Two noted Oscarologists have decidedly different points of view when it comes to the predictive value of the aggregation by MetaCritic of the top 10 lists from various reviewers. “The Social Network” leads the running tally, with 21 first place finishes so far and a score of 129.
For Ryan Adams (Awards Daily), giving bonus points to the top two picks of each critic, “represents a miniature simplified version of the Academy’s own preferential ballot, where the predominant weight of 1st and 2nd place slots can obliterate the polarizing effect of naysayers.” And, as Ryan explains, “It show us that fervent admirers who feel a movie is a perfect ’100′ can easily overcome the bashing of negative appraisals that sometimes wreck a film’s overall average score. It demonstrates how a movie that may have harsh detractors can still rise to the forefront.”
However, says Tim Appelo (Hollywood Reporter), the sample size is too small and, by focusing on the fervor of a few, a polarizing film such as “Black Swan” can outrank the likes of “Toy Story 3” which drew more widespread acclaim. And, as Tim notes, “this is the Dec. 31 list, and things change so fast this time of year it may not have true grit.”