This year is different. For the first time in my 31 years, this time I've seen all 10 best-picture nominees, a fact that makes me a little proud and a little embarrassed. But whether it's a sign that I'm on top of the popular culture, or a sign that I need some new hobbies and a life, the fact that I've seen them all helps improve my picks a little. Also helping is that this year, I have a foolproof* method: math.
*Note: May not actually be foolproof. Probably isn't foolproof.
After every movie I watched this year, I went to Rotten Tomatoes and gave it a personal rating out of five stars. RT stores that info, so I can go back and remember my exact impression of each movie after seeing it. It also gives a percentage average for how critics liked each movie, and how audiences liked it. My formula is simple: I convert my star rating to a percentage and then come up with the average overall score for each movie. (You'll see what I mean, below.) I like this formula because it gives equal weight to my own rating, critics' rating, and audience ratings. Since I'm just one person, my personal opinion carries a lot more weight in this formula than the hundreds of critics and thousands of audience members, whose opinions are all diluted by each other's. Also, since I'm working off of star ratings, my rating is much more volatile — the difference between 4 stars and 3.5 stars is 10%. So while my pick probably won't be the ultimate winner, it maintains a personal flavor while still factoring in what critics thought and what audiences thought.
OK, here's the breakdown, ranked from highest overall score (i.e., my prediction for best picture winner) to lowest. And the winner is... (You'll have to scroll down because for some reason Blogspot is reading my HTML table weird...)
|Title||My star rating out of 5||My rating as a percentage||Critics' rating||Audience rating||Average rating — overall score|
|Toy Story 3||4||80||99||91||90|
|The Social Network||4||80||97||89||88⅔|
|The King's Speech||3.5||70||95||95||86⅔|
|The Kids Are All Right||4||80||95||73||82⅔|