Behind the Scenes: How the Best Picture Winners are Chosen at the Oscars

How the Best Picture Winners are Chosen at the Oscars
Written by Editor N4GM

The Academy Awards, commonly known as the Oscars, recognize and celebrate the outstanding achievements of artists in the film industry and are widely considered the most prestigious awards ceremony in the whole film industry.

Winning an Oscar is an ultimate goal that many in the business aspire to achieve, as it’s considered an honorable validation of hard work and talent.

Why bother with the Oscars?

From the highly anticipated ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’, to the ‘Top Gun’ revival and the absolutely stunning ‘The Whale’ bringing Brendan Fraser back into the limelight, the 2023 Oscar winners alone were incredible. Whether you’re feeling nostalgic and want to re-live past winners or keep up-to-date with the latest offerings in cinema, the Oscars help whittle out your best options. In ExpressVPN’s blog piece, you can see some of the absolute best from the 2023 nominees that are sure to provide something to suit your personal taste.

Who gets to vote, and how are they selected?

All nominations and voting are conducted by AMPAS, which comprises over 9,000 members covering 17 branches of the film industry. Membership to AMPAS is limited; it’s invitation only, with sponsorship from current members required to get in.

The voting process timeline

The Oscars involve a complex voting process that involves multiple rounds to reach the final decisions.

In the first round, each branch of AMPAS puts forward its nominees for the respective categories. Once the nominees have been announced, excluding Best Picture, all members are eligible to vote across the board, regardless of category.

For Best Picture, members must vote by ranking the nominees in order of preference. These votes are then tallied, and the nominee with the least number of first-choice votes is eliminated, with their votes transferred to the remaining nominees based on voters’ second-choice preferences. This process continues until one nominee receives over 50% of the total votes.

The quality of the film, the level of critical reception received, box office success, significant cultural relevance, and even the politics of the film industry affect how AMPAS members vote.

The significance of winning the Best Picture award

The significance of winning the Best Picture award
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Winning an Oscar is undeniably the most prestigious honor anyone in the film industry can receive throughout their career. This significant achievement can boost sales, skyrocket careers, and attract new audiences.

There have been some incredible winners of this award over the years, as can be seen on the list of all past winners provided by imdb.com.

The Best Picture award is often seen as a valid representation of its time’s cultural and social values. Many films that have won Best Picture, like Parasite (2019) and Terms of Endearment (1983), have gone on to become cultural touchstones that reflect the concerns and issues of their era. 

Controversies and Criticisms of the Oscars:

Controversies and Criticisms of the Oscars
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The Oscars most certainly don’t come without controversy and criticism, as this CBC article explains. Despite being considered immensely prestigious, AMPAS has faced numerous challenges over the years.

One of the main criticisms surrounding the Oscars is the need for more diversification of award nominees and AMPAS membership. For many years AMPAS was criticized for its overwhelmingly white and male representation, with a lack of diversity being an obvious issue.

However, there have been steps to rectify this in recent years. These include introducing new eligibility requirements to welcome diversity and including more Best Picture nominees to allow recognition of a more diverse range of films.

Which Oscar movie gets your vote?

Regardless of the negative criticism received over the years, the Oscars are the ultimate goal for anyone in the film industry. The significance of winning an Oscar cannot be understated, as its impact on deserving winners is substantial. Furthermore, it is a brilliant representation and recognition of some of the best pieces of film ever made.

Ultimately, depending on personal preference, you can choose any Oscar-worthy winner and be treated to something truly spectacular.

About the author

Editor N4GM

He is the Chief Editor of n4gm. His passion is SEO, Online Marketing, and blogging. Sachin Sharma has been the lead Tech, Entertainment, and general news writer at N4GM since 2019. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online technicality flows the expert industry coverage he provides. In addition to writing for Technical issues, Sachin also provides content on Entertainment, Celebs, Healthcare and Travel etc... in n4gm.com.

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