Here’s how this works: every day leading up to the Oscars, I break down each of the 24 categories. The goal is to both familiarize everyone with the category itself (how it works, what its history is and how you go about figuring out what’s gonna win) while also making it easier to reference when I write my giant article with picks and everything. A lot of the leg work is already here. But really, the goal is to see if there’s anything to look for leading into Oscar night that could be a shortcut to me picking the category.
What we do is — I give you all the winners of the category throughout history, go over all the recent trends if there are any, discuss the precursors and whether or not they matter, and then we talk about this year’s category and how we got to it, and then just look at where we are and rank the nominees in terms of their likelihood of winning (at the current moment in time. Of course, things can and will change going into the ceremony). It’s all pretty simple. I’ve done this every year. Everyone should know the drill.
We begin with Best International Feature, which is the stupid new name for Best Foreign Language Film, a change they made to make it sound more inclusive and positive, rather than as the dismissive category for foreigners. Problem is — a name means jack shit unless you’re actually gonna work to make it feel like it means more. Plus also, the first time they have that name, we have the biggest lock of the night and a category that’s totally meaningless because we already know what’s gonna win. (more…)