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OSCAR: Hammond Polls Academy Voters

Pete Hammond

With ballots out and not due back until 5 PM on February 22nd, I decided to talk to a sampling of Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voters directly to see how they’re picking their winners. By doing this very unscientific survey in the past, I could gauge if an upset was coming. For instance, in 1992, I found that voters I spoke with were almost unanimously choosing long shot Marisa Tomei. Bingo. I won the Oscar pool with that prediction. In 2005, I found an overwhelming surge for Crash among all but one voter I canvassed. Similarly, just days before the 2007 Oscars, I found a groundswell of support for Marion Cotillard. For this Oscar year, I conducted my informal poll by phone or in person. So here are my findings to date: I am picking up some interesting trends. Not just the expected strong support for The King’s Speech (it’s real), but also a surprising amount of backing for The Fighter. It has been the most mentioned movie after The Social Network and could figure significantly by drawing mostly first- and second-place votes. The Social Network also drew many mentions. Although some of the people I spoke with have already cast their ballots, most have not (at least when I talked to them). Members are supposed to be discreet about revealing their voting, but many were generous in sharing their thought process at this point as long as they remain anonymous.

Here are some snapshots from the conversations:

Golden Globe-winning producer/director/actor: “I am … Read More »

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Oscar Nominations Ballots Mailing Today

Just a reminder that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences officially mails out its nominations ballots today to 5,755 voters for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. Those ballots have to be returned to PricewaterhouseCoopers when the polls close on January 14th at 5 PM PT. Ballots received after that deadline will not be counted. That’s so the Academy can announce its nominations live on January 25th and then telecast the Oscars live on February 27th. Nomination and final Awards ballots are tabulated by PricewaterhouseCoopers to ensure that all aspects of the balloting process are conducted with fairness and accuracy. Prior to mailing, the PricewaterhouseCoopers staff administers a thorough verification process to ensure that there are no duplicate ballots and that none are missing. In addition to being counted and sorted, the ballots are numbered to guarantee that each one is addressed to the appropriate Academy voter.

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