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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in The Help (38)

Tuesday
Jan242012

How We Did On Our Predictions! How About You?

I am not one to put too much stock in "scores" for Oscar Predictions. It's more exciting to predict something fewer people saw coming and this is why, I think I'm much better at "year in advance" predictions than most pundits; I don't always embrace the "sounds good on paper" options. But there's a flip side! My willingness to take risks always hurts my stats somewhere down the line. Nevertheless we have to take stock. It's fun to survey where you soared and plummeted each year. On average I'm completely happy with my track record. Here are my hits and misses!

I had a sensational batting average with Moneyball

My Perfect Scores
Supporting Actress. I knew Janet McTeer was stronger than people were guessing. She's a gender bender and Oscar loves drag. She totally steals the movie and Oscar loves Grand Theft Movie. Plus, it's a moving role with modern resonance.
Best Director. I figured Terrence Malick was too much of a god among directors for his peers to pass up.
Cinematography. Though I'll readily admit that this didn't feel too terribly tough to predict.
Moneyball and The Artist and Hugo and A SeparationI guessed their every placement correctly...which seemed risky with two of them.

Incorrect Guess That I Was Still Kinda Right About
I knew that if Rooney Mara prevailed it'd be Tilda taking the dive. Tilda Swinton joins Sally Hawkins from Happy Go Lucky in the exclusive sorority of  "People With More Precursor Notices Than One Could Possibly Dream of But No Oscar Follow Up" ...It's a very long name for a very tiny club.

Abject Failure
Wow did I ever miss on Original Song this year. Even with five guesses I couldn't manage 1 correct one. But then, this category is the worst. The documentary branch and the foreign film branch get the most push back each year on needing guidance and rule adjustments but it's actually the music branch that's in dire need of infrastructure work. More on that in the podcast (coming in a couple of hours. It's uploading). I also made a mess of the Documentary Feature category where I only guessed 2 correctly (Pina and Paradise Lost 3).

The Single Thing I Feel Stupidest About Missing
John Williams double nomination for score. I only guessed War Horse. I predicted him to get his umpteenth double nomination for practically the whole year until the precursors and other pundits convinced me to jump on the Dragon Tattoo train which I never felt right about (in that particular category) since Reznor & Ross's Oscar success with The Social Network felt like such a wonderful anomaly. Wonderful anomalies rarely repeat themselves.

The Long Shot I Most Wish I'd Predicted for Bragging Rights
Max von Sydow in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. In retrospect it'll feel kind of obvious to people especially since Supporting Actor felt unstable beyond Plummer. And here we have a legendary actor in a mute role (when does Oscar not go for that?) 

Something I Both Overestimated and Underestimated.
The Power of The Weepie. I put all my eggs in The Help's basket but War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close both ate into the demographic that Mark Harris amusingly dubbed "tear duct based voters" 

My Stats
37/44 in the big eight categories 
74/104 in the categories everyone tries to predict... the sound-based categories just destroyed me! 
83/119 if you include the shorts which many people don't bother with. 

How'd you do? 

 

*purists (you know who you are!) may quibble that I predicted only 6 Best Picture nominees. But hello the number is a separate guess from the titles ;)  I listed them in order of likelihood "if 6 nominees then... if 7 nominees then... if 8 nominees then... " etcetera which means I scored 8/9 for the Best Picture nominations. Ta da! If you don't count it that way it penalizes the people who guess fewer and awards the scaredy-cats who guess ten spots to cover all their bases. 

Friday
Jan202012

Link Crumbs Trail

Mike Myers Oscar BuzzLinks. I Know These People Edition
<-- This Had Oscar buzz is a new tumblr from Joe Reid. I was totally giggling gawking at it earlier. It's all true! It's all true!
Pajiba Joanna on Michael Fassbender Penis Expert
Do Dump or Marry is but one of me pal JA's great features on My New Plaid Pants but I particularly enjoyed the latest all ladies 9 to 5 edition. 
Critical Condition looks at five stars who squandered their goodwill.
Nicks Flick Picks have you been following Nick's Best Actress Birthday party? It's amazing. Next up Patricia Neal and Geena Davis 
In Contention Kris Tapley is a Sundance Virgin. Virgin!
Slant Kurt interviews Steven Soderbergh 

Awards, Special Interest Edition 
The NAACP has released their Image Award nominees and Awards Daily is pleased to see the Cicely Tyson mention in supporting actress. That's all well and good as she was quite touching in the movie but it seems utterly bizarre to have FIVE actresses nominated from The Help for acting prizes and no sign of Jessica Chastain. It's Viola, Octavia, Cicely, Emma... and Bryce!?! Pariah, which is finally in theaters, also did very well in their nominations. Congratulations to the nominees especially Regina King who was nominated for Southland... so underrated. 

Team "Help" when the Oscar buzz was but a whisper at their world premiere.

And though I forgot to mention it a few days back, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (aka GALECA) gave both of their best film prizes --the standard best film plus the best gay film prize -- to Andrew Haigh's Weekend. Michael Fassbender won the "We're Wilde About You Rising Star Award". We Were Here, a documentary about the early years of the AIDS crisis in San Francisco, took their Best Documentary honors. It's also an Oscar finalist this year.

Overseas the London Film Critics Circle took their cue from Nathaniel (kidding) splitting their prizes between his two favorite films of the year The Artist (Picture, Director) and A Separation (Screenplay, Foreign Film, Supporting Actress). And back here in the States the Iowa Film Critics yearned for Hawaiian vacations with The Descendantszzzs

Saturday
Jan142012

Globe Winner Predictions. A Nail Biting Night?

I normally look forward to Golden Globe night with the feverish pitch I otherwise save for Oscar Nomination Morning and Oscar Night itself. They're the holy trinity of awards season Father (Oscar Noms), Son (Oscar Night) and uh... Holy Ghost (The Globes). Well, there are spirits involved. I expect that the drunkest table will belong to The Help or Bridesmaids. Here's to inebriated ladies!

And here are my predictions. I'm just going for it and predicting a return to... January 2003. Wait, what? Read on!

MOVIES

BEST PICTURE, DRAMA

  • The Descendants
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • The Ides of March
  • Moneyball
  • War Horse 

With most of the attention swinging towards The Artist, Best Picture Drama feels like a free for all this year. Three films (The Descendants, Hugo and The Help) look like feasible winners since they've retained heat after the nominations. Common wisdom points to the inexplicable near-universal love for The Descendants but for whatever reason I'm imagining a repeat of the 2002/2003 Globes season wherein the throbbing heart of a female epic (The Hours) beat out an expensive Scorsese film and the Alexander Payne film about the widower dealing with his angry daughter whilst having spiritual awakenings. (Gangs of New York and About Schmidt)
Prediction: The Help
Spoiler: The Descendants 

BEST PICTURE, COMEDY or MUSICAL

  • 50/50
  • The Artist
  • Bridesmaids
  • Midnight in Paris
  • My Week With Marilyn

This one seems all sewn up for The Artist but I think it's worth noting that the Comedy or Musical category tends to be where the Golden Globes house their biggest surprises on average. That said a defeat for the Artist would be the kind of shocker that only happens once a decade. 
Prediction: The Artist
Spoiler: Bridesmaids (imagine the uproar!) 

BEST DIRECTOR 

  • Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
  • George Clooney, The Ides of March
  • Michel Hazanavicus, The Artist
  • Alexander Payne, The Descendants
  • Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Hazanavicius may or may not be the frontrunner for the Oscar. It's tough to say with lesser known directors when they're battling cinematic giants who win awards based on their whole filmography rather than the specific film they're up for. But I'm guessing that the presence of Woody Allen pulls enough votes from Martin Scorsese to keep Hazanavicius in the lead.
Prediction: Hazanavicius
Spoiler: Scorsese

PREDICTIONS IN ALL CATEGORIES after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan122012

"Critics Choice" Winners From Viola to The Artist

Kirsten Dunst presented Best Supporting Actress to Octavia SpencerWe tried a live blog experiment which was very chaotic though conversational if you'd like to relive it vicariously through us if you weren't here. But otherwise, let's review the big speeches and the winner's roster.

Do you think all five of the major acting wins will translate to Globe and SAG hoopla... and then on to Oscar? It's been a surprising season to date so will it suddenly become a normal season where the same films and performances win each time?

SUPPORTING ACTRESS -Octavia Spencer for The Help

Okay um. Well I'm not prepared. I wasn't a Girl Scout. I guess the operative word here is Best Supporting  becasue I was truly supported by the most amazing cast and crew. Oh my god this is really kind of crazy. Okay. Uh. I'd like to thank everyone at Dreamworks -- Stacey Snyder thank you for giving me this chance. Holly Barrio. Chip Sullivan. Everyone at Disney. Rich [series of names that all blurred together for us] ...and then of course my two champions Tate Taylor and Brunson Green who have always believed in me. And thank God you believed in me enough to give me a job that actually paid this time!

But thank you so much to the BFCA. I am truly truly humbled by this. Thank you.

SUPPORTING ACTOR - Christopher Plummer for Beginners

Christopher Plummer, young againWinners and a Tearful Viola after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan062012

BAFTA Long List Losses

I've said it before and I'm forced to say it again. I'm *so* glad that the American Academy does not publish a long list. i.e. the semi-finals. You see, It's so much more bearable / engaging when you can imagine that straight up great achievements or achievements you really responded to personally but you knew might have trouble rallying huge swaths of support were in 6th or 7th place or 10th place in voting. The way BAFTA does it, however, you are forced to understand that Oscar buzz is everything and Super Size Mediocrities will always triumph over critical darlings or more challenging Art.

Take the Best Picture categories for a prime example. Notice that Weekend for example, a very British and very acclaimed film is not one of their "outstanding" homegrown products (they might want to check the reviews again) and notice that auteurist films frequently called masterpieces by their fans (The Tree of Life and Melancholia) are also absent. Other films ignored because you have to have space for The Lukewarmly Reviewed Biopics About Lady Actresses and Lady Politicians are... no, no. It's too horrible to start listing them!

Best Film The Artist, The Descendants, Drive, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Help, Hugo, The Ides of March, The Iron Lady, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, My Week with Marilyn, Senna, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, War Horse, and We Need to Talk About Kevin 

Outstanding British Film Arthur Christmas, Attack the Block, Coriolanus, The Guard, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Iron Lady, Jane Eyre, My Week with Marilyn, Senna, Shame, Submarine, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Tyrannosaur, War Horse, and We Need to Talk About Kevin 

BAFTA voters went crazy 4 My Week With Marilyn, longlisted many many times

Film Not in the English Language  Abel, As If I Am Not There, The Boy Mir – Ten Years in Afghanistan, Calvet,  Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries), Incendies, Little White Lies, Pina, Post Mortem, Potiche, Le Quattro Volte, A Separation, The Skin I Live In, Tomboy and The Troll Hunter

More long list looniness with commentary after the jump...

Click to read more ...

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