Monday, 28 February 2011

And the winner is...

Last night saw the Academy Awards gift the King's Speech with several Oscars, and a good amount of positive reputation for British talent at the whole ceremony. However it interests me that Toby Young tweeted this before the awards...

@toadmeister
Best Picture is decided by AV. Does this mean the least offensive film will win rather than the best? #No2AV #Oscars2011

See the tweet here.

The nominee's were:

The King's Speech
Winter's Bone
127 Hours
The Kids Are Alright
True Grit
Toy Story 3
The Fighter
Inception
Black Swan
The Social Network.

We know now that the winner was, indeed, the King's Speech, however does it's win mean that it can only be classed as the least offensive film, not the best as well? I don't think so...

Let's imagine how the voting went, no-one does know how it went but for illustrative purposes it doesn't really matter what the reality is in showing that the King's Speech was...to those eligible to vote...the best film.

Voting via AV, let's assume that Toy Story 3 gained the least amount of votes in the first round. What this tells us is that a) Toy Story 3 was the least impressive film to the voters, and that the remaining films are the best of the rest.

Next round, The Kids are Alright goes, again showing that it is the least impressive film of what remains, while those still in the running are the best of the rest. Next round, Winter's Bone, then 127 Days. We are left with The King's Speech, Black Swan, Inception, The Social Network, and The Fighter. By still being here it has been decided that in head-to-head run-offs they are the best films.

The next film to be the least liked is The Fighter, with those who voted for it transferring their votes upwards, and then Inception goes. We can imagine this is actually a close race for the purposes of illustration, and so we are left with The King's Speech, Black Swan and The Social Network.

These three films are, clearly, the best films that are around by the fact that the "worst" films have been eliminated round by round. This is the final round and now Black Swan is eliminated, gifting the win to the King's Speech.

The King's Speech is the best film, in the final round it had more people voting for it as the better film than those who voted for any of it's head-to-head competitors..in the illustration this was just The Social Network.

If this was a FPTP result, where only two nominee's were picked then there would be no question that The King's Speech was the best film, yet for some reason because we've arrived at it by more comprehensively understanding how films relate to each other in the voter's eyes, and by ensuring that no film loses votes simply because of vote splitting, this is an indication of the film not being the best? Crazy.