The Oscars are terrible when your favourite movie doesn’t win or when Gwyneth Paltrow does. But there is a reason your favourite didn’t win today and Marc Fennell knows why.
Monday, March 3, 2014 - 19:30

There are nearly 6000 people who decide who wins and who looses at the film industries night of nights. Oscar voters are nearly 77% male and 94% Caucasian.
The academy is broken down into branches. Actors, producers, special effects etc. Caucasians currently make up 90% or more of almost every one of the 14 academy branches.
But age is the real issue here. The median age of an Oscar voter is 62. Only half of academy voting actors have even appeared on screen in the last two years, and hundreds haven't worked in decades.
Back in 2011, Sony Pictures executives argued that the reason 'The Social Network' lost to 'The Kings Speech' for best picture is simply because old white men don’t get Facebook.
But Oscars don’t come cheap. These days the average cost to win yourself an Oscar is about $5 million. Last year, the makers of Silver Linings Playbook even hired Obama’s deputy campaign manager to help their chances.
And then there’s the vote itself - which is a big part of why sometimes Oscar wins can be a bit bland.
The Academy is one of the few parts of America to use preferential voting.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers literally print out every ballot - even if you voted online - and they stack them up according to who people put at the top of the list. You need over 51% to win.

Let’s say it’s a close year - and this year’s almost definitely was - you suddenly have 2-3 contenders. But none of them have that golden 51%.

So you then head to the other end of the list and take the movie with the least votes and see what was their 2nd preference. Then you redistribute the votes and you keep on redistributing shifting down the 3rd, 4th preferences until someone hits the 51% mark.

But often only a fraction of the winning votes were from people thinking it was the best. Most people thought it was 2nd or 3rd best.
So, no matter what you wanted from this year’s Oscars - it's important to remember that who wins an Oscar is not quite as simple as who is the most popular but who most voters think is OK.

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