With the help of many smart readers, it looks like the Academy’s new way of selecting Best Picture does not seem too hard to figure out. Here, Dean simplifies it:
When thinking about how many nominees there are going to be ALL you have to think about is what will get 5% right away plus what piles (after a round of distributing surplus and under 1% votes) will have over 5% of ballots in the end.
Albert Einstein said that if you can’t explain something simply then you don’t understand it well enough. Here is my simplest explanation:
The final number of Best Picture nominees will probably be between 5 and 9. 5% of 6000 is 300. That is a high estimate of how many ballots will be turned in. Likely, we’re looking at a lower magic number. To reach that number of 300 you either have to have a film with enormous support (like 20% of number 1 votes) or else have enough votes heading into round two that, with the partial votes left over from the 20% ballots to reach 300.
Therefore, it seems most likely to me that, of the films I’ve seen, or others have seen, so far this year, those that should have no problem getting to 300 (or thereabouts) would be:
Midnight in Paris
And the ones coming up:
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Still wild cards:
We Bought a Zoo
The Ides of March
A Dangerous Method
Tree of Life
This is how I see the Best Picture race shaping up. I’ll probably end up predicting 9 nominees. Unless one of these films that hasn’t yet been seen, drops off. There is wiggle room for one or two surprises, but they’d have to be really stunning, enthusiastic ones.
But I’m more curious about what titles you would choose and why? Which ones can you imagine getting close to 300 votes, either by number 1 or by partial votes for number 2 and number 3 choices on a given ballot? How off do you think my choices are?