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Oscar Talk Episode 23: Last Phase Tricky Campaign and Voting Issues

Oscar Talk Episode 23: Last Phase Tricky Campaign and Voting Issues

Thompson on Hollywood

On Oscar Talk 23, Kris Tapley and I chew over the last phase of this year’s Oscar campaigns and issues surrounding the email misstep by rookie The Hurt Locker producer Nicholas Chartier and any impact it could have on the race. We both have problems with the preferential ballot process, as Academy members try to figure it out.

And we debate documentary features (The Cove vs. Which Way Home) and shorts (The Last Truck vs. Rabbit a la Berlin) and live action shorts (The New Tenant and The Door vs. Kavi) and foreign films (The White Ribbon vs. A Prophet). And I explain why I keep flip-flopping on Bullock vs. Streep. It’s a close race, in my humble opinion. Kris disagrees.

And here’s a shocker: Titanic and Avatar producer Jon Landau has been turned down by the Academy, twice! How can this be?

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I don’t agree with Kris’s reasoning that the best picture nomination for The Blind Side sealed the deal for Bullock. TBS was probably the 10th spot and what if Julie & Julia ended up 11th?
I still say Streep wins. Just like when Hepburn won her 2nd lead, it was when she was 60 and also based her performance on her mother. Streep seems to win Oscars for movies where her name is in the title “Sophie” Kramer” :)


I agree with you that the Best Actress race is a tight one and I am surprised that most pundits are so convinced that Sandra Bullock is as much as a lock as Bridges, Waltz and M’onique for their categories.

Informal polls seem to show that the race is more split than most realize:
Pete Hammond over at the envelope says it is a 4 way race, citing studio polls.
“But as for the lead actress race? All over the map. That’s what I have found too in my own informal polling, which is very interesting since most pundits seem to be favoring Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side” as almost the same kind of lock as the other actors. I don’t know where the evidence for this level of confidence is. ”


yes, they could. but they will lose. With the new system voting with your heart is the best option in all scenarios. Lets say you think Heart locker is the second best film of the year, but Avatar is no`1- in that case if you put heart locker at no` 10 you do not improve the chances of Avater at all. all you do is reduce the chances of Heart locker in the case that Avatar does not win, therefore you hurt yourself.
True, there is`nt much experience with this system of counting votes in movie awards (and I am a very poor predictor of the academy), but there are a lot of examples from elections (I am a graduate student of political science): in Australia for example they use a preferential ballot in state elections. Preferential vote is the best system of finding the true winner in multi-choice elections, and is the system with the least incentive to strategic-manipulative vote.


no. you simply don`t understand. it is impossible to manipulate the vote in the preferential ballot. the preferential vote is the only voting system where the best strategy, no matter what, is to rank the movies according to your true and honest, preference. your no` 2 vote will not be counted unless your no`1 preference has been eliminated. you have nothing to lose by voting to your true favorite.
the old “vote just for one” vote is the dishonest system where you are encouraged to vote to one of two media favorites only. the old system is the manipulative system that gives incentive to strategic voting.

Anne Thompson

well, people who only vote for one may be throwing their possible second and third and fourth choices away. People who might have put Avatar at two instead of ten would have an impact as well–supposed all the people at Fox put Inglourious basterds and Hurt Locker at the bottom of their list, all the people at Weinstein Co put Avatar and Hurt Locker, etc. If everyone follows the rules and votes their heart it’s fine. but will they?

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