madness.
This is madness.
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2:02PM on 06/15/2011
Although i wish they would just keep it at 5 nominees this is a vast improvement on the 10 nominees rules a couple years ago. This could actually prove to be relatively exciting come january. Im on borad but only cuz its better than just a flat out 10 nominations
Although i wish they would just keep it at 5 nominees this is a vast improvement on the 10 nominees rules a couple years ago. This could actually prove to be relatively exciting come january. Im on borad but only cuz its better than just a flat out 10 nominations
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4:45PM on 06/15/2011

lame...

I say ditch a lot of the cateogorys and add new ones in such one for horror, sci-fi, that would be nice once in a while a good horror and sci-fi film come out.
I say ditch a lot of the cateogorys and add new ones in such one for horror, sci-fi, that would be nice once in a while a good horror and sci-fi film come out.
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+3
5:41PM on 06/15/2011
Personally I think this is a good change. Having ten nominees was just so pointless, especially since there usually aren't ten films a year that deserve that honor, which led to their being films in the last two batches of BP nominees that had no business being there. At least now they'll have to earn their spot with a decent amount of votes. However, this doesn't mean the Academy will make good choices.
Personally I think this is a good change. Having ten nominees was just so pointless, especially since there usually aren't ten films a year that deserve that honor, which led to their being films in the last two batches of BP nominees that had no business being there. At least now they'll have to earn their spot with a decent amount of votes. However, this doesn't mean the Academy will make good choices.
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9:19AM on 06/16/2011
I like this. It was overwhelming last year with 10. even just 8 or nine or 7 would be better especially if the films are truly deserved the nomination.
I like this. It was overwhelming last year with 10. even just 8 or nine or 7 would be better especially if the films are truly deserved the nomination.
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