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

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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 Y.T. Chui

Anna is the Editor-in-Chief of Lifehack. She is also a communication expert and shares tips on happiness and relationships.

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