When the Academy announced in June that the number of Best Picture nominees from increase from five to ten, I was skeptical. Although I still am skeptical, a recent announcement that the voting procedure for Best Picture has made me less worried.
The voting procedure (which is similar to how MLB selects the MVP, Cy Young Award – yes, I’m a nerd, I know) goes something like this:
In the past, once the nominees were announced, Academy members voted only for the one film they thought should win the award, and the film with the most votes won. But with so many nominees next year, it’s feasible that a movie could have won Best Picture with only 11 percent of the vote, which seems crazy. So now, once the 10 nominees are named, voters will rank the films from 1 to 10. All the No. 1 votes will be counted, and if no film has more than 50 percent of the vote (which seems highly unlikely), the last-place film will be eliminated and the voters who voted for that film will have their No. 2 votes counted instead. That process will continue until one film has a majority of the votes. […] there is a chance that the film that ends up winning won’t actually have the most No. 1 votes, but will instead emerge the victor in the second, third, or fourth rounds. […]
Make any sense? I had to read that a few times to understand it myself. Changing the voting procedure is the best way to ensure that the best film does indeed win. But until the actual awards ceremony in February and I see what happens, I’m still going to be apprehensive. How do you feel about this? Will it make any difference at all?