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Oscars Best Picture Could Be Affected By New Format

Written by:
Jordan Bach
Published on:
Feb/28/2010

It's mostly being thought of as a battle between box office behemoth Avatar and the critically acclaimed The Hurt Locker, but a system incorporated for the first time since 1943 may open the field even further. 

There are 10 nominations for Oscars Best Picture this year and Academy members will be ranking their 10 choices for best picture in order of preference (1, 2, 3, etc).

Leo Hickman of the Guardian explains the system:

If no film is shown to be the first choice of a majority of voters, the film with the least first-choice votes is eliminated and the second choices of those voters are then distributed. This process continues until a winner has more than 50% of the votes. Gordon Brown recently revealed he wants much the same change to the British voting system.

Iain McLean, professor of politics at Nuffield College, Oxford, tells the Guardian that the so-called instant runoff system can hurt those films with a lot of second place preferences. 

For example, even if a film such as A Serious Man received the most second-choice votes, it might be eliminated in the early stages if it received very few first-choice votes. Some have argued that if arthouse films do get knocked out, The Hurt Locker is more likely to benefit than Avatar.

betED.com was offering the following Oscars Best Picture odds:

Up in the Air

+3300

 

Inglorious Basterds

+1100

 

Avatar

-110

 

Precious

+5000

 

The Hurt Locker

-130

 

Up

+5000

Jordan Bach, Gambling911.com

 

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