Entries in Punditry (5)
Though I feared a complete and utter breakdown of my predictive skills this year, as it turns out I did about the same as usual which is quite wonderful given how difficult those fifth spots were this year and how much you had to chuck statistical expectations to get it right (Riva and Haneke and Amour had so little precursor support but I had a feeling from way back that they'd find their way in, that they'd be "sticky" enough as it were in the memory)
The Big Eight in the high profile categories Picture, Director, Acting and Screenplays I had an 81% degree of accuracy with 36/44 nominees guessed correctly.
All Categories Absent the Shorts 77% (83/107)
All Categories Including The Shorts 74% (91/122)
Last Minute Mistakes - I had a perfect predicted set in Production Design until I swapped out Life of Pi at the last second, thinking that Django Unchained might win a farewell honor for J Michael Riva who died during production. And last last night I stated on Twitter my regret that I didn't predict Waltz over Redmayne in Supporting Actor (a no guts no glory call that gave me no glory...). I would've been 100% there too though I remain confused that Waltz won more attention than DiCaprio or Jackson whose work in tandem is the best the highly uneven Django has to offer.
Categories I'm Most Proud Of - It was a cinch to predict Adapted Screenplay this year -- interview coming up with one of the nominees -- so my 100% guesswork there is no biggie and nothing to shout about. But I'm pleasantly surprised that I went 9 for 9 in Best Picture for two reasons. The first is that since I had placed them in if 7... if 8... if 9... order and all 9 lined up that I was spot on and the second and even better reason is that apart from about ½ of Silver Linings Playbook and about ¼ of Django Unchained I think they're all really good movies and six of them are on my own top ten list (which has been delayed due to all this Oscar madness)
I'm also pleased that I went 4 for 5 in so many categories (13 in all!) but particularly the difficult cases of Actress and Costume Design (missing only Mirror Mirror - I had predicted A Royal Affair instead since they often like royalty porn and one foreign film in that shortlist), and Foreign Film (I missed only "No" but I'm THRILLED about the nomination since it's such a great movie) arguably my 3 top interests as categories go. I am not nearly as well versed in Documentaries and Sound Editing so I was stunned to call 4 of those 5 correctly too.
My Worst Categories This Year - Like everyone else the shocking Best Director lineup threw me (3/5) but at least I got the Hooper snub / Haneke in mix right but where I made the biggest judgement call errors was Supporting Actress where I let my Nicole Kidman mania persuade me that they'd preserve her wild genius abandon (the Globe & SAG nods are wondrous though) and I confess that I didn't consider Jacki Weaver to be in the running at all. I am a huge Jacki Weaver fan -- she offered to adopt me during the Animal Kingdom campaign, maybe my fondest memory of that awards year -- but I didn't think that Silver Linings Playbook gave her enough to do to win #1 placements.
But my absolute worst prediction field this year was Animated Short. Many people don't predict this category but I predict all categories and the shorts can be really tough. I only corrected guessed 2 of the 5 and am saddened that the eye-popping fascinating Eagleman Stag and the hilariously rauncy Tram didn't make the cut.
Where were you most mistaken and which categories do you feel proudly totes psychic about?
1. Open (Gold) Thread! What's one thing you most want to discuss in the post-mortem?
Besides the [ahem] obvious. Here's the schedule...
Tonight & Tomorrow
Key Moments, Internal Conflict, Good Speech, Final Takeaway
Fashion Wrap up.
2. Billy's Return?
One of the online Oscar sports each year is arguing about how well the Oscar Host did? I confess that this isn't an area that ever sparks much from me in terms of critique or conversation since The Host(s) isn't at all why I watch the show. But how'd you think he did?
I thought Reasonably Fine Not Special though there was an awful lot of asking for assurance that he was 'reasonably fine,' right? A lot of "wasn't that amazing/beautiful/special?" Um... if you say so, Billy.
3. How'd you do on your predictions?
I scored a not-embarrassing but hardly statue worthy 17/24. I assume this puts me outside the "shortlist" of Best Predictors, no medals for me. Not even bronze. I've been snubbed... by myself and my wishful / pessimistic thinking stumbles (either can get you into trouble). If you beat me, feel free to brag about it in the comments.
Sasha Stone has begun her Oscar Roundtables again this year at Awards Daily. It's kind of like The Film Experience's annual Oscar Symposium only more regular, more crowded, and less a back-n-forth discussion than a collection of statements. I'm always happy to be invited.
One of the questions she asked was whether we thought it was insane to predict as early as we do and if that helped or hurt films to be assumed for nominations before anyone had even seen a frame of film. To which I responded:
Being seen as a Future Nominee ahead of time 100% helps you if the achievement is somewhere in the wide fuzzy area between “sure thing” and “for your consideration” because you can take on a sheen of “nominatable” or “worthy” that you might not have earned on your own. It’s really not that much different from the advantage of being a proven brand like a Streep or a Scorsese or whomever. You don’t have to earn a place on the board with your new work. You’re already a game piece. You just have to worry about winning. It’s taken as gospel that we as viewers are supposed to assume that some filmmakers and some actors are just brilliant every time and our only job is to decide “very brilliant” “somewhat brilliant” or “not one of their best but still brilliant”. I’m only half joking. This is a very real problem I think in honest discussions of merit.
I love Mark Harris's response
I’m not sure I’d chart it on the sanity/insanity spectrum. But it does seem a little like the equivalent of the comment-board guy who posts “First!” and then has nothing else to say. Obviously, it’s naïve to think that quality is the only thing that figures into an Oscar win. But it’s just as naïve to assume that quality matters so little that you can make a judgment without even seeing the movie. Isn’t half the fun of writing about the Oscars the chance to write about the movies themselves? Why deprive ourselves of that?
Anyway, other questions and answers are over there so read up.
I'd love to hear your take. Do you think it hurts or helps films to be predicted as Oscar threats? Does it affect your enjoyment at all when you're watching a film with months of buzz chatter already absorbed in your system?
I'm not much for stats but for what it's worth, here's how I did on my Oscar predictions.
74% (89/120) if you include all categories, including those very few others predict like the short features.
77% (81/105) if you drop the three shorts categories which very few people bother with, thus upping their predictive ratio ;). If you'd like to know how I stack up with other pundits, I'm hearing Kris Tapley edged me out with 84/105 but am I in second place this year? Does anyone know? 81 is a good score. Yay me!
88% (40/45) in "the big eight" director, picture, acting and screenplays
Best Categories: I went 100% in Animated Feature, both Actress categories and Lead Actor -- if I'd only seen Hawkes over Garfield, I would have had an historic 100% in all acting categories -- correctly assuming those Big Hollywood Players raving about Javier Bardem (Ben Affleck & Julia Roberts among them) would do the trick for him. Another category I'm really proud of is Animated Short, which is often difficult to guess and I went 4/5 after viewing clips from all the finalists.
Worst Categories: I totally biffed Makeup (1/3) which is, in my defense, year after year the most baffling category (though I think The Way Back is very deserving and I also nominated it in my own awards). But I'm much much more surprised to have done so poorly on the Sound Categories (3/5 in each). In my defense there this is a very unusual year: for once the Sound Mixing and Sound Editing nominations are not virtual mirror images of each other. In fact, I can't recall a year ever with less overlap. Only two films Inception and True Grit show up in both categories. Usually these categories are 4/5 overlaps. Frustrated that I didn't predict the Angelina actioner Salt since I nominated in my own awards and it was my "alternate" that I nearly went with but in the end I chickend out and just used the Sound guilds nominees, which turned out to be not at all what Oscar's sound branch was thinking ;)
Just Curious: Did anyone predict I AM LOVE for costumes? I'm so thrilled that happened for Antonella Cannarozzi.
Very deserving if I do say so myself.
What are you most proud of from your predictions? Where did you fail most spectacularly?