AMPAS Antics

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (aka the AMPAS) has invited 135 various sorts to join their rag tag crew.  And the names of interest are:

Tobin Bell – “Saw,” “The Firm”
Vera Farmiga – “Up in the Air,” “The Departed”
Miguel Ferrer – “Traffic,” “RoboCop”
James Gandolfini – “In the Loop,” “Get Shorty”
Anna Kendrick – “Up in the Air,” “Twilight”
Mo’Nique – “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” “Phat Girlz”
Carey Mulligan – “An Education,” “Public Enemies”
Jeremy Renner ‚Äì ‚ÄúThe Hurt Locker,‚Äù ‚Äú28 Weeks Later”
Ryan Reynolds – “The Proposal,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”
LaTanya Richardson Jackson – “Mother and Child,” “Losing Isaiah”
Peter Riegert – “Traffic,” “Crossing Delancey”
Sam Robards – “A.I. Artificial Intelligence,” “American Beauty”
Saoirse Ronan – “The Lovely Bones,” “Atonement”
Zoe Saldana – “Avatar,” “Star Trek”
Adam Sandler – “Funny People,” “Punch-Drunk Love”
Peter Sarsgaard ‚Äì ‚ÄúAn Education,‚Äù “Boys Don‚Äôt Cry”
Gabourey Sidibe – “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
Shaun Toub – “Iron Man,” “The Kite Runner”
Christoph Waltz – “Inglourious Basterds”
George Wyner – “A Serious Man,” “American Pie 2”

I think I just don’t have any room left in my brain’s hard drive to tackle this thing, that must explain why I choose not to think about it. Good thing others are. The folks over at Film School Rejects have worked it all out – thanks to reader Loyal who brought it to our attention. They’ve clarified in a way a dolt like me almost understands. Starting with:

The Problem

The reason for the new system is fairly simple. With 10 Best Picture nominees, and (for the sake of simplification) 6,000 votes, it would technically only take 601 votes for a movie to win Best Picture (if one film got 599 votes, and the eight others all got 600). That movie would have a clear plurality which is all that was required to win under the old system. The problem with this is fairly obvious and two-fold:

  • A movie earning just over 10% of the Academy‚Äôs favor winning is absurd. And, in my even-more-absurd example, the film wins with just one vote. Not exactly a huge margin of meaningful victory.

We know it’s happened before. We just know it. They continue:

Continue reading…

Thanks to Craig over at LiC for the tip-off that first, Steve Pond (Oscar guy who wrote for The Envelope – often has the inside scoop on the goings on within the Academy, and almost always pro-Academy, in my opinion, not that there’s anything wrong with that) has written that there will be a change in Oscar’s final vote for Best Pic — it all makes my girly head spin but why don’t you give it a shot:

Instead of just voting for one nominee, the way Academy members have almost always done on the final ballot, voters will be asked to rank all 10 nominees in order of preference — and the results will be tallied using the complicated preferential system, which has been used for decades during the nominating process but almost never on the final ballot.

As a result, a film could be the first choice of the largest number of voters, but find itself nudged out of the top prize by another movie that got fewer number one votes but more twos and threes.

It sounds crazy, but there’s good reason to make the change at a time when dividing the vote among an expanded slate of 10 nominees could otherwise allow a film to win with fewer than 1,000 votes (out of the nearly 6,000 voting members).


Voters will be asked to rank the 10 best picture nominees in order of preference, one through 10. Davis says that the category will be listed on a special section of the Oscar ballot, detachable from the rest so that a separate team of PricewaterhouseCoopers staffers can undertake the more complicated tabulation process.

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“These individuals are all incredibly talented and a credit to the world of filmmaking,” said Academy President Sid Ganis. “They exemplify the high standards of the Academy and I welcome each and every one of them to our ranks.”

The membership policies that the Academy adopted in 2004 in order to slow the growth of the organization would have allowed a maximum of 137 new members in 2008, but as in the previous years, the various branch committees sometimes endorsed fewer candidates than were proposed to them. Voting membership in the organization has now held steady at just under 6,000 members since 2003.

The new voting members of the Academy, full list after the jump:

Sacha Baron Cohen
Josh Brolin
Marion Cotillard
Ruby Dee
Allison Janney
Jet Li
Ray Winstone

Continue reading…

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