Archive for February 26, 2011

Best Picture: Follow the Money. Just…follow the money.

Because I like to help you out as much as humanly possible, I’m going to give you some more information that might help you out when you’re picking your winners tomorrow night. Do with it what you will.

I read an article, which I can’t find again for the life of me, that said, essentially, that the Academy likes voting for films that make money. It’s not enough for a film to be good, but the film must also be successful financially. It said that in almost every year that the Best Picture winner (when it was 5 nominees), was almost always in the top 2 grossing films on that list. Occasionally it was 3rd, and almost never was it 4th or 5th. So, basically, if a film is not in the top (whatever percentage) grossers of the Best Picture nominations list, then essentially it has no chance of winning Best Picture. Fucked up, right? Well, not really, in a business that’s predicated on dollars and cents. And has all dollars and no sense. Zing.

Of course, this is not a concrete theory by any stretch of the imagination, but when you’re dealing with something so difficult to guess — think of having to pick a game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns, where the spread is -3 toward the home team, whichever the fuck it is. And they were both equally the worst teams in football. It’s not that hard to picture. How could you honestly differentiate? You’d look for any kind of rationale to pick whichever team you’re going to pick for, using whatever kind of information you had at your disposal. Oh, the Bills played the Broncos once and lost by 3 points in overtime. And the Browns lost by one point to the Broncos last season! And the Bills are 2-4 at home and have trouble in November games. And, the Browns quarterback hasn’t taken a shit in three whole weeks. You know? You find the weirdest possible statistics when something appears so evenly matched (or you really don’t give that much of a shit about it). So, this is just that. More information at your disposal. If it works out I get to take full credit for it. “See, I told you! The numbers don’t lie!” And if it loses, well, it’s an interesting trend, and of course, it’s not binding. There were X number of factors that make it an anomaly and really don’t incorporate it into the part of the theory that makes it work. Plus, before giving the speech, the King hadn’t shit for three whole weeks, and that’s why… (more…)

The Oscar Quest: Best Actor & Best Actress – 2009

The best way to describe these two categories is by referring to Goodfellas. Why? Because that’s what came to mind when I thought about them. It’s the moment right after they shoot Joe Pesci in the head, at the end of “Layla,” when De Niro and Ray Liotta think he’s gonna get made. And De Niro’s on the pay phone with the other guy, who is actually Martin Scorsese’s father, and he’s expecting them to be like, “Ceremony went well, it’s official,” when instead he says, “We had a problem, and we tried to do everything we could.” And De Niro’s like, “What, what do you mean, problem?” And the guy says, “I mean he’s gone. And we couldn’t do nothing about it.” That’s what best describes these races. They won, and we couldn’t do nothing about it.

There wasn’t anything that could be done about either person winning these races, even though one was a bit undeserving for the performance alone, but was hugely deserving as an actor, and the other shouldn’t have even been attending the ceremony as a guest. Quite simply one of the worst Best Actress choices of all time. And I say that because, had they given her an Oscar in a year that didn’t feature an amazing performance, like say, 2005, when the exact same thing happened, or 2006, one of those years, where you really couldn’t definitively single out one performance to vote for, then an Oscar like this is okay. This year, it counts as one of the worst decisions of all time (right up there with 1970, and oh boy, wait until we get to 1970). And there wasn’t nothing that could be done. (more…)

Pic of the Day: “Don’t worry. Some of the best movies are made by people working together who hate each other’s guts.”