Posts tagged “Best Documentary Feature

The 88th Academy Awards Scorecard

My friend introduced me to this last year. I had no idea people did it, and I honestly think it’s the best way to pick the Oscars. Here’s how it works:

You take every category and rank all of the nominees in terms of order you think they’re going to win. If your #1 choice wins, you get 1 point. If #2 wins, you get to. Etc. And in the end, you tally your score up. And the lowest score (24 being the lowest) wins. It’s very simple, and the only time it gets confusing is if a tie happens, which is pretty rare in the history of the Academy (even though one did happen in 2012).

I prefer it because it’s based more on diagnosing the category than simply picking a winner. And diagnosing categories is my specialty.

Here’s my scorecard for this year’s Oscars: (more…)


The B+ Oscar Ballot: 2015 – The Quick Picks

My giant ballot article went up a few hours ago. This is the abridged version of that, for easy reference during the ceremony.

Here’s everything you should be taking, and what I’m taking. Very succinct, with cliff notes versions of all the categories.

And in a bit, I’m gonna post my scorecard for how I’m gonna rank myself on that. (Note: The rankings here may be slightly different from the ones I’m picking on the Scorecard.)

Here are the quick picks for the 88th Academy Awards: (more…)


The B+ Oscar Guide to the 88th Academy Awards

Everything you need for Oscar night in one place. I make things as simple or as complex as you want them to be. You can read all 34,000 words like the insane person who wrote them, or you can skip through and look purely for my picks. It’s up to you. All I can promise is a respectable showing in your office/party pool and enough knowledge to make you look like you know what you’re talking about.

This article acts as both my own personal ballot as well as a tool for guessing what will win in every category. On the personal side, this acts as an extension of my Oscar Quest. I rank each category based on my thoughts having seen all the nominees and pick what I’d vote for if I were casting a ballot. That’s just for me. The practical side is more interesting. I run down every category, discuss the nominees in depth. I give you all the precursor information you need, then break down the categories. I tell you what’s most likely going to win, what its biggest competition is, and which nominee has a chance at sneaking up to surprise everyone with a win. I also link to all the category breakdowns I’ve been writing over the past couple of weeks (hint: you can click the name of each category to get to them) if you want every bit of information you can possibly get.

Then, at the very end, I plainly say “Here’s what I am taking on my ballot” and “Here is what you should take, because it is the safest and smartest decision, based on everything I’ve presented above.” I also color code everything, so you can easily find stuff. No one else goes this nuts with their coverage. Trust me. This is why you come to me. (more…)


Oscars 2015 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 works, what its history is, how it usually turns out, and also as a precursor to my picks article, allowing me to get most of the heavy lifting out of the way beforehand.

How these work is — I 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 went, and 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.

Today is Best Documentary. Which has gotten way easier the past couple of years. Now all we can do is overthink it. (more…)


Oscars 2015: Best Documentary Feature Shortlist

And now we have our Documentary shortlist. This is why I love December. All of this stuff starts getting announced within the same ten day span.

I previewed the entire list of what could be nominated a few weeks ago. there were 124 eligible documentaries. I pulled out 15 initially that sounded like they could make sense, and then pulled a list of 15 to see how close I could get to the actual list.

Well, here are the 15 shortlisted films. Spoiler alert: I had 9 of them. (more…)


Oscars 2015: Best Documentary Longlist

124 films have been longlisted for Best Documentary. Normally I wait until they announce the shortlist in December, but what the hell. We’re on a roll today.

I’m gonna give synopses and brief (I mean it this time) reactions to them. 111 of these movies won’t even make the shortlist. No need to get too deep into it. They only shortlist 15 films. I’m doing it to see if maybe I can get a better understanding of how things get through all the way to the category. Let’s see if it helps.

Anyway, here are all 124 films that can be nominated for Best Director: (more…)


87th Academy Awards Recap

Well, that’s another year in the books. Goodbye, 2014, hello 2015.

I have no idea how many I got wrong or right. I think I was in the 18 range or so. Which is admirable. I don’t even care. Because not a single category threw me for a loop. I was right there with either the winner or runner up in every single category. That’s all I can ever ask for.

I was also extremely pleased that the majority of the Oscars went to three of my top four films of the year. And you throw in an extra win for my #6 film and another win for my #10 film. So I’m pretty pleased overall.

You can read my live blog of the events here. And now we’ll recap everything so we can get on with 2015: (more…)


87th Academy Awards Live Blog

We’ll tally everything up tomorrow. In the mean time. I was typing up the Oscars as I watched it with my Chinese food and alcohol.

I was also feverishly texting throughout the whole thing. It’s actually kind of a miracle that I managed to get all of it done.

So, here’s my live blog of the Oscars, as I was watching: (more…)


Oscars 2014: The B+ Movie Blog Quick Picks

My giant picks article went up a few hours ago. This is the abridged version of that, for easy reference during the ceremony.

Here’s everything you should be taking, and what I’m taking.

Oh, and rankings for that new system I’m trying to see how truly accurate I am at all of this. That is, I’m ranking them in terms of the order they will win. And the closest the winner is to my rankings, the better I do.

Here are the quick picks:

(more…)


Oscars 2014: The B+ Movie Blog Ballot

I used to call this Picks, Votes, Analysis, Rankings. But that’s not a fun title.

This article has everything you need for Oscar night. I run down every single category, tell you what’s nominated, how I felt about each of the nominees, tell you what wasn’t nominated that might have been, what I’d vote for, then break down the category and let you know what’s most likely going to win, what its biggest competition is, and what, if anything, has a chance to sneak in and surprise everyone. It has links to all the category breakdowns I’ve written over the past three weeks, and I even say, at the very end, “Here’s what I’m taking, and here’s what you should take, because it’s the smartest and safest decision.” I also color code everything, so you can find stuff incredibly easy.

If you want to sound remotely like an expert at your Oscar party and know very little about the overall goings on apart from having seen some of the movies, read this article. You’ll be fine. (more…)


Oscars 2014 Category Breakdown: Best Documentary Feature

This is a tradition for me. Every year, before the Oscars, I break down every single one of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with each category, how it works, what its history is, how it usually turns out, and also as a precursor to my picks article, allowing me to get most of the heavy lifting out of the way beforehand.

How these work is — I 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 went, and 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.

Today is Best Documentary Feature, a category that is about a half-step away from being dead to me. (more…)


Oscars 2014: Best Documentary Feature Shortlist

We got another one.

In case you haven’t figured it out, these are being put up in the order they came out. And since they came out before I started doing Oscar stuff, they’re going up now. I do things on my own timeline. Nothing changed between when these were announced and now. And I think we all know I’m not in it for the clicks. I’d be doing this shit anyway.

Anyway, they announced the shortlist for Best Documentary Feature. Normally, this is when people get upset that certain well-regarded documentaries weren’t included. I honestly don’t care about documentaries, and the fact that I watch more than one or two a year is always astounding to me.

This year, I watched… I think, three, already. And I’ve loved two of them. And fortunately, one of them is on this list. And it’ll be interesting to see if they allow it on the final list of nominees. Because it’ll be hard to think it won’t win if it does get on.

Anyway, here’s your shortlist for Best Documentary Feature: (more…)


86th Academy Awards Live-Blog

So I sat down to watch the Oscars and decided to live-blog it.

So, here is everything I wrote down while watching the Oscars:

The Live-Blog

Monologue was all right. Mostly safe, but it worked. Not a fan of Ellen as a host.

The crowd is lively. I like it.

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Classy speech. Good job. (more…)


Oscars 2013: The Winners

Here’s a quick list of winners for the Oscars:

Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave

Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity 

Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave (more…)


Oscars 2013: The Quick Picks

All right, here’s an abridged version of all my Oscar picks. Basically — what I’m picking, what I want to win, what you should pick, and what will win if my pick doesn’t win (the alternate, essentially). I’ll write a brief blurb underneath explaining the deal with the category.

Oh, and here’s a link to the giant picks article. For reference.

So anyway, here are the picks: (more…)


Oscars 2013: Picks, Votes, Analysis, Rankings

It’s that time again.

For some reason, during the most competitive (at least, Best Picture-wise) year in a long time, I find myself less excited about this night than I have been in a while. Honestly, I think it’s because most of the technical awards are pretty much sewn up. It takes the element of surprise out of most of the night and saves it for the very end, as opposed to knowing the end and being excited along the way.

I’m also glad I’m out doing this on my own. I don’t even want to think about the kind of bitterness and hatred and blind campaigning that’s going on at all those Oscar blogs and sites I used to read.

This will be the same as every year. I’ll guess each category. What I think will win, what I think its main competition is, what the spoiler is, what I’m picking, and what you should probably pick if you want to win your Oscar pool. I also color-code everything to make it as easy to follow as possible.

I’m expecting to do pretty horribly this year. If I can manage 16 correct, I’ll be pleased. So take my opinions as they are: opinions. I have no idea what’s going to happen. Let me also specify that while this (obviously) is all my personal opinion it also will not include my personal opinion. This is all what I think will happen. Whether or not I think that’s a good decision is something else entirely. I’m in the picking business, not the deciding business. I also don’t need to know your opinion. I have a difficult enough time deciding my own as to who’s gonna win. More would be chaos.

So, with that, let’s roll up the sleeves: (more…)


Oscars 2013 Category Breakdown: Best Documentary Feature

Every year, leading up to the Oscars, I break down every single category. It’s essentially a precursor to my picks. I explain all the stuff that needs to be explained in detail, so when the time comes to make my picks, I can refer to it as a shorthand.

In the articles, I’ll go over each category’s history, show previous winners and nominees, then list the current year’s nominees, talk about the guild history, if it’s important, what the guilds went with this year, whether that means anything for that particular category — all the background you need to know to make an informed decision. And then, once that’s all done, I’ll rank the nominees in that category in order of their likelihood to win, based on how I see it at the present.

The only difference between this year and previous years is that this year, I’ll be doing only one category a day instead of multiple categories. This is so I can take more time with each category and not stuff a bunch into a single article for information overload, and, simply, so I don’t have to do as much work. Though it is also easier this way. One category, one day.

Today’s category is Documentary Feature. A category that, if I ranked all 24 Oscar categories by how much I cared about them, would be #22. I just don’t care about documentaries. Some people, that’s all they care about. Me — you’re lucky if you get me to watch one a year. This year, somehow, I’ve seen two, and will probably somehow see a third. I have no idea how this happened.

That said, even though I don’t like documentaries, this is always an easy category to figure, since you can always gauge how much they’re gonna go for each of the nominees. This one is no different. I see three potential winners here. (more…)


Oscars 2013 Update: Best Documentary Feature

Here’s another shortlist for you — Documentary Feature.

I don’t particularly care about documentaries. Self-important film people love watching them, and sometimes only watch them. I’m not one of those people. I don’t need to be depressed about the state of the world and force myself to watch stuff that talks about how bad certain shit is and how much we’re being fucked by the government to feel cultured. I only want to watch a documentary if the story it’s telling is interesting. And as such, I usually only watch about one documentary a year. Though, as luck would have it (or maybe there’s a reason), every documentary I’ve seen over the past… seven, I think… years has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary.

Here are the docs I’ve seen since 2007: Taxi to the Dark Side, Sicko, Man on Wire, The Cove, Undefeated and Searching for Sugar Man. The only one on that list that didn’t win was one that lost to another nominee. I didn’t even see Exit Through the Gift Shop. I don’t know if my track record speaks to me being a good luck charm, or the fact that the docs that win are the only ones that tell stories that are really interesting to the most amount of people. That is — I don’t watch documentaries, therefore, if I watch one, it’s probably interesting and/or entertaining as hell.

With that said, here’s your shortlist for Documentary Feature: (more…)


Oscars 2012 Category Breakdown: Best Documentary Feature & Best Documentary Short Subject & Best Animated Feature

We’re almost done with these category breakdowns. Today we get into the stuff most people don’t give a shit about.

We start with Documentary Feature, which is pretty sewn up, then move onto Documentary Short, which is actually one of the easiest categories to predict each year, and then we end with Animated Feature, just to give this article something interesting.

What I do is list all the previous winners of each category, then go over this year’s nominees, then rank the likelihood of each of them winning.

Here we go, with the Documentaries: (more…)


Oscars 2012 Update: Best Documentary Feature Shortlist and Independent Spirit Awards Nominees

Today we go over some more Oscar tidbits, specifically Best Documentary Feature and the Independent Spirit Awards. Mostly bookkeeping, but they are slightly helpful for next month.

We’ll start with Documentary Feature, and the fifteen films that were shortlisted from an original list of 126. I’ll list what they are and give brief synopses of them before going over what I think is most likely to make the final category based on Oscar experience. (more…)


Oscars 2011 Breakdown: Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary (Short Subject), Best Live-Action Short & Best Animated Short

And, the categories absolutely nobody cares about (and Best Documentary. Which only some people care about).

These are the categories that, every year, nobody knows how to pick, and everyone expects to get wrong. It is impossible to guess which shorts are going to win. So we basically just pick randomly and hope we get it right.

Also, for these categories (at least, everything but Best Animated Short), I only typed out the winners. No one really cares enough about these to go through all of them (and I don’t care about documentaries, so that’s why I didn’t type out that one).

Anyway, let’s just finish up these categories. Because this article will be so shorts (I’m hilarious), I’m going to post a bonus article in a bit. Mostly because I had it written and ran out of days. But the fact that nobody cares about these categories is also a good reason for me to get it up today.

We’ll start with Best Documentary. Let’s just get this over with. (more…)