Posts tagged “91st Academy Awards

91st Academy Awards Recap

This is the most relaxed moment of the year for me. This is the day your thesis is turned in and all the work is done. At this point, Oscar season isn’t particularly stressful for me, but it’s a culmination of two-plus months of thinking about this stuff. And it’s been something going up every single day since December. Now, it’s all over, and the books are closed.

I wish I could say I’m remotely shocked by anything that happened. But no. This all went about how I expected it to. A couple of minor surprises here and there, but nothing that far from the realm of expectation. At one point throughout the night I remember remarking to a friend, “Bohemian Rhapsody has won every award it was nominated for. It has four awards and Black Panther has three. Which is the most Academy thing ever. ‘Look at us, we’re inclusive! (But also we’re still us.)” Honestly, how could anyone be surprised at the way things turned out? I mean, I never am because I’m so deep into this shit I’ve figured out every possible permutation for how things could have gone. So to me, this is all, “Yup, yup, yup, oh that won there, which means this will win here and it won’t win there.” I was calling out three categories ahead when they announced a new one. That’s where I’m at. I’m almost incapable of being surprised by all this. That’s why I do the Scorecard ballot thing now.

Anyway, let’s recap what happened and close the book on 2018. (more…)


The 91st Academy Awards Scorecard Ballot

So this is what I do now. This Oscar Scorecard. Which grades me on how well I pick entire categories over just winners.

The way the Scorecard Ballot works is, you take every category and rank all the nominees in terms of their likelihood of winning. If the nominee ranked #1 wins, you get 1 point. 2 points for a #2, 3 points for a #3 and so on. A perfect score would be a 24 (meaning your #1s in every category won). Ties make things confusing, but it’s only happened 6 times in 89 years, so let’s just figure that won’t happen and deal with it if it does.

Ideally, most people get between 16/24 and 18/24 each year. I try to get between 18/24 and 20/24. So, of the categories you get wrong (say 7, for argument’s sake)… you want your #2 to win, so that way you’re only +7 over the minimum of 24. It’s like golf. Okay, sure, some #3s can win. It happens. But only like two. Then you’re +9. That’s reasonable. To me, a good year on the Scorecard ballot is a +6. +8 is fine, +10 isn’t great, but acceptable, and the higher you go, the worse you dod.

It’s more interesting to me, since I’m about the all-around analysis than just straight up winners. To me, the words “that’s a #4” mean something. To most people, they don’t. So this is my way of quantifying that specificity.

So, for those of you who wanna try a Scorecard Ballot for this year, here is mine for the upcoming ceremony:

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The B+ Oscar Ballot 2018: The Quick Picks

My giant Oscar Ballot article went up already, but for those of you who only pretend to care about me and really only care about my picks, here we are. This is the Cliff Notes version to that article.

Very simply: what should be on your ballot, what will win if that doesn’t win, what’s on my ballot, what my preference is for full transparency, what the likelihood of each nominee winning is, and a brief analysis of the category.

Here’s your Oscar cheat sheet: (more…)


The B+ Oscar Ballot: Guide to the 91st Academy Awards

It’s Oscar night, folks. You know what that means.

I hope he does that every single day.

This is like, the one night a year where this site has a purpose. This started as an Oscar site and that’s still pretty much its bread and butter. That and movie recommendations. But I started this site with the Oscar Quest, and this article remains my extension of it. I write up all the categories, talk about what my favorites are and what I would vote for. And I also analyze all the categories and talk about how I think the night is gonna go based on all my experience doing this and my insane knowledge and research into this stuff. There’s way more information here than you need here, but this is my only excuse to be able to get it all out there, because when the hell else do I get to talk about this stuff? (more…)


My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Vice

Every year, the day before the Oscars, I present my favorite moments from the Best Picture nominees. I do this because things get so subjective and because lines get drawn during the Oscar race. People pick favorites, people start to have negative feelings toward certain films because they’d prefer something else have won or have been nominated. I do this to clear the air of all that. I try to remind us of what this is all about — a celebration of film and of the great films that have come out this year.

I take this day to look at all the nominees as great pieces of cinema. Forget what will win or won’t win — let’s celebrate the films themselves. The point is, when you take away the competition, the awards, the completely arbitrary nature of how no one can truly pick which film is better than another, what we’re left with are great movies. That’s what today is about.

Our final nominee is Vice. What if on a unilateral basis, we all put miniature wigs on our penises, and we walked out to the White House lawn, and we jerked each other off. So, like a puppet show, but much more enjoyable?

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My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: A Star Is Born

Every year, the day before the Oscars, I present my favorite moments from the Best Picture nominees. I do this because things get so subjective and because lines get drawn during the Oscar race. People pick favorites, people start to have negative feelings toward certain films because they’d prefer something else have won or have been nominated. I do this to clear the air of all that. I try to remind us of what this is all about — a celebration of film and of the great films that have come out this year.

I take this day to look at all the nominees as great pieces of cinema. Forget what will win or won’t win — let’s celebrate the films themselves. The point is, when you take away the competition, the awards, the completely arbitrary nature of how no one can truly pick which film is better than another, what we’re left with are great movies. That’s what today is about.

Our next nominee is A Star Is Born. Why’d you come around me with an ass like that?

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My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Green Book

Every year, the day before the Oscars, I present my favorite moments from the Best Picture nominees. I do this because things get so subjective and because lines get drawn during the Oscar race. People pick favorites, people start to have negative feelings toward certain films because they’d prefer something else have won or have been nominated. I do this to clear the air of all that. I try to remind us of what this is all about — a celebration of film and of the great films that have come out this year.

I take this day to look at all the nominees as great pieces of cinema. Forget what will win or won’t win — let’s celebrate the films themselves. The point is, when you take away the competition, the awards, the completely arbitrary nature of how no one can truly pick which film is better than another, what we’re left with are great movies. That’s what today is about.

Our next nominee is Green Book. That Tittsburgh was a major disappointment.

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My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Roma

Every year, the day before the Oscars, I present my favorite moments from the Best Picture nominees. I do this because things get so subjective and because lines get drawn during the Oscar race. People pick favorites, people start to have negative feelings toward certain films because they’d prefer something else have won or have been nominated. I do this to clear the air of all that. I try to remind us of what this is all about — a celebration of film and of the great films that have come out this year.

I take this day to look at all the nominees as great pieces of cinema. Forget what will win or won’t win — let’s celebrate the films themselves. The point is, when you take away the competition, the awards, the completely arbitrary nature of how no one can truly pick which film is better than another, what we’re left with are great movies. That’s what today is about.

Our next nominee is Roma. I like being dead.

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My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: The Favourite

Every year, the day before the Oscars, I present my favorite moments from the Best Picture nominees. I do this because things get so subjective and because lines get drawn during the Oscar race. People pick favorites, people start to have negative feelings toward certain films because they’d prefer something else have won or have been nominated. I do this to clear the air of all that. I try to remind us of what this is all about — a celebration of film and of the great films that have come out this year.

I take this day to look at all the nominees as great pieces of cinema. Forget what will win or won’t win — let’s celebrate the films themselves. The point is, when you take away the competition, the awards, the completely arbitrary nature of how no one can truly pick which film is better than another, what we’re left with are great movies. That’s what today is about.

Our next nominee is The Favourite. Must the duck be here?

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My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Bohemian Rhapsody

Every year, the day before the Oscars, I present my favorite moments from the Best Picture nominees. I do this because things get so subjective and because lines get drawn during the Oscar race. People pick favorites, people start to have negative feelings toward certain films because they’d prefer something else have won or have been nominated. I do this to clear the air of all that. I try to remind us of what this is all about — a celebration of film and of the great films that have come out this year.

I take this day to look at all the nominees as great pieces of cinema. Forget what will win or won’t win — let’s celebrate the films themselves. The point is, when you take away the competition, the awards, the completely arbitrary nature of how no one can truly pick which film is better than another, what we’re left with are great movies. That’s what today is about.

Our next nominee is Bohemian Rhapsody. Not the coffee maker.

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My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: BlacKkKlansman

Every year, the day before the Oscars, I present my favorite moments from the Best Picture nominees. I do this because things get so subjective and because lines get drawn during the Oscar race. People pick favorites, people start to have negative feelings toward certain films because they’d prefer something else have won or have been nominated. I do this to clear the air of all that. I try to remind us of what this is all about — a celebration of film and of the great films that have come out this year.

I take this day to look at all the nominees as great pieces of cinema. Forget what will win or won’t win — let’s celebrate the films themselves. The point is, when you take away the competition, the awards, the completely arbitrary nature of how no one can truly pick which film is better than another, what we’re left with are great movies. That’s what today is about.

Our next nominee is BlacKkKlansman. All power to all the people.

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My Favorite Moments in the Best Picture Nominees: Black Panther

Every year, the day before the Oscars, I present my favorite moments from the Best Picture nominees. I do this because things get so subjective and because lines get drawn during the Oscar race. People pick favorites, people start to have negative feelings toward certain films because they’d prefer something else have won or have been nominated. I do this to clear the air of all that. I try to remind us of what this is all about — a celebration of film and of the great films that have come out this year.

I take this day to look at all the nominees as great pieces of cinema. Forget what will win or won’t win — let’s celebrate the films themselves. The point is, when you take away the competition, the awards, the completely arbitrary nature of how no one can truly pick which film is better than another, what we’re left with are great movies. That’s what today is about.

Our first nominee is Black Panther. Wakanda forever.

(more…)


Oscars 2018 Category Breakdown: Best Picture

So what we do here each year as a warm up for the Oscars is, I break down each of the 24 categories. The idea is to both familiarize everyone with the category and its history. I look at what the major trends are throughout the past bunch of years, how the precursors tend to go, whether they matter or not, that sort of stuff. I look at how the category came to be this year, and just anything else that seems totally pertinent about it. Then I rank each of the nominees and tell you what their likelihood (at this particular moment in time) of winning is.

This is all prelude to my giant Oscar ballot that I’m gonna give you. But I figure, if you have these as the warmup, it’s not as intimidating. You’ll have seen a lot of the pertinent trends here and we’ll all be able to reference these as a sort of cheat sheet. Plus it shows you where my head is at for how I think each of the categories are gonna go, and you can see me working my way up to all the bad decisions I usually make while guessing. Pretty much, with this, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the category is gonna turn out.

And we finish with Best Picture, as we usually do. A much more interesting race than the last couple have been, that’s for sure. (more…)


Oscars 2018 Category Breakdown: Best Original Screenplay

So what we do here each year as a warm up for the Oscars is, I break down each of the 24 categories. The idea is to both familiarize everyone with the category and its history. I look at what the major trends are throughout the past bunch of years, how the precursors tend to go, whether they matter or not, that sort of stuff. I look at how the category came to be this year, and just anything else that seems totally pertinent about it. Then I rank each of the nominees and tell you what their likelihood (at this particular moment in time) of winning is.

This is all prelude to my giant Oscar ballot that I’m gonna give you. But I figure, if you have these as the warmup, it’s not as intimidating. You’ll have seen a lot of the pertinent trends here and we’ll all be able to reference these as a sort of cheat sheet. Plus it shows you where my head is at for how I think each of the categories are gonna go, and you can see me working my way up to all the bad decisions I usually make while guessing. Pretty much, with this, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the category is gonna turn out.

Today is Best Original Screenplay. One of the more interesting categories of the year. It’s a toss up, but it’s an interesting toss up. (more…)


Oscars 2018: CDG Awards

The Costume Designers Guild Awards were tonight.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, The Favourite won in Period, Black Panther won in Fantasy and Crazy Rich Asians won in Contemporary. I could have written all of that before the ceremony, that’s how obvious those selections were.

So that’s it. That’s the last of the precursors. We’re done here. Oscar voting closed today at 5, and you’ve got every piece of information you’re gonna get. Oscars are on Sunday, and I’ve got a 50,000 word article ready to be uncorked. So get ready for that.

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Oscars 2018 Category Breakdown: Best Adapted Screenplay

So what we do here each year as a warm up for the Oscars is, I break down each of the 24 categories. The idea is to both familiarize everyone with the category and its history. I look at what the major trends are throughout the past bunch of years, how the precursors tend to go, whether they matter or not, that sort of stuff. I look at how the category came to be this year, and just anything else that seems totally pertinent about it. Then I rank each of the nominees and tell you what their likelihood (at this particular moment in time) of winning is.

This is all prelude to my giant Oscar ballot that I’m gonna give you. But I figure, if you have these as the warmup, it’s not as intimidating. You’ll have seen a lot of the pertinent trends here and we’ll all be able to reference these as a sort of cheat sheet. Plus it shows you where my head is at for how I think each of the categories are gonna go, and you can see me working my way up to all the bad decisions I usually make while guessing. Pretty much, with this, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the category is gonna turn out.

Today is Best Adapted Screenplay. One of the races that should leave me happy no matter which way it goes. (more…)


Oscars 2018 Category Breakdown: Best Sound Editing

So what we do here each year as a warm up for the Oscars is, I break down each of the 24 categories. The idea is to both familiarize everyone with the category and its history. I look at what the major trends are throughout the past bunch of years, how the precursors tend to go, whether they matter or not, that sort of stuff. I look at how the category came to be this year, and just anything else that seems totally pertinent about it. Then I rank each of the nominees and tell you what their likelihood (at this particular moment in time) of winning is.

This is all prelude to my giant Oscar ballot that I’m gonna give you. But I figure, if you have these as the warmup, it’s not as intimidating. You’ll have seen a lot of the pertinent trends here and we’ll all be able to reference these as a sort of cheat sheet. Plus it shows you where my head is at for how I think each of the categories are gonna go, and you can see me working my way up to all the bad decisions I usually make while guessing. Pretty much, with this, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the category is gonna turn out.

Today is Best Sound Editing. AKA Best “PEW PEW *Explosion Noise*.” (more…)


Oscars 2018: MPSE Awards

The MPSE handed out their awards for Sound Editing tonight. For some reason I always feel like they end up announcing later than everyone, but this year they manage to come in second to last, with CDG announcing on Tuesday to close out the precursors.

SFX+Foley went to A Quiet Place, while Dialogue+ADR and Music in a Musical went to Bohemian RhapsodyInto the Spider-Verse won for Music as well as winning the Animation award, further cementing that movie’s status as basically a guaranteed winner in Animated Feature. The Documentary category was a tie between Free Solo and They Shall Not Grow Old, which I mention mostly because They Shall Not Grow Old is amazing. Oh, and Roma won their Foreign Language category, which I guess is something.

The interesting thing to me about this is that First Man, which to me had the best sound design of the year, won zero precursor awards, and based on everything I see here, it looks like Bohemian Rhapsody could legitimately win both Sound categories. I’m not sure how much I buy that, but damn if that’s not an interesting turn of events.

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Oscars 2018: WGA Awards

The WGA Awards were handed out tonight.

Eighth Grade won for Original Screenplay and Can You Ever Forgive Me? won for Adapted Screenplay.

Both of those are surprising results. Eighth Grade isn’t even nominated for the Oscar, so that’s part of that one. The other part — The Favourite wasn’t eligible for WGA. And the Original Screenplay category was long considered The Favourite vs. Green Book. So now you have a situation where Green Book was in the guild without having to face The Favourite, and it still lost. That’s fascinating. And since Roma didn’t win, that means that doesn’t get a boost into “could win” territory. So now we’re back to The Favourite vs. Green Book. You can’t call it just yet because if Green Book is gonna win Best Picture, it almost certainly is gonna take Screenplay too. But man, does this make you look even more sideways at Green Book’s chances here.

And then for Adapted — Can You Ever Forgive Me? opens up the Adapted race to three films instead of two. I thought it would be either Beale Street or BlacKkKlansman, which split BFCA and BAFTA. I figured this would be the tiebreaker. Now we just have another hat in the ring. Though what’s even more interesting about the whole affair — all three of them lost the USC Scripter to Leave No Trace, which isn’t nominated for the Oscar. So now we have three scripts which won one precursor each, and no real idea how the Academy’s gonna vote for the category.

Oh well. That’s the fun of Oscar season, I guess. MPSE is announcing tonight, so those results will go up when I have them. CDG announces Tuesday and then that’ll be it for the precursors. Then I’ve got four category breakdowns left — both Screenplay categories, Sound Editing, which will go up tomorrow, and Best Picture, which will go up last. Then Friday come the Five Word Film Reviews (which are DONE already! Most years I’m rushing to write up like 300 reviews in less than a week. I did that shit already!). Saturday we do our usual Favorite Moments in the Best Picture nominees and prepare ourselves for Sunday. P.S. I’m already 43,000 words into my giant Oscar article. I’m on top of this shit this year. I am ready.

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Oscars 2018 Category Breakdown: Best Sound Mixing

So what we do here each year as a warm up for the Oscars is, I break down each of the 24 categories. The idea is to both familiarize everyone with the category and its history. I look at what the major trends are throughout the past bunch of years, how the precursors tend to go, whether they matter or not, that sort of stuff. I look at how the category came to be this year, and just anything else that seems totally pertinent about it. Then I rank each of the nominees and tell you what their likelihood (at this particular moment in time) of winning is.

This is all prelude to my giant Oscar ballot that I’m gonna give you. But I figure, if you have these as the warmup, it’s not as intimidating. You’ll have seen a lot of the pertinent trends here and we’ll all be able to reference these as a sort of cheat sheet. Plus it shows you where my head is at for how I think each of the categories are gonna go, and you can see me working my way up to all the bad decisions I usually make while guessing. Pretty much, with this, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the category is gonna turn out.

Today is Best Sound Mixing. Which is not Sound Editing. Because you can totally tell those two apart. (more…)


Oscars 2018: CAS Awards

The CAS Awards were also given out tonight. Hooray, Sound Mixing.

The winner was Bohemian Rhapsody, which paints a really interesting picture for Oscar night. I suspected this would be the case for the guild, but with First Man being nominated in both categories, and my everlasting mantra of “Don’t split the Sound categories, Mike,” I’m really wondering how this one is gonna turn out. There’s a chance First Man wins Editing and this wins Mixing. But we’ll see. I’m still figuring out my final thoughts on everything and preparing my giant 45,000 word Oscar article (I’m wondering if we approach 50,000 words this year). Apparently that’s about what a decent-sized novel would be. That sounds about right for the nonsense I spew.

Oh, and Isle of Dogs won for Animation and Free Solo won for Documentary. The latter makes sense at first glance. I assume Isle of Dogs beat Spider-Verse, which I kinda get. Music tends to be a factor in Mixing more than the other categories. But honestly anything outside of the big category is meaningless to me. Let’s not pretend either of those factor into their races.

Tomorrow night is WGA and MPSE, and then CDG is the last precursor on Tuesday, and then we’re totally done in terms of precursors and it’s just straight up guessing at that point. We’re in the final stretch, guys. This is it. The Endgame. Shit’s about to start turning into dust and stuff.

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Oscars 2018: Makeup & Hairstylist Guild Awards

Hey everyone. The Makeup & Hairstylist Guild Awards were tonight. I remember a few years ago they offered me accreditation to attend their awards as a journalist and I thought, “Man, are you guys that desperate for coverage of your event that you think I’m a journalist?” That was fun. Almost wish I’d taken them up on it. I’m still here if you guys wanna invite me next time. I’m completely meaningless, but I’m all about what you guys do. You’re all unsung heroes of the craft.

Anyway, they gave out five awards that matter. Vice won for Period and/or Character Makeup and Special Makeup Effects, Mary Queen of Scots won for Period and/or Character Hairstyling. A Star Is Born won for Contemporary Makeup (sure, I guess?) and Crazy Rich Asians won for Contemporary Hairstyling.

So yeah. Not much of what we didn’t already know. Vice and Mary Queen of Scots, both of which are nominated in the Oscar category with Border. It’s pretty clear how the category is gonna turn out. But you know what, these people got their due and they deserve it.

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Oscars 2018 Category Breakdown: Best Costume Design

So what we do here each year as a warm up for the Oscars is, I break down each of the 24 categories. The idea is to both familiarize everyone with the category and its history. I look at what the major trends are throughout the past bunch of years, how the precursors tend to go, whether they matter or not, that sort of stuff. I look at how the category came to be this year, and just anything else that seems totally pertinent about it. Then I rank each of the nominees and tell you what their likelihood (at this particular moment in time) of winning is.

This is all prelude to my giant Oscar ballot that I’m gonna give you. But I figure, if you have these as the warmup, it’s not as intimidating. You’ll have seen a lot of the pertinent trends here and we’ll all be able to reference these as a sort of cheat sheet. Plus it shows you where my head is at for how I think each of the categories are gonna go, and you can see me working my way up to all the bad decisions I usually make while guessing. Pretty much, with this, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the category is gonna turn out.

Today is Best Costume Design. AKA Best Frills. We probably didn’t need to wait this long to go over it, but I feel like this one could be interesting, so I wanted to wait until most of the precursors were in before I talked about it. (more…)


Oscars 2018 Category Breakdown: Best Editing

So what we do here each year as a warm up for the Oscars is, I break down each of the 24 categories. The idea is to both familiarize everyone with the category and its history. I look at what the major trends are throughout the past bunch of years, how the precursors tend to go, whether they matter or not, that sort of stuff. I look at how the category came to be this year, and just anything else that seems totally pertinent about it. Then I rank each of the nominees and tell you what their likelihood (at this particular moment in time) of winning is.

This is all prelude to my giant Oscar ballot that I’m gonna give you. But I figure, if you have these as the warmup, it’s not as intimidating. You’ll have seen a lot of the pertinent trends here and we’ll all be able to reference these as a sort of cheat sheet. Plus it shows you where my head is at for how I think each of the categories are gonna go, and you can see me working my way up to all the bad decisions I usually make while guessing. Pretty much, with this, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the category is gonna turn out.

Today is Best Editing. And what is shaping up to potentially be the most interesting Editing category since 2011. You all remember 2011 Best Editing, right? (more…)