The New Yorker’s Richard Brody believes that the majority of round one votes will fall overwhelmingly in Avatar’s favor:
Hendrik Hertzberg‚Äôs Comment a few weeks ago on the change in voting method for Best Picture that the Academy instituted this year, when it expanded that category to include ten candidates, shows how this may be so. His demonstration of how the system will work begins: ‚ÄúIn the unlikely event that a picture gets an outright majority of first-choice votes, the counting‚Äôs over.‚Äù That‚Äôs what I think will happen: ‚ÄúAvatar‚Äù will get a majority of the votes. The Academy, or, rather, its members, will not be able to argue with two-and-a-half billion dollars, or, for that matter, with the movie that makes the big-screen experience indispensable again.
Hitfix’s Gregory Ellwood has listed his predictions. The bad news is, they’re buried under a mess of traffic-baiting links. Such things I have not the time for right now but you can see them by clicking over to Hitfix. Nonetheless, here is his main point about Avatar (he’s got Avatar for Picture, both sound categories — director goes to Bigelow, he thinks):
Even before the bizarre events of “Lockergate” broke last week, casual inquiries among Oscar voters found the guild-favorite “Hurt Locker” being pushed aside by the pop culture momentum of “Avatar.” Kathryn Bigelow’s thriller had swept the Director’s Guild, Producer’s Guild, Editor’s Guild Awards and even won the British Academy Award for Best Picture, but most Academy members would react with a blunt “Well, of course I’m voting for ‘Avatar'” when asked about their top choice. And the passionate “Locker” supporters? Much harder to find.
Complicating matters, according to Awards Campaign’s sources, usually only a quarter of voters submit their ballots during the first week. Most of the time, a boatload of ballots arrive at the last minute meaning a majority of the Academy take their time contemplating who to vote for. That may be the nail in the coffin for “Locker” during this extended season with the “Avatar”¬†train hardly slowing down.
So, will the critic’s favorite survive the recent controversy for an improbable Academy triumph or will James Cameron’s $2.4 billion phenomenon cap off a spectacular three months at the box office with the director’s second Best Picture in row?
Quite simply, the game changer takes it all.
As far as I know, David Poland, Greg Ellwood and Coming Soon’s Ed Douglas are all predicting Avatar to win.