We’re at that point in the Oscar process, where the backlash is full swing against frontunner “La La Land” (see Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s op-ed in THR about the film’s “bigoted message”), we’re a bit tired of the entire process, and we kind of just wish everything was over already. But there’s still a week and change to go until the ceremony, and then another day or two of outrage (or not) depending on who wins (or doesn’t). As we learned from this weekend’s Grammy Awards, nearly every show of this type is flawed, no approach is perfect, and that giving trophies to honor the “best” in art, is an entirely subjective affair. However, when it comes to the Oscars, it’s almost tailor made to ensure that the most popular movie wins, not necessarily the best.
Vox has a fascinating video essay which breaks down the new rules when it comes how Academy votes are counted, and basically it goes like this: since 2009, the Academy has used instant run-off voting, which means that those movies that get the broadest support beat out films that might have more first place votes. In essence, the most popular film will come out on top, however, it might be at the expense of more artistic or daring work.
Again, there is no solution to voting that will make everyone happy, but if you’re wondering why “La La Land” wins everything in just over a week from now, you’ll know why.