Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oscars: Category-by-Category Response

You can see the nominees in my post below. This is purely reaction, speculation, cursory thought:

Best Picture: Um. Wow. It almost went according to plan, and then they announced The Tree of Life and I jumped so high I think I almost hit my ceiling. That might be an exaggeration, I don't know. Then they announced Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and I was kind of depressed but still happy with myself because I predicted it in the 9th slot. Then I realized The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo didn't get in. Frankly, that an organization can nominate The Tree of Life and Extremely Loud for the same award blows my mind, so far away are they on the cinematic pole--art house event and overly sentimental weepie--that it almost perfectly illustrates how truly confused this Academy is becoming.
My Prediction: They nominated 9, and I "officially predicted" 8 nominees, so I'm pretty happy I actually almost got that right. Outside of that, I went 8/9, putting in Dragon Tattoo and missing The Tree of Life.

Best Director:  Again, I did a little victory dance when I heard Terrence Malick's name. Then I realized I didn't hear Fincher's name. It's a hugely bittersweet moment to me (and kind of a bitch-slap to Fincher after last year), but I guess I should stay positive.
My Prediction: 4/5 (5/5 with my alternate)

Best Actor: Congrats to the people who actually called Demian Bechir's nomination. That one was a total shocker. Outside of that, I'm so thrilled that Gary Oldman is actually nominated for an Academy Award. Yes, you may not have realized it, but he's never been NOMINATED for one. So that in and of itself is huge. I'm proud of myself for NOT picking Michael Fassbender (even though I'm sad he didn't get in, especially with the year he had), and I'm thrilled DiCaprio's hokey J. Edgar performance got the shaft.
My Prediction: 4/5

Best Actress: I felt so damn good when they read this one out. Not only is Rooney in (which, in my mind, both makes Fincher's omission both okay and all the more horrific), but I picked this one perfectly, resisting my temptation to slide Tilda Swinton in the 5th slot.
My Prediction: 5/5

Best Supporting Actor: Honestly, I'm ashamed the Academy didn't nominate Albert Brooks. It's THE quintessential supporting role, people! I'm shocked Max von Sydow actually couped a nomination, but at least he's the best part of that thoroughly middling film. I also picked Armie Hammer over Nick Nolte, because I had NO idea the Acad would actually snub J. Edgar completely.
My Prediction: 3/5

Best Supporting Actress: I know this is kind of silly, but the fact Shailene Woodley did NOT get nominated for The Descendants shows--to my mind--the film cannot win. It needed THAT nomination in particular to make a statement. Other than that, this one was easy to call.
My Prediction: 4/5 (5/5 with alternate)

Best Original Screenplay: I'm not surprised 50/50 didn't make the cut (it's not an Academy-type movie), but I'm thrilled J.C. Chandor's Margin Call took that crowded and competitive fifth slot. Great writing, and a really pleasant surprise.
My Prediction: 4/5

Best Adapted Screenplay: Well, this category went in a totally different direction. First off, I cannot tell you how happy I am that Tinker Tailor is nominated. Having said that, how in the WORLD can you nominate Ides of March ahead of Dragon Tattoo? If anything, I figured Zaillian's script would get in (big blockbuster novel, smart adaptation, big movie). Also, can we officially declare The Help DOA in the Best Picture race? No nod here thrills me, and dooms the film.
My Prediction: 3/5

Best Foreign Language Film: Kind of pissed about Pina not making it here, but it's nominated in Doc, so I guess it's okay. This one was straight down the line.
My Prediction: 4/5

Best Animated Feature: Talk about a political statement. Two of the movies nominated haven't even opened in New York and had no buzz. No Tintin, no Pixar. Something's going on in that animation branch.
My Prediction: 3/5 (4/5 with alternate)

Best Documentary: This is where I just throw my hands in the air and give up. If you've been following the Oscar commentary anywhere on the web, you probably heard all the roars of condemnation over this category this year. They need to fix how stuff gets nominated in this branch.
My Prediction: 2/5

Best Art Direction: I really botched this category. My bad. It's weird that War Horse is in and Tinker isn't, don't you think?
My Prediction: 2/5 (3/5 with alternate)

Best Cinematography: Nailed it.
My Prediction: 5/5

Best Costume Design: Nods for Anonymous and W.E.? They really just want to make this "the category period films go to die."
My Prediction: 3/5

Best Film Editing: Ah, yes. The elusive "Film Editing" prize that collapses the Best Picture race into four contenders, and keeps The Descendants rumbling in the conversation. Don't ask me how these statistics work. They just do.
My Prediction: 5/5

Best Makeup: Kind of surprised to see Harry Potter show up here. But hey, good for it. Ralph Fiennes's nose deserves the attention.
My Prediction: 2/3

Best Original Score: Proud of myself for calling Tintin as my alternate, and I guess we can go back to saying John Williams owns this category? Sad that Dragon Tattoo didn't get in (too good?) but I'm okay with Tinker Tailor taking that spot.
My Prediction: 3/5 (4/5 with alternate)

Best Original Song: This is so stupid. Two nominees? How is this allowed to change every single year? If I were Elton John, I'd be furious. I'm sure Madonna is.
My Prediction: 1/2 (that just feels silly to write)

Best Sound Mixing: So happy to see Moneyball in this category (hooray for actually recognizing how good its sound design is!). I put Pirates and Harry Potter in ahead of Transformers, thinking they'd be tired of those robot noises. Guess not.
My Prediction: 3/5

Best Sound Editing: Oh look, Drive's ONLY nomination! What a freaking shame.
My Prediction: 2/5 (3/5 with alternate)

Best Visual Effects: Can we make up our mind if this is 3- or 5-film category? It throws off all my predicting.
My Prediction: 2/5

So how'd I do?
Overall, I correctly predicting 72 of 104 nominees, which comes out to 69%. If you factor in my "alternates" in my predictions, that bumps it up to 78 out of 104, or 75%.
In the "Top 8" categories I predicted 35 of 44 nominees (37 if you include my alternates), which comes out to 80% (or 84% with my alternates).
I completely nailed three categories (five if you include my alternates), and dipped into the dread 2/5 on four.

This was a really bizarre morning (I'll touch on that in a piece later today, hopefully), but this was a really poor showing for me. Last year, I got 79% of my predictions (86% with my alternates), and if you factored my alternates into my top 8 predictions from last year, I got 96%.
Oh well, every year can't be as easy to spot as 2010. Live and learn!
 

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