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Pic of the Day: “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘good job’.”

Oscars 2019 Category Breakdown: Best Actor

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.

Today is Best Actor. I’m trying not to start with all of the acting categories, since they’re all locked, but I do wanna get this one done as soon as possible. Read the rest of this page »

Oscars 2019 Category Breakdown: Best International Feature

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. Read the rest of this page »

And the Nominees Are: Analyzing the 92nd Academy Award Nominations

Okay, so Oscar nominations are out. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. I posted the list earlier, but by itself and without comment, because I woke up at 5:30 and typed the nominations As they were spoken. This is all from the time between then and now, as I’ve thought about it all and could talk somewhat coherently about it all.

Somehow I thought they started reading the nominations at 5:30. You know, like it said. So I woke up and saw Issa Rae and John Cho had already finished half the nominees. So I went back, hurriedly typed out twelve categories and caught it just as they started round two. At least I didn’t sleep totally through them, which has happened before.

Anyway, the thing I always say now is — we’ve just crossed that Autosave zone. There’s no going back now. No more talk about what can or will be nominated — this is the list. This is what we have now and in perpetuity. We get our ‘shouldn’t have been nominated’ stuff out now, but this is what we got. Now all that matters is what’s going to win. And that’s what we’ll be talking about for the next 24 days. Because literally I have to start category breakdowns TOMORROW due to the truncated schedule. We’re gonna go 24 days from tomorrow through all the categories and that takes us to two days BEFORE the Oscars. That’s how short this time period is.

But anyway, let’s see how it all went down. What the surprises were, where the snubs came, what this means for picking the winners. All that good stuff.

Here are your 92nd Academy Award nominations: Read the rest of this page »