The Critics Versus Oscar

wrestler.jpgWhen people talk about Oscar snubs, they’re usually speaking emotionally. But we can quantify snubs, at least when it comes to Best Picture.

You’ll need to accept one major assumption: that critics in the aggregate are good arbiters of the quality of films.

Here is a list of movies — the Best Picture nominees (in bold), other serious contenders, and a few never-weres — ranked by their combined scores from Rotten Tomatoes (listed first) and Metacritic:

WALL•E (96, 93: 189)
Slumdog Millionaire (95, 86: 181)
The Wrestler (98, 81: 179)
Milk (93, 84: 177)
The Dark Knight (94, 82: 176)
Iron Man (93, 79: 172)
Frost/Nixon (91, 80: 171)
Rachel Getting Married (87, 82: 169)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (88, 78: 166)
Kung Fu Panda (88, 73: 161)
Ghost Town (83, 72: 155)
Tropic Thunder (83, 71: 154)
In Bruges (81, 67: 148)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (72, 70: 142)
The Reader (60, 58: 118)

We all know that certain types of movies are Oscar-y and others aren’t, but consider the excitement around a Best Picture lineup of WALL•E, Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler, Milk, and The Dark Knight.


Which of these would you have most liked to see nominated for Best Picture?

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I think, with that simple word, you’ve perfectly summed up the feeling of late-season film releases. Yes, this is discussed every year, beginning roughly in late November and ending when the nominations are announced.

For another look at this, check out:

Snubs? Did I say snubs? Errr ... yes, in fact.

I don’t actually give a shit about Oscar snubs. I look at the Oscars with bemused detachment, and am thankful when I have any rooting interest at all. I simply enjoy reducing pointless emotional arguments to numbers and therefore settling them once and for all.

The world is much more neat this way.

I usually keep my picks and predictions very separate, since any time an actor directs the Academy gives sympathy votes, and their tastes in plot are predictable.

Using that logic, Gran Torino and Changeling would be Best Picture nominees.

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