Another example of how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences cannot avoid controversy no matter what it does, details on how members will select the new system of ten Best Picture nominees were revealed today creating a ruckus among some online pundits. But before diving into that mess, some details on the new rules.
In previous years, the Academy rules stated that members voted for only one potential nominee in the Best Picture race each year (the one category all members can submit nominees for). The five nominees with the top five votes totals would be announced as eligible for Best Picture. However, when it came around to selecting the overall winner, the process was modified so members would vote in a ranked system placing each nominee in first, second, third (and so on) slots. This "preferential" system is meant to put just as much importance on the third place vote as a first place vote and ind a winner with broad support across the Academy (got that?). So, it's possible 2006 nominee "Brokeback Mountain" may have theoretically had more first place votes, but if "Crash" appeared on more ballots between 1-3 slots it was the winner (as was sadly the case).