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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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