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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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