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.
We begin with Best International Feature, which is the stupid new name for Best Foreign Language Film, a change they made to make it sound more inclusive and positive, rather than as the dismissive category for foreigners. Problem is — a name means jack shit unless you’re actually gonna work to make it feel like it means more. Plus also, the first time they have that name, we have the biggest lock of the night and a category that’s totally meaningless because we already know what’s gonna win. (more…)
Let’s do Foreign Language Film next.
They changed it to International Feature, but I hate that distinction. It’s trying to be politically correct when it just sounds like a euphemism designed to make them sound more inclusive when we know they’re same ass people we get mad at every damn year.
Anyway, we went over the 91 eligible films two weeks ago. So this is really just cleaning up all of that and making my life easier. Let’s get into what they shortlisted and then we’ll figure out the rest as we go.
Here’s your shortlist for Best International Feature: (more…)
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…)