So most years when I write this article, I talk about how good I feel, how nice it is for the crunch of awards season to be over. But honestly, I’ve been relaxed for about a week. I finished my picks and all that stuff last Sunday night after BAFTAs. I proofread it Monday morning, and really all I did between then and now was maybe tweak a ranking or two (none of which ended up actually mattering in the end, which we’ll get to). And they shortened the time span this year, so the whole thing went pretty quickly and didn’t drag on at all. And now here we are, with the entire rest of February to go. This is weird, but also kinda great.
I’ll straight up say it — I put like no effort into this year’s awards. I kept putting off having to actually think about everything until all the results were in. I thought harder about what would be nominated than I did about this. There was only about three weeks between nominations and the awards, so I just let the results come to me and once they were all in, sat down and went, “Yup, that all looks about right,” and let the picks essentially make themselves and didn’t worry all too much about it.
And for most of the night, it sure looked like I might only get one category wrong of all the 24. That didn’t happen, but I still did insanely well (sorry to spoil it at the top, but I did). But man, for a while I thought, “There’s no way I’m gonna do well on this. I feel like I’m phoning this one in.” Because most of the choices were so obvious and I didn’t agonize over them like I normally would. So I figured it had to just be that I was wrong. Or maybe I’ve just done this so long that I’ve learned that I don’t have to spend much time thinking about it all. Which is kinda freeing.
Anyway, let’s recap the Oscars, so we can finally put 2019 to rest and close out the decade in film (sort of).
So this is the quick version of the giant article I posted this morning. The Oscars are on in two hours, and just so you don’t have to go back and reference the giant article if you don’t want to (though you should, there are nice colors and gifs and everything, and I put some real effort into it), I’m giving you the abridged version of it all.
I used to do this in two articles, but I’m just gonna do it in one, since I always put the rankings here anyway, so I’ll just make that section my official ‘Scorecard’ entry for this year. (And if you don’t know what that is, go read the big article. It’ll explain it. And it’s something I recommend you start doing if you’re serious about trying to guess Oscar winners. It’s so much better than just a straight ballot.)
Anyway, here’s your Oscar cheat sheet for later on: (more…)
It’s Oscar night, folks.
I’ve done this enough to know what’s about to happen. You all want my picks for what’s gonna win because I’m the person you know who’s stupid enough to actually put real thought into this whole charade and generally am right about all this stuff, and I like talking about this nonsense. So we have the trade-off… I write a lot and you pretend to read it while skipping down to what I picked.
We all know the drill — I’m gonna ramble for 24 categories, try to make sense of it all, eventually decide “fuck it” and leave it to chance, then I’m gonna go get drunk and eat Chinese food and watch the ceremony. Everybody has their traditions.
The Annie Awards were handed out tonight. The first of four major precursors. They’re the ones who got finished first, therefore they’re the first article to go up.
Klaus won every category it was nominated for, which is seven in total: Animated Feature, Directing, Character Animation, Character Design, Production Design, Storyboarding and Editorial. I Lost My Body, meanwhile, won three awards, for Independent Animated Feature, Music and Writing. And Frozen II won for Animated Effects and Voice Acting for Josh Gad as Olaf.
So basically the two extra nominee we weren’t sure about that the guild pushed through to the nominations list won all the awards. I’m not really that surprised. It must be boring as hell voting for Disney or Pixar every year. So I get them doing something like this. Klaus was a breath of fresh air, just like I’m sure Spider-Verse was last year. And I feel like part of what they do is like when LeBron James doesn’t win MVP every year despite being acknowledged as the best player in basketball. And the other part feels like them trying to spur these other people to actually make good movies and not leave it all to Disney and Pixar.
I’m not really putting much stock into this, though thank god this finally gives me something other than Toy Story to consider as a choice in that category, because it was looking like a straight runaway. I mean, it’s still probably a straight runaway, but I do wanna see what BAFTA does first. Maybe Klaus can win there and make things spicy.
I mean, in the end, the Academy only understands Disney or Pixar unless something really obvious like Spider-Verse is put on their plate instead, so I know they’re just gonna vote Toy Story and that’ll be the end of it, but this at least makes things humorously interesting for a minute. So that’s nice.
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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 Animated Feature. AKA, ‘Is it Disney or Pixar that’s winning this year?’ (more…)
This is becoming a thing I do. Usually they announce the eligibles list for this category and I go over it immediately and then come back once I’ve seen most or all of them and have a better idea of how I think the category’s gonna go.
It’s been a weak year, so I was hoping to get most of the foreign stuff in before I did this. But I knew if I was gonna do it, it was gonna have to be now rather than later, so we’re just gonna go for it and hope the last couple of pieces fall into place. Not that it’ll really matter in the end, but I’d like to find some cool foreign stuff to be rooting for in those last couple of spots rather than the boring American stuff.
Anyway, as a reminder, here are your 32 eligible films:
The Addams Family
The Angry Birds Movie 2
Another Day of Life
Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles
Children of the Sea
Dilili in Paris
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
The Last Fiction
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Marona’s Fantastic Tale
Primal – Tales of Savagery
The Secret Life of Pets 2
Spies in Disguise
The Swallows of Kabul
This Magnificent Cake!
Toy Story 4
Upin & Ipin: The Lone Gibbon Kris
Weathering with You
White Snake (more…)
The Annie Awards were announced Monday. I waited to talk about them now, because I didn’t have an article for today and because honestly, who cares? I mean, sure, it’s great for the people who work on these films, and that is very admirable. But in terms of the actual Oscar category for Animated Feature, these are pretty meaningless. At this point most people could guess 4/5 of the category sight unseen and all this is gonna do is maybe point us in the direction of the fifth nominee. Though I’d say that the Globes and BFCA will do a much better job of that than these will.
So really, we’re just about to look at how many nominations Disney and Pixar got.
Here are your 2019 Annie Award nominations: (more…)