Will 'Inglourious Basterds' make the Best Picture Oscar ballot? Call it bad luck or foolish optimism, but the decision by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to double the size of its Best Picture Oscar field from five to 10 nominees this year has put it at risk of not having a full ballot when nominations are announced Feb. 2. And it has given itself an absolute assurance of having nominees that don't belong.

The Academy's screwy preferential voting system begins by separating ballots by movies listed first. Every ballot with 'Avatar' as No. 1, for instance, goes in one stack, every one with 'The Hurt Locker' first goes in another, and so on. That's no problem for those two movies, or for 'Inglourious Basterds,' 'Up in the Air' and 'Precious,' all slam-dunk Best Picture nominees.
categories Oscars