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It was awards geek heaven yesterday when it was announced that Entertainment Weekly is going to invite more than 7,000 Hollywood industry folk to re-vote on past Oscar races.

Anne Thompson of Variety writes:

EW wants to test which movies stand the test of time. With the benefit of hindsight, did the right films and performances win over the past 25 years? To look at 1998, will Robert Begnini still beat Tom Hanks? Will Shakespeare in Love still beat Saving Private Ryan? Will Gwenyth Paltrow still beat Cate Blanchett?

Monday EW is mailing out the ballot so folks can vote in six major categories for five given years spaced five years apart – 2003, 1998, 1993, 1988, and 1983. I assume this is to keep the ballots from not being overwhelming to voters (who might then not do them), and so they can keep doing this for the next five years, and include it in one of their half dozen Oscar cover stories (I’m not complaining there).


Each ballot is numbered for security, says EW, but will be treated anonymously. All ballots will be tabulated securely by the Scantron Corporation and the results will be revealed in January 2009. Not only is this is the largest survey of its kind, but it has never been done before. [EW’s Sean] Smith and an intern worked full-time for six months, from January to June, to assemble a list of 7000 industry professionals who match in many ways the diversity and scale of the Academy voting membership–assuming some of the ballots never get returned–without looking at an actual Academy list, Smith insists. He wanted to keep it pure.

“We built it from scratch,” says Smith. EW reporters and editors scrolled through their rollidexes. They added everyone who had ever been nominated or won an Oscar, and crew members of films that grossed over $100 million. They looked at news reports of Hollywood people who had been added to the Oscar ranks in recent years. They culled creative directories for execs, producers, publicists, editors, costume designers, art directors, directors, cinematographers, writers, animators, sound mixers, composers–all the categories covered by the Academy.

EW made one HUGE change. They invited top film (not TV) agents, who are not permitted to belong to the Academy, to join the list of Oscar revoters. And Smith thinks his list may skew younger than the Academy membership. “We’re not trying to duplicate the Academy,” he says. “What do people working in the film industry think about these Oscar-winning movies now?”

As I’m sure you expected, my imaginary ballot would look something like what’s after the jump.

My choices, chosen ONLY from the nominees which are often a pretty sorry state.


Picture – The Right Stuff
Director – Igmar Bergman, Fanny & Alexander
Actor – Robert Duvall, Tender Mercies
Actress – Shirley MacLaine, Terms of Endearment
Supporting Actor – Jack Nicholson, Terms of Endearment
Supporting Actress – Cher, Silkwood


Picture – Working Girl
Director – Mike Nichols, Working Girl
Actor – Tom Hanks, Big
Actress – Glenn Close, Dangerous Liaisons
Supporting Actor – Dean Stockwell, Married to the Mob
Supporting Actress – Sigourney Weaver, Working Girl


Picture – Schindler’s List
Director – Steven Spielberg, Schindler’s List
Actor – Anthony Hopkins, The Remains of the Day
Actress – Holly Hunter, The Piano
Supporting Actor – Ralph Fiennes, Schindler’s List
Supporting Actress – Winona Ryder, The Age of Innocence


Picture – Saving Private Ryan
Director – Steven Spielberg, Saving Private Ryan
Actor – Ian McKellen, Gods and Monsters
Actress – Fernanda Montenegro, Central Station
Supporting Actor – Billy Bob Thornton, A Simple Plan
Supporting Actress – Kathy Bates, Primary Colors


Picture – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Director – Fernando Meirelles, City of God
Actor – Bill Murray, Lost in Translation
Actress – Charlize Theron, Monster
Supporting Actor – Tim Robbins, Mystic River
Supporting Actress – Holly Hunter, Thirteen

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