Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"Better" Picture

Which method is superior for choosing the best movie: single transferable vote to plurality, or score voting? Really, last post didn't give enough data. So first: more data. A note though; I moved foreign films into the year of their U.S. release (since that's what determines eligibility for Best Picture). Films that appear in both columns are in bold.

Year Academy IMDB
2009 not yet determined partial result
  1. Up
  2. Star Trek
  3. The Hangover
2008 Slumdog Millionaire
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Milk
  • The Reader
  1. The Dark Knight
  2. WALL·E
  3. Slumdog Millionaire
  4. Gran Torino
  5. The Wrestler
  6. Lat den ratte komma in (Let the Right One In)
  7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  8. Vals Im Bashir (Waltz with Bashir)
  9. Ip Man
2007 No Country for Old Men
  • Atonement
  • Juno
  • Michael Clayton
  • There Will Be Blood
  1. No Country for Old Men
  2. There Will Be Blood
  3. Into the Wild
  4. The Bourne Ultimatum
  5. Ratatouille
  6. Le scaphandre et le papillon
2006 The Departed
  • Babel
  • Letters from Iwo Jima
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • The Queen
  1. Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others)
  2. The Departed
  3. El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan's Labrinth)
  4. The Prestige
  5. Children of Men
  6. Letters from Iwo Jima
2005 Crash
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Capote
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Munich
  1. Der Untergang (Downfall)
  2. Sin City
  3. Batman Begins
  4. V for Vendetta
2004 Million Dollar Baby
  • The Aviator
  • Finding Neverland
  • Ray
  • Sideways
  1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  2. Hotel Rwanda
  3. Million Dollar Baby
  4. Tasogara Seibei (The Twilight Samurai)
  5. The Incredibles
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • Lost in Translation
  • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
  • Mystic River
  • Seabiscuit
  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  2. Oldboy
  3. Kill Bill: Vol. 1
  4. Finding Nemo
2002 Chicago
  • Gangs of New York
  • The Hours
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • The Pianist
  1. Cidade de Deus (City of God)
  2. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  3. The Pianist
  4. Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)
2001 A Beautiful Mind
  • Gosford Park
  • In the Bedroom
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Moulin Rouge!
  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  2. Le fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain (Amelie)
  3. Donnie Darko
  4. Amores Perros (Love's a Bitch)
  5. Dil Chahta Hai (Do Your Thing)
2000 Gladiator
  • Chocolat
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • Erin Brockovich
  • Traffic
  1. Memento
  2. Requiem for a Dream
  3. Gladiator
  4. Snatch

So, take some time, look at, and see if it tells you anything. (Note: there are additional categories for "Best Animated Feature" and "Best Foreign Feature", which might explain some of that disparity. But there isn't a "Best Adapted Comic Book Feature".)

Our lone commentary from the last post mentioned that they were upset that Shawshank Redemption didn't win best picture in 1994; you'll be happy to know then that, according to IMDB, it's the greatest movie of all time.

Now, if you like IMDB's results, please ask yourself: if it works so well for movies, why wouldn't it work for elections? If the best method for picking a winner out of dozens and dozens of choices is score voting, why wouldn't it work for picking between two; or, do we only get to decide between two because we don't use a better system to decide?

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