How Oscar Voting Really Works: Critics’ Top 10 Lists Would Produce These 7 Best Picture Nominees

Steve Pond

Oscars voting begins on Thursday and runs through Tuesday, Jan. 7, a six-day voting period that is the shortest ever for members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. And with the start of voting, that means it’s time for another annual tradition: I’ll explain how Oscar voting really works. This time around, I’m going to use the Oscar process — which the Academy calls preferential voting but is more widely known as ranked-choice voting — to re-count the critics’ Top 10 lists compiled on the Metacritic website. At the point that I did my count, the site included 215 lists that indicated the critic’s top 10 films in order of preference. Note: While many of the critics’ favorites will also probably be Academy faves, I’m not doing this to predict what will be actually get a Best Picture nomination. Critics and Oscar voters are completely different beasts, with different agendas and different tastes. Academy members are likely to give more support to, say, “1917,” “Ford v Ferrari,” “Jojo Rabbit” and “The Two Popes” than the critics did, and they may well be less enamored of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” “Transit” and “The Souvenir ” (assuming...

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