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Category Archives: Award shows

The 2015 Oscars – Predicting the winners

87th_OscarsThis will be my sixth year doing Oscar predictions. Last year was more or less an average one for me, as I correctly predicted 18 of the 24 winners. My worst ever is 16, and my best is 19. Let’s see if I can finally crack that elusive 20 barrier.

Best Picture: We have a genuine two-horse race this year, as the field looks split between Boyhood and Birdman. Given the choices presented here, I would easily select The Grand Budapest Hotel. But I also think that film’s going to claim its fair share of Oscar gold elsewhere on Sunday, so I’m not too bothered.

Boyhood took home the BAFTA and the Golden Globe, as well as the Critics’ Choice Award. So you could certainly make the case it’s a shoo-in. But it’s worth noting the producer’s guild picked Birdman as their best picture. The PGA best picture winner has gone on to win the Oscar for the last seven years running.

I’m genuinely having difficulty here, but I think Birdman might pull this off. Alejandro González Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole for Birdman.

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The 2015 Oscar Nominations or (Look At All These Crackers)

selma-movie-david-oyelowoSo, now we see where things stand. The Oscar nominations always provide great fodder because you can give with one hand (“Kudos to the Academy for nominating this under-seen indie gem!”) and take away with the other (“How could they not have noticed this other movie?!”).

I have to start with the acting categories, aka Hurray For White People!

Okay, seriously though… All white people? No David Oyelowo, no Gugu Mbatha-Raw? I don’t have the ammo to get properly worked up about this, since I haven’t yet seen Selma, or Beyond The Lights. But given the critical reaction to both films, it seems odd not to see them represented here. Issues surrounding race have dominated the headlines in the last year, so you’d think Oscar voters would’ve made sure to recognize some of the fine performances by actors of colour in 2014. Makes sense right? Apparently not.

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Oscar post-mortem

lupita-nyong'oIf you skipped the Oscars broadcast and were planning to watch it later, I’d like to take a few moments and save you three and a half hours. Here’s what you missed:

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The 2014 Oscars – Predicting the winners

Well, now the pressure’s on. Last year worked out well for me in the Oscar predicting department as I got 19 out of 24 – a personal best. I’d really like to get 20 or more this time around, but as usual it won’t be an easy task. Let’s begin…

Oscars 2014Best Picture: Last year was no mystery, as Argo swept the precursor awards on its way to claiming the Oscar. Things are quite similar this year, with the only spot of intrigue being a historic tie at the Producers Guild Awards between 12 Years A Slave and Gravity. I’d like to see Gravity win, but if my previous prediction write-ups have taught me anything, it’s that my personal preference means zilch. Given this, and Gravity’s overwhelming odds of winning several other Oscars on Sunday, I will pencil in Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas as the winners for 12 Years A Slave.

Best Actor: Hey, Matthew McConaughey, you ever won an Oscar? No? Well it’d be a lot cooler if you did. A win for anyone who didn’t once play Wooderson in Dazed And Confused would be pretty surprising here. McConaughey’s work in Dallas Buyers Club was strong, so even though I think Chiwetel Ejiofor deserves the nod here, I can’t hate. Matthew McConaughey for the win. Alright, alright, alright…

Best Actress: Even the stink of the revived Woody Allen controversy can’t taint what Cate Blanchett achieved in Blue Jasmine. Her strongest competition here comes from Amy Adams, who has four previous Oscar nominations under her belt with no wins. And of course Meryl Streep can never be discounted. But Blanchett has cleaned up this awards season. With wins at the Golden Globes, the SAG awards, the BAFTAs, and the Critics’ Choice Awards already to her credit, Cate Blanchett is the safe bet. Whoa, that rhymed.

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THE MARQUEE: And the Oscar goes to…

ang-leeWell, that went better than expected: I correctly predicted 19 of the 24 Oscar winners, my best performance ever! I’ll start with a quick rundown of what I missed, and segue expertly into a short recap of the night.

There were no huge surprises as far as my misses are concerned. Documentary short is always a tough call. I went with Open Heart but Innocente won. Production design is another tricky one. I opted for Anna Karenina (thinking this award would go well with costume design, which I was more certain Karenina would take). Lincoln got it instead (it wound up being the film’s only Oscar, except for the expected Daniel Day-Lewis best actor win). Sound editing is the category that probably screwed a lot of people in Vegas this year, as it was declared a tie between Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty. I don’t even get half marks, as I randomly guessed Life Of Pi (even after having the difference between “sound editing” and “sound mixing” explained to me multiple times, I’m still not entirely sure I know which is which).

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The 2013 Oscars – Predicting the winners

oscar-posterAlright, here we go again – time to pick me some Oscar winners! I’ve been pretty consistent in my past attempts (18 correct in 2010, 16 in 2011, and 17 last year). It’d be nice to get above 20 for once, but as usual it won’t be an easy task. There are a fair number of gimmes of course, but many of the categories remain wide open.

In the past, I’ve simply posted my prediction list sans commentary. But this year I thought I’d expand on my thought processes a little, at least for some of the categories. I’ll either be documenting my brilliance or chronicling my stupidity. So, fun either way!

Best Picture: This category is almost a sure thing, with Argo emerging as the surprise front-runner. It won best picture at the BAFTAs, the Critics’ Choice Awards, and the Golden Globes. Lincoln took the Producer’s Guild Award, but at this point it’s a distant second, even though I found it to be the superior film. I’m (grudgingly) penciling in producers Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney as the winners for Argo.

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The 2012 Academy Awards – Predicting the winners

It’s that time again – time to watch me try to second-guess the Academy voters for the third year running! 2010 is still my best year, as I guessed 18/24 correctly. I should’ve tied that mark last year, but The King’s Speech stole best picture/best director, so I dropped down to 16/24. Not that I’m bitter or anything…

This year’s a bit weird for me. Usually, I’ve seen the Oscar-nominated acting performances by the time the big night arrives. But I didn’t catch either The Help or Beginners, so I’m mostly going with the popular opinion in picking Davis, Plummer, and Spencer to win. And I think most people consider Jean Dujardin the favourite for best actor, but I’ve already predicted Clooney (whose performance I didn’t even like) on the podcast, so now I’m stuck with him. Dammit…

Usually I’m pretty invested in the best picture/best director race. Like last year with Fincher vs. Hooper. Not so this year. I liked The Artist more than Hugo, but neither one really floored me. If anything, the category I’m pinning my hopes on this time around is best original screenplay, and it looks like Woody Allen has that pretty sewn up (knock on wood). Midnight In Paris was definitely my favourite film of 2011, so it would be nice to see it get at least one statuette.

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The 2011 Academy Awards – Predicting the winners

Last year was a pretty good year for me in terms of predicting the Oscars, as I wound up going a respectable 18/24, including correctly picking the winners for best picture, best director, and the four major acting awards. I don’t know if I’ll be able to top that this time around, but here goes nothin’…

Best Picture: The Social Network
Best Actor: Colin Firth for The King’s Speech
Best Actress: Natalie Portman for Black Swan
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale for The Fighter
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo for The Fighter
Best Director: David Fincher for The Social Network
Best Original Screenplay: David Seidler for The King’s Speech
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network
Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins for True Grit
Best Editing: Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall for The Social Network
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Post-Oscars Review: Bigelow Makes History

So, all the little golden men have been handed out. Some dreams have been crushed, others have been realized. Now it’s time to pore over the night that was, in needless detail. Because that’s just how I roll. So let’s see what I got right and what the Academy got wrong (and vice versa), and where it all goes from here.

In terms of picks, it was a decent night for me. I went a respectable 18/24 in the end. The six that I missed fall into three categories. There’s “Oh my God, what was I thinking?!” “Oh my God, what were they thinking?!” and “I really just have no idea what’s going on here”.

In the “my mistake” category, I chose Avatar to win best score and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus to win art direction. As the mash-up dance thingy immediately before the best score award was going on, I remember hearing the piano theme from Up and knowing right away that I was wrong to bet against Giacchino, because that was just a great theme. And going against Avatar for art direction was probably not a stroke of genius on my part either.

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The 2010 Academy Awards

It’s that time of year once again, so here are my picks for who’ll be bringing home the hardware on Oscar night.

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique for Precious
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
Best Screenplay, Written Directly for the Screen: Mark Boal for The Hurt Locker
Best Screenplay, Based on Material Previously Produced or Published: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner for Up in the Air
Best Cinematography: Christian Berger for The White Ribbon
Best Editing: Bob Murawski and Chris Innis for The Hurt Locker
Best Art Direction: David Warren, Anastasia Masaro and Caroline Smith, for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Best Costume Design: Sandy Powell for The Young Victoria
Best Makeup: Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow for Star Trek
Best Original Score: James Horner for Avatar
Best Original Song: T-Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham for “The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart
Best Sound Mixing: Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett for The Hurt Locker
Best Sound Editing: Paul N.J. Ottosson for The Hurt Locker
Best Visual Effects: Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andy Jones for Avatar
Best Animated Feature Film: Up
Best Foreign Language Film: A Prophet
Best Documentary, Features: The Cove
Best Documentary, Short Subjects: Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher for The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner
Best Short Film, Animated: Nicolas Schmerkin for Logorama
Best Short Film, Live Action: Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson for The New Tenants

So there you have it. Now that I’ve doomed all of the people above to losing, my work is done. Oh, I should also mention I’m in the process of compiling a list of my 10 favourite movies of 2009. It’ll be up sometime soon.