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 Original Screenplay. One of the more interesting categories of the year. It’s a toss up, but it’s an interesting toss up. (more…)
The WGA Awards were handed out tonight.
Eighth Grade won for Original Screenplay and Can You Ever Forgive Me? won for Adapted Screenplay.
Both of those are surprising results. Eighth Grade isn’t even nominated for the Oscar, so that’s part of that one. The other part — The Favourite wasn’t eligible for WGA. And the Original Screenplay category was long considered The Favourite vs. Green Book. So now you have a situation where Green Book was in the guild without having to face The Favourite, and it still lost. That’s fascinating. And since Roma didn’t win, that means that doesn’t get a boost into “could win” territory. So now we’re back to The Favourite vs. Green Book. You can’t call it just yet because if Green Book is gonna win Best Picture, it almost certainly is gonna take Screenplay too. But man, does this make you look even more sideways at Green Book’s chances here.
And then for Adapted — Can You Ever Forgive Me? opens up the Adapted race to three films instead of two. I thought it would be either Beale Street or BlacKkKlansman, which split BFCA and BAFTA. I figured this would be the tiebreaker. Now we just have another hat in the ring. Though what’s even more interesting about the whole affair — all three of them lost the USC Scripter to Leave No Trace, which isn’t nominated for the Oscar. So now we have three scripts which won one precursor each, and no real idea how the Academy’s gonna vote for the category.
Oh well. That’s the fun of Oscar season, I guess. MPSE is announcing tonight, so those results will go up when I have them. CDG announces Tuesday and then that’ll be it for the precursors. Then I’ve got four category breakdowns left — both Screenplay categories, Sound Editing, which will go up tomorrow, and Best Picture, which will go up last. Then Friday come the Five Word Film Reviews (which are DONE already! Most years I’m rushing to write up like 300 reviews in less than a week. I did that shit already!). Saturday we do our usual Favorite Moments in the Best Picture nominees and prepare ourselves for Sunday. P.S. I’m already 43,000 words into my giant Oscar article. I’m on top of this shit this year. I am ready.
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Okay, our final shortlist for today — the Writers Guild.
These nominations always have to be taken with a grain of salt just because there are always ineligible scripts each year. I think because people aren’t actually guild members. The ones that I know for sure that weren’t eligible this year were: The Favourite, Hereditary, Sorry to Bother You, Death of Stalin, Incredibles 2, The Sisters Brothers and Leave No Trace.
Most of those really stood no shot at the final list, but The Favourite almost certainly will, so it not being nominated here means nothing for its ultimate chances in the end.
That said, here are your WGA nominees for 2018: (more…)