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Spiteful, Undervoting Academy Members to Do Not Much of Anything

There are various reports making the rounds today of crabby Academy members intentionally ignoring the directions on their Oscar ballots in hopes of damaging the chances of their favorite film's competition. This year, voters have been asked to rank, in order of preference, the names of all ten Best Picture nominees, though some seem to think if they pick only one movie it will improve its chances at the expense of another's.

Which isn't to say that undervoting couldn't make a (tiny) difference! Say Avatar and Hurt Locker really are this year's neck-and-neck front-runners, and a bunch of voters ranking either film No. 1 neglect to rank any others. This would presumably make it easier for something like Inglourious Basterds or Up in the Air to win in an upset, assuming it had the benefit of enough No. 2 and No. 3 votes in addition to its core supporters' No. 1 ones. This is unlikely, but it's probably the scenario that played out in Harvey Weinstein's fortune teller's crystal ball.

Which isn't to say that undervoting couldn't make a (tiny) difference! Say Avatar and Hurt Locker really are this year's neck-and-neck front-runners, and a bunch of voters ranking either film No. 1 neglect to rank any others. This would presumably make it easier for something like Inglourious Basterds or Up in the Air to win in an upset, assuming it had the benefit of enough No. 2 and No. 3 votes in addition to its core supporters' No. 1 ones. This is unlikely, but it's probably the scenario that played out in Harvey Weinstein's fortune teller's crystal ball.


Dirty Dealings with the Academy’s Preferential Ballots [Awards Daily]
Voting for Only One Film: an Effective Strategy? [Ask Steve/Wrap]
Notes on the town: Voter confusion clouds Oscar race [Notes on a Season/LAT]

Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images