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More changes in Oscar's Best Picture race

As if the expansion of the Best Picture category from five nominees to ten weren't a big enough change, the Academy's executive director Bruce Davis told The Wrap yesterday that the voting and tabulation process for Best Picture will be changing this year too. Rather than each Academy member making a single choice for Best Picture, they'll be asked to rank their choices from 1 to 10. Any film receiving a majority of all first-place votes will be declared the winner. But if no film receives over 50% of the votes, then the lowest vote-getter will be eliminated, and the remaining ballots will be re-tabulated by second-place votes, and so on. The goal is to assure that the Best Picture will be a film that the bulk of the membership actually supports, and not one only favored by, say, a fifth. The downside to this method? It could remove any remaining Oscar-night surprise, assuring that the broadly admired juggernaut films win while the oddball films with just a few passionate supporters get shut out (even if they actually have the most first-place votes). Either way, this first year under the different rules should be... well, different.

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