Two days ago in a Gurus of Gold chat thread, a guy named Keil Shults observed that “[some of the Gurus] seem really determined to keep The King’s Speech at #1, despite all the evidence to the contrary.” And then a guy named movielocke explained the factors and the math. Reading it made me want to throw up, but he’s probably not wrong.
“Keil, it is simple math,” he said. “Inception, Social Network and Black Swan have lots of people [who] don’t like them. Toy Story has plenty of Academy members who will even refuse to see it because it is animated and therefore not a ‘real’ film. The Fighter has people who aren’t crazy about it and the director has a reputation for being a horrible person. The Kids Are All Right is gay and seems small in scope. Winter’s Bone and The Town don’t feel like real winners.
“But what really matters is that the voting for Best Picture is Instant Runoff. That means you do NOT win by being the most popular. You win by a combination of two factors — (a) Being well liked enough to last through the first five rounds of vote elimination, and (b) Being well liked enough so that on average you have a higher vote than the other film.
“The math says that no divisive film will never ever win Best Picture, unless there is a year where only divisive films are nominated.
“Every year that instant runoff is used, the film that wins will be the film that the vast majority of academy members just cannot vote lower than 5th. Last year that movie was The Hurt Locker.
“This year, The Hurt Locker slot movie is The King’s Speech. No one will actively dislike the movie enough to vote it lower than sixth, so it is pretty much mathematically impossible that The King’s Speech will lose. Unless a concerted campaign is made to educate Academy members to vote strategically [in order to] vote The King’s Speech down.”