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 Sound Mixing. Which is not Sound Editing. Because you can totally tell those two apart. (more…)
The CAS Awards were also given out tonight. Hooray, Sound Mixing.
The winner was Bohemian Rhapsody, which paints a really interesting picture for Oscar night. I suspected this would be the case for the guild, but with First Man being nominated in both categories, and my everlasting mantra of “Don’t split the Sound categories, Mike,” I’m really wondering how this one is gonna turn out. There’s a chance First Man wins Editing and this wins Mixing. But we’ll see. I’m still figuring out my final thoughts on everything and preparing my giant 45,000 word Oscar article (I’m wondering if we approach 50,000 words this year). Apparently that’s about what a decent-sized novel would be. That sounds about right for the nonsense I spew.
Oh, and Isle of Dogs won for Animation and Free Solo won for Documentary. The latter makes sense at first glance. I assume Isle of Dogs beat Spider-Verse, which I kinda get. Music tends to be a factor in Mixing more than the other categories. But honestly anything outside of the big category is meaningless to me. Let’s not pretend either of those factor into their races.
Tomorrow night is WGA and MPSE, and then CDG is the last precursor on Tuesday, and then we’re totally done in terms of precursors and it’s just straight up guessing at that point. We’re in the final stretch, guys. This is it. The Endgame. Shit’s about to start turning into dust and stuff.
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Okay, the shortlist you’ve all been waiting for has been announced. BEST SOUND MIXING!
Oh, what, you thought you were getting the DGA list first? Nah. You gotta eat your salad and then you’ll get the main course.
The Cinema Audio Society also announced their nominations today, so we’re gonna talk Best Sound Mixing as well.
Sound Mixing, to remind you if you’re not all up on your categories, is the entire sound design in the film. Musicals do great here, as do war movies. Basically, if you assume Dunkirk and Baby Driver and probably Star Wars, then you’re most of the way there already. (And this is before I’ve even seen the list.)
Here are your CAS nominees for this year: (more…)
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…)