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 Visual Effects. So you know, Best CGI. And occasionally the classy stuff too. (more…)
Funny story — I forgot VES was handing out awards today. I was writing up my Best Visual Effects category breakdown and went to look up when VES would be announcing so I’d have an idea… turns out, it was tonight. So here’s your VES write-up.
This guild is a function of what your Oscar nominees are. Really they help only so far. You look to BAFTA to confirm where you think things are leaning, and the Oscar category is a mixture of that plus just looking at it, because a lot of the time the answer is obvious.
Here’s your Visual Effects Oscar category, to make things easier:
Avengers: Infinity War
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story
There are seven major VES awards. Avengers: Infinity War won four of them, Best Effects, Animated Character, Composting and Effects Simulations. Ready Player One won two, Created Environment and Virtual Cinematography. First Man won for Supporting Effects. Also worth noting, Mortal Engines won for Models, and in Animated, Into the Spider-Verse swept everything, winning for Best Animated Effects, Animated Character, Created Environment and Effects Simulations.
So, on this alone, you might say Avengers is the frontrunner for the Oscar. I’m not going there just yet. I want to see what BAFTA does. Especially since the Oscar tends to go to the “classier” film with more of a pedigree, and that clearly seems like First Man in this case. If BAFTA goes Ready Player One then we have a decision on our hands. If Avengers manages to win BAFTA, then I may be swayed. And if First Man wins BAFTA, then you pretty much know exactly how this one’s gonna turn out.
I’m not calling this a huge win for Marvel just yet, only because they’ve yet to win the actual Oscar category. So let’s see where we’re at on Sunday once BAFTA announces and then regroup. I feel like, if anything, this might be a big Avengers red herring when First Man is staring us in the face all along as the probable winner of the category.
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The Visual Effects Society announced their nominees two days ago and I was too distracted to notice (you’ve see why today and will again tomorrow, and especially on Monday). But here we are.
I’ll have minimal amounts of things to say about each category, because I’ve already moved on to Oscar prognosticating. But still, it’s worth looking at. As a refresher, here’s your shortlist for the category:
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Avengers: Infinity War
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Mary Poppins Returns
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Welcome to Marwen
And here are your VES nominees: (more…)