Posts tagged “Best Foreign Language Film

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 International 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.

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…)


Oscars 2019: Best International Feature Shortlist

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…)


Oscars 2019: Best International Feature Submissions

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…)


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 Foreign Language Film

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…)


Oscars 2018: Best Foreign Language Film Shortlist

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…)


Oscars 2018: Best Foreign Language Film Submissions

The Foreign Language Film eligibles are usually the first thing to be announced at the beginning of Oscar season. But it’s just such an intense and unwieldy list, I typically don’t get to it until closer to the end of the year. And since generally the end of the year is pretty booked for me, here we are.

Typically what I do with this article is go over the full list and familiarize myself with them (since odds are I’m only gonna have heard of like, a dozen of them at most). And then I try to guess which ones feel like they have the best chance at making the shortlist. Which is a lot to do, so let’s just get into it. Last year there were 92 submitted films. This year there are 87. So I got my work cut out for me. (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 Foreign Language Film

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 Foreign Language Film. I waited on this because I hadn’t seen two of the nominees out of laziness for a while. And because it’s just not overly fun to talk about this year. (more…)


Oscars 2017: Best Foreign Language Film Shortlist

Forgive me, but I’m gonna use these shortlists to distract you from the fact that my last reviews article won’t be going up until late tonight when I’m sitting in the airport and have time to bang out the last handful I need to write up.

In the meantime, here’s the Best Foreign Language Film shortlist.

They submitted 92 features for this category, and now they’re gonna give you 9, of which 5 will be nominated. This is a year where all the chalk has made it through all the way, so I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of differentiation from that.

Let’s get into the list before we get any further: (more…)


Oscars 2017: Best Foreign Language Film Submissions

They announced the submissions for Foreign Language Film a while back. I’m only just getting around to them now. Mostly because this is my unofficial kick off to Oscar season, and I really like Oscar season. So I try to hold off as late as I can so I can really focus my attention on it. The only reason I even do this article is because of how much I love Oscar season.

There was a record 92 submissions for the category this year. Every year a couple of films don’t end up as official submissions or are disqualified for whatever reason. Still, 92 countries is pretty great.

What we do with this article is get acquainted with what each country submitted and what each of the films is about. And then I just sort of guess about what I think could end up getting shortlisted and/or nominated, which means very little but at least can make me feel pretty good if I get remotely close in the end.

Anyway, this tends to run long, so let’s just get into it. (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…)