They changed the name of Foreign Language Film to International Feature. That one’s gonna take some getting used to, even if it is a better name for the category. They announced all the submissions back in October, but I usually wait until now to go over them just because I hate to prematurely start thinking Oscars.
For most people, the list you’re gonna want is in eight days, when they announce the shortlists for everything. For now, this is just me being insane and going over all of the submitted foreign films to see what might get nominated.
BIG NOTE FOR THIS YEAR: There are gonna be ten films on the shortlist instead of 9, which is what we usually get. Why it hasn’t been ten before, I have no idea. It doesn’t really change the final guessing, since it’s basically a 50/50 shot most years anyway and usually you can get 3 of them pretty easily, but for those who do care about this stuff, there are gonna be ten films on the shortlist this year instead of nine.
Anyway, let’s look at all
93 92 91 of the submitted films (Nigeria’s and Austria’s films were disqualified last month) for Best International Feature and see which ones seemingly have a leg up for a nomination. (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…)
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…)
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 Foreign Language Film, a category that’s either more locked than we’ve ever seen, or we’re just gonna get it all wrong, knowing exactly what’s gonna win instead. (more…)
Our second shortlist is Best Foreign Language Film.
This is the one they do every year and it makes my life so much easier. This year, in particular, they’ve made it easier for people to see more of the eligible films by having screenings throughout the process. However, they did kind of narrow the field down with those screenings, and while I don’t care enough to do this, I’d be really interested to see if these films were featured in those screenings.
That said, there were 87 eligible films (all of which I previewed here), and now they’ve whittled it down to nine. Well… the branch voted in the top six, and then a committee added three more, which is always how you end up with the countries that are submitting for the first time. You gotta wonder why no one’s called them out on that. They straight up just shortlist three movies based on a board of people going, “Yeah, put that one on.”
But anyway, we have 9 films left, and 5 of them will be nominated. Here is your Best Foreign Language Film shortlist: (more…)