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Is the Best Picture at the Academy Awards Also the Best One for You?

Is the Best Picture at the Academy Awards Also the Best One for You?

Some people choose the films to watch based on how many awards a movie gets nominated or receives — that must be a pretty handy reference to identify some of the most-worth-watching films, but can those awards references always get you the films that fit you best? Probably not.

There have been eighty-nine movies winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards including Forrest Gump, Titanic, The King’s Speech, this year’s The Shape of Water, and more. The award winning movies range from action films, drama, biographical film, sci-fi to fantasy etc. They are amazing films in their own genre, but when it comes to winning the Best Picture, they are competing against those in another genre. Interesting isn’t it?

What others define as Best Picture will not always be YOUR Best Picture.

The economic reporter Dan Kopf from Quartz went through 22 years of movie rankings from Metacritic, a website that evaluates and creates score for every critic’s review of major released films, and found a great difference between the films that got the highest score on the site and the Best Picture selected for the year.[1] Here are some of the findings Kopf got:

In 1998,

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  • Best Picture: Shakespeare in Love
  • Scored Higher: Saving Private Ryan

In 2002,

  • Best Picture: Chicago
  • Scored Higher: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; The Pianist

In 2005,

  • Best Picture: Crash
  • Scored Higher: Capote; Brokeback Mountain; Good Night, and Good Luck; Munich

In 2014,

  • Best Picture: Birdman
  • Scored Higher: Boyhood; Selma

Look at the nominees for the Best Picture each year, they’re always of different genres.

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Take the nominees in 2002 as an example, the winner Chicago is a musical criminal film while The Lord of the Rings is a fantasy film adapted from a novel and The Pianist is an adaptation of an autobiography. They are all unique in their own way but they’re competing for the same award. So it’s ambiguous to explain in what way Chicago is better than The Pianist or The Lord of the Rings.

In fact, the Best Picture is determined based on Preferential Ballot. So basically, voters rate the Best Picture nominees in order of preference. All the ballots are put in nine piles based on people’s number one choice. The stack with the fewest votes are eliminated until there’s a stack that gets over 50% of the votes and that’s the winner.[2]

In other words, the Best Picture is selected based on the public taste, and more specifically, the taste of people who go voting.

To choose what’s best for your needs, stop sticking to the award winning films.

There’re plenty of ways to help you choose a good movie to watch. For example, some amazing websites will point you in the direction of films that worth checking out. Besides Metacritic which I’ve mentioned earlier in this article, here’re a few more smart options for you:

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Jinni

Jinni can import ratings and likes from Facebook, the IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes and Flixter. It looks into the content you already like and suggest the good stuff to you based on your interests.

IMDB

IMDB has a strong internet movie database with 4,146,363 titles range from year 1874 to 2115.[3] You can check out the all-time top rated movies or the most popular feature films on the site easily. You can even go through some great movie lists based on the movie genre.

Letterboxd

With Letterboxd, you can track your movies watching, follow users who share similar movie interests with you and get tips about new movies. You may also want to check out the useful review from other users to help you find some good movies to watch.

Other than checking out the websites above, I also like to follow Facebook pages of some films production houses and joining online communities of film genres that I’m most interested in. While it’s easy for me to always catch up with the great movies of the genres I love, the online platform is a nice place to keep me posted with all the latest movies’ trailers. And there, I can always save the nice ones I’m interested in to watch them later.

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The next film you watch will be YOUR Best Picture.

Now you understand that the Best Pictures from the Academy Awards don’t always suit your needs and you know a lot more ways to find a good movie besides sticking to any award-winning movies.

Just start with your favorite genre and find some amazing movies to watch by taking some or all of my suggestions!

Reference

More by this author

Anna Chui

Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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