Posts tagged “Best Documentary Feature

92nd Academy Awards Recap

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).
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The B+ Oscar Ballot 2019: The Cheat Sheet

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…)


The B+ Oscar Ballot: Guide to the 92nd Academy Awards

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.

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Oscars 2019 Category Breakdown: Best Documentary 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.

Today is Best Documentary Feature. The most broken branch in the Academy. Yet again, the best and most critically lauded documentary of the year has been left off the list, leaving yet another category that continues to be meaningless. Great job, guys. (more…)


Oscars 2019: Best Documentary Feature Shortlist

Let’s start with Best Documentary Feature. Since this is a category I decided to half-give a shit about this year. They announced their list of 159 films eligible for the category and I skimmed it to see which ones seemed important/would be interesting for me personally and pulled those and tried to watch as many as I could before now. I’m still working. I have two or three left from my original list and will likely add a few more from this.

But hey, I’m trying to care. And that’s new. Normally I can only be bothered about documentaries after they’re in contention. So look at that. Growth. Only took a decade. Doubt it’ll last, but hey, we got somewhere.

Anyway, they narrowed down the list to 15 contenders, of which 5 will eventually be nominates. So let’s see what mistakes the Documentary branch made this year. Here is your shortlist: (more…)


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…)


Oscars 2018 Category Breakdown: Best Documentary Feature

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 Documentary Feature. There are no real precursors for this, and they didn’t nominate the best documentary of the year. So we don’t need to wait on this, and honestly I want to get it done as soon as possible because I’m still sore at how shitty this branch’s decision-making continues to be. (more…)


Oscars 2018: Best Documentary Feature Shortlist

Our next shortlist is Best Documentary Feature. If we’re gonna get into the ones that require effort, let’s at least go for the one that requires the most first.

There were 166 films submitted, and they’ve whittled us down to 15. I’ve watched more documentaries over the past couple of years, and have even gotten over some of my aversion to them. That said, I still prefer ones about nonsense to important ones, but that’s just my own personal taste.

Still, I feel like this year, there are at least two or three that are really obvious major contenders, so it’s really only gonna come down to whether or not they leave them off, or if this one’s gonna be cut and dry all the way through. Only one way to find out.

Here’s your shortlist for Best Documentary Feature: (more…)


90th Academy Awards Recap

That’s another Oscar season in the books. I won’t lie — this was the hardest one I’ve ever had. Not in terms of picking and all that (because, spoiler alert: I did fucking great), but in terms of everything else. I honestly didn’t think I was gonna make it through to the end. I barely got my nominations picks done in time. I don’t even remember much of anything I wrote on here since early January. With the amount of stuff that was going on, I’m honestly surprised it all got done. Fortunately the one thing I was able to put some thought into since January was the giant picks article, which, as you’ll see… worked out pretty well. I will let a lot of things fall apart, but I won’t let you guys go into your Oscar pool unprepared.

Anyway, these 90th Academy Awards are in the books, and overall, while an entertaining night, and one that didn’t feel as slow as some other years (even during the segments that slowed the show down), not a particularly surprising one. So much of the night felt exactly like it was meant to go. And the moments where I was wrong, I knew what would win instead.

There’s not a whole lot for me to say about these awards. Or maybe that’s just the exhaustion talking, knowing it’s finally all over. Who’s to say, really? Let’s find out together, shall we? (more…)


The 90th Academy Awards Scorecard Ballot

So rather than just do that plain old “guessing winners” thing, I’ve decided to make my Oscar picking more complicated. Rather than having a score out of 24, I’ve now also begun doing this, which grades me on how well I can pick an entire category and not just the winner.

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: (more…)


The B+ Oscar Ballot: The Quick Picks

I put up my giant article already, but for those of you who don’t respect me (or, thinking positive, those of you who already ready it and just wanted the cheat sheet version), here’s everything I think you should take and what I’m taking in a much simpler version. Not only do I give you the extended editions, but I’m also giving you the cliff notes. (What a guy, right?)

I’ll also, in about twenty minutes, put up my Scorecard ballot for easy reference as well. That is, for those of you who wanna attempt that way of picking the Oscars. (The rankings here are not the same as my Scorecard ballot, FYI.)

Anyway, here they are, the quick picks for the 90th Academy Awards: (more…)


The B+ Oscar Ballot: Guide to the 90th Academy Awards

Ever like something so much you’d do it for free? Hi, I’m Mike DiPrisco and I’m here to talk to you about Match.com…

Admit it, that was funny.

But really, though. I’m so into the Oscars I’m about to give you 48,000 words of shit you don’t need, and the kind of analysis that, if this were sports, people would make you pay for. And I’m doing it purely out of the goodness of my own insanity. (Mostly because otherwise no one would listen to it.)

You know all those texts you guys have been sending me the past couple weeks? Well, this is all the shit I’ve got stored up that I didn’t tell you about when I answered you. If all you wanted was what I thought was gonna win — here’s way more of that than you ever needed. And if all you wanted was for me to help you win your Oscar pool, then well… same. Though I’m also helping tens of other people do the same thing, so let’s hope you don’t know anyone else who reads this site.

I’m not so much giving you all the answers (because I don’t have all the answers) as much as I’m giving you all the information you need to make the most informed decision about what you think is going to win, and helping you along with what I, your friendly neighborhood ne’er-do-well, think will win. In a way, you might say I’m giving you all the clues.

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Oscars 2017 Category Breakdown: Best Documentary Feature

Every year, as we lead up to the Oscars, I break down each of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with the category; what the trends are, how the guilds and stuff help (or don’t), etc. I also do it as a precursor to my giant Oscar ballot. I get most of the heavy lifting out of the way here, so that way when I get to the article, I’m just kind of riffing on how I think it’ll turn out and talking myself into all the bad decisions. It’s like college. And this is the pregame.

How these articles work is — I give you all the previous winners and nominees of each of the categories, then tell you how accurate each of the respective guilds and precursors are in what they vote for versus what wins the Oscar, tell you how each of them voted this year, then give you this year’s category, along with a quick rundown of how we ended up with that category (what was a surprise, etc). After that, I rank each of this year’s nominees in terms of how I see them right now in terms of their likelihood to win. Which is nothing more than my perception (notice that underline, even though you won’t) of how the category seems at the moment based on everything I know and have seen. Which will give you a general sense of the favorites.

Today is Best Documentary Feature. I waited until near the end to deal with this one because, like most people, I’ve got no fucking clue what will happen. Your almost de facto winner wasn’t nominated and the entire category just feels “meh” now. (more…)


Oscars 2017: Best Documentary Feature Shortlist

They also announced the Best Documentary shortlist this past week. Of something like 170 documentaries submitted for the category, they’ve narrowed it down to 15, of which 5 will be nominated. People have long said the documentary branch, in their decision-making, has been broken and needs fixing (for sure all the way back to Hoop Dreams, and I’m sure even further than that), and I’m sure this year is no different.

I am not a fan of documentaries, so I typically only come across a small handful throughout the year, most of which are either movies, music or sports-related, and I really only watch a bunch once they get shortlisted for the Oscars.

They announced this shortlist the other day, and I waited to write up this article because, as is my wont, I wanted to see as many of the films as I could. Of the 15 shortlisted docs, I had seen 4 of them already, which feels high for me (though I did get the fourth in like, a day or two before they announced the shortlist).

As of this posting, I’m up to 11. So that’s pretty good. (more…)


89th Academy Awards Recap

I’d like to remind everyone that it’s a wonderful thing to be reminded that we really don’t know shit. From the start of last night, I saw how badly I was doing and was going to do could not have been more happy about it. There’s something so reassuring about that. Knowing amazing things could happen that you weren’t anticipating. Knowing that in the end, nothing happens according to plan and that life throws you curveballs constantly.

It’s not what I’d have picked, and it’s not what I thought would happen, but I love everything that happened last night. All the way down the line. I loved everything about it. (more…)


The 89th Academy Awards Scorecard

This is my new measuring stick for how well I’m doing guessing the Oscars. Rather than simply being right or wrong, this is about how well you can guess everything.

What you do is 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. If #2 wins, you get 2 points. And you tally everything up. A perfect score would be a 24 (meaning your #1 in every category won). The only time it could be confusing is if a tie happens, but in 88 years it’s only happened six times. So we’ll deal with that should the situation arise.

Really what this does is interest someone like me, who likes to take an entire category and actually parse through what spot each of the nominees is in.  To me, the words “that’s a #4” mean something. This is my way of quantifying that.

So here is my Scorecard Ballot for this year: (more…)


The B+ Oscar Ballot: 2016 – The Quick Picks

The giant ballot article went up this morning, and for those who don’t want to have to skim through that, here’s a cliff notes version for easy reference. This is everything you should be taking, and what I’m taking.

And in a bit, I’ll post my Scorecard as well, for those looking to attempt that as well. (Note: The rankings here my not be the ones I put on my Scorecard.)

Here are the quick picks for the 89th Academy Awards: (more…)


The B+ Movie Blog Guide to the 89th Academy Awards

This is what you’ve all been texting me about for the past two weeks. This is all the info you wanted so you could win your Oscar pool. I probably should charge for this. But I’m stupid. So here you are. Hope you’re not all in the same pools!

As is always the case, in order to get the simple answers — what I think is gonna win and what you should pick — you have to deal with all the extra shit that only I’m interested in. But you know, at least I’m having fun, right?

Simply guessing the Oscars used to be fun for me. Betting people dinner in college if they could outguess me. (They couldn’t.) Now I’m on some next level shit. I’m not even about picking winners anymore. Now I’m all about picking nominees, and diagnosing the categories. I’m on a whole other scale of grading myself. Which means I’m gonna write a whole lot of nonsense here, and you can read as much or as little of it as you want. I make it as easy for you to ignore me as you possibly can. And then you have to live with yourself, you callous monster.

This article is both my personal ballot (an extension of all my Oscar Quest articles) and a full on analysis of Oscar night for everyone. That’s really the part you’re here for. You don’t care what I think. You wanna know what’s gonna win. (more…)


Oscars 2016 Category Breakdown: Best Documentary Feature

Every year before the Oscars I break down each of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with the category, how it typically goes, voting-wise, historically and also as a precursor to my picks article, allowing me to get most of the heavy lifting out of the way beforehand.

What I do is go over each category’s history, give you all the previous winners and nominees, then list the current year’s nominees. And then I’ll go over how each of the guilds (if there is a corresponding guild) have voted, how that corresponds to the Oscars (some guilds mean a lot to how a category will play out. Others mean nothing). It’s basically everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision when you make your picks on Oscar night. And then I also rank the nominees at the end in terms of where I see them in terms of their likelihood to win. So you know what the general favorites are.

Today is Best Documentary. (more…)


Oscars 2016: Best Documentary Feature Shortlist

I’ve been waiting for this one. Foreign Language and Documentary Feature are the two categories where, without a shortlist, you have no idea what you should or should not be watching. They have a total of about 200 eligible films. I can’t watch them all. So waiting for a shortlist really helps me nail down which ones to see.

This one was actually nice, since I’m acquainted with most, if not all, of them already, and have actually seen a good deal of them already. Which is a change for me. I was the “fuck documentaries” guy for years until recently.

But anyway, from this list, a third of them will be nominated. Now we gotta figure out which.

Here are your 15 shortlisted films for Best Documentary Feature: (more…)


88th Academy Awards Recap

So the Oscars were last night. A lot to talk about.

This is where we officially close the book on 2015 and move into 2016. I’ll try to give everything its due, but there was a point about an hour into the ceremony where I was just kind of over it and wanted to move on.

Overall it was a strange year. They really spread the wealth around. Mad Max won six, I think, and then The Revenant won 3 and Spotlight won 2 and then everything else only won 1. Crazy.

A lot of major stats fell and a lot of crazy shit happened. So let’s get into it: (more…)