January 02, 2011 3:28pm PT by Tim Appelo
Metacritic Poll: A 'Mini-Academy' Favoring 'Black Swan'?
If Metacritic's 50-critic poll really is "a miniature simplified version of the Academy's own preferential ballot," it's good Oscar news for Black Swan.
Pundit Ryan Adams thinks Metacritic's aggregate of about 50 critics' top 10 lists is a good Oscar predictor because instead of simply averaging scores, it gives greater weight to top-of-list winners, like the Academy. Metacritic gives three points for first place, two for second, one for third through 10th. So "a polarizing movie that sharply divides lovers from haters really only needs the passionate love of people who name it as a top favorite to nullify all the hate." And what's the most polarizing movie this side of Sofia Coppola's Somewhere?
Black Swan, which only gets a 77 average Metacritic score yet beats Toy Story 3 (92), The Kids Are All Right (86) and The King's Speech (86). Can 50 critics be wrong as Oscar prophets? Even if, as Adams says, they are "the most important published voices in the country ... the Manohla Dargis and Roger Eberts"? Yes, and 50 may be too small a sample. Also, this is the Dec. 31 list, and things change so fast this time of year it may not have true grit. Here is the Metacritic Top 10 (and the average rating of each film):
1. The Social Network (95)
2. Winter's Bone (90)
3. Black Swan (77)
4. Toy Story 3 (92)
5. Inception (74)
6. The Ghost Writer (77)
7. The Kids Are All Right (86)
8. Carlos (93)
9. The King's Speech (86)
10. A Prophet (90)
Follow THR's The Race Awards blog @timappelo
Feedback, brickbats, shameless lobbying to: Tim.Appelo@thr.com