Best in Show: 2012 Oscars Edition

Happy Monday, folks! I hope that you’re less sleep-deprived than I am today. Let’s do a quick Oscar recap, as I’m hoping to get a nap in before The Voice airs tonight, which only reinforces how squarely I’m in the Oscars’ demographic.

Now, first things first: I went 14 for 24 in my Oscar picks, losing in most of the tech/short film categories. I did not anticipate Hugo sweeping ALL of the tech awards, and most of my short film picks were blind guesses. I won’t get too upset. (How’d you do?)

And now a few other thoughts:

  • Host: I’ve read some backlash against Billy Crystal this morning, and frankly, I’m surprised. Folks, what did you expect? He sang a medley, he put himself into each Oscar movie, he cracked some jokes about baseball and George Clooney, and he generally worked the room like a comedian. Which is, you know, what he is, and how he’s hosted the past eight times. But he was consistently funny; maybe not gut-busting, but I laughed several times, and I’m not expecting my Oscar hosts to completely alter the face of entertainment. That’s pretty much all I need. Some laughs.
  • Upsets: Not so many, really; when Meryl Streep is considered an “upset,” it’s not exactly a year of surprises. I almost picked Woody Allen’s screenplay for Midnight in Paris – remember, it was my “Should Win”? – but I chickened out. That’s on me. Apparently the editing award going to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a shock to those who really know these things, but at that point, we’re splitting the hairs awfully fine for the rest of us.
  • Best and Worst Dressed: Jessica Chastain’s dress grew on me as the night wore on; it was really quite stunning, and I’m sure that gold thread was amazing in person. As for the worst, well, it’s never a good idea to wear a shirt-dress to the Oscars, even – nay, particularly – when it’s covered in two-toned sequins. Sorry, Melissa Leo.
  • Thank you, Internet: Okay, two things: First of all, Angelina Jolie’s right leg now has its own Twitter feed. Also, this happened. Maybe I’m just overly tired, but I think these are wonderful developments. Secondly, if you were waiting for a bat-you-know-what story to emerge from the Oscar festivities, I bring you “Sean Young arrested after Oscars, faces misdemeanor battery charges after citizen’s arrest at Governor’s Ball.” Do with it what you will.

What were your thoughts, b-rollers?


  1. 14 of 24. Very good, and a lot better than me. Don’t know that is is going to be one of those years that’s looked back on with a “wow” factor (like 1939, 1950, 1952, 1953 etc), but not a bad year for flicks.

    1. Let’s take a look at how this would work. First we will agree on one thing:40% preefr Harry Potter over Star Trek (40% Harry Potter > Star Trek)60% Star Trek over Harry Potter (60% Star Trek > Harry Potter)Now let’s add a third movie, but we will keep the above the same (pairwise)Rank 1 2 340% Harry Potter > Angels & Demons > Star Trek35% Angels & Demons > Star Trek > Harry Potter25% Star Trek > Harry Potter > Angels & DemonsYou can see that 40% still preefr Harry Potter over Star Trek, and 60% (35% + 25%) preefr Star Trek over Harry Potter.Let’s run this through IRV.In IRV, the movie with the lowest votes gets eliminated and the voters second choice gets distributed.Star Trek has the lowest votes, so it is eliminated, thus transferring 25 votes to Harry Potter.Giving us:Harry Potter 40 + 25(transferred) = 65Angels and Demons = 35Harry Potter WINS!? Even though 60% preefrred Star Trek over Harry PotterNow let’s look at how getting MORE votes can cause you to loose!Number of votes1st Preference2nd Preference39 Star Trek> Harry Potter35 Harry Potter> Angels and Demons26 Angels and Demons > Star TrekIn this example, Angels and Demons is eliminated, thus transferring 26 votes to Star Trek:Number of votes1st Preference2nd Preference39 Star Trek> Harry Potter35 Harry Potter> Angels and Demons26 Star Trek39+26 = 65 for Star Trek 35 for Harry Potter. STAR TREK IS THE WINNER.But before the voting, a big push was made by the studio and convinced many people who wold have voted Harry Potter first, to rank Star Trek 1st, and Harry Potter 2nd. They got got 10 MORE VOTES, that would have voted for HP. Look at it now:Number of votes1st Preference2nd Preference49 Star Trek> Harry Potter25 Harry Potter> Angels and Demons26 Angels and Demons > Star TrekWith IRV, the movie with the least number of votes is eliminated. Now Harry Potter is eliminated thus transferring 25 votes to Angels and Demons.Number of votes1st Preference2nd Preference49 Star Trek> Harry Potter25 Angels and Demons26 Angels and Demons > Star Trek49 for Star Trek 25+26=51 for Angels and Demons. ANGELS AND DEMONS IS THE WINNER!????This is IRV’s non-monotonicity effect, the anomaly where by voting for your favorite can hurt your favorite. This is well know and admitted by FairVote and has been the subject of a federal lawsuit with more to come. Unless the Academy and Hugo releases the vote totals afterwards, then you can never see if these anomalies happen.

  2. Show me the person who disses Billy Crystal and you will know they do not appreciate smart humor and good comedians, and I want to beat them up!

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