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…)
Oscar season is almost upon us, folks. This is our first prep article. Your summer reading list, if you will.
We’ll go over the Foreign Language Film eligibles in a few weeks, but for now, we’ve got the list of submissions for Best Animated Feature. There are 32 of them this year (a record).
I haven’t really noticed a glut of animated films this year, so it’ll be interesting to see what there is to eventually lose to Frozen or Toy Story. They broke the dam on nominating an anime last year, so perhaps another one of those is in store. But the first step is seeing what’s eligible. So that’s what we’re gonna do today.
Here are the 32 eligible films for Best Animated Feature: (more…)
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…)
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:
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…)