Monday, March 3, 2014

Some Observations on the Oscar Results and How I Did With My Picks

I mentioned in my Picks post that I hadn’t had the time this year to really dig into the nominees, but that the prior two years when I had done my homework my total number correct had actually gone down.  I wondered if my number would go up this year having not seen many of them.  It did.  I got 17 out of 24 correct – the best I’ve done in the four years I’ve been making picks.  More on this below.

First, some observations:

The big winner was Gravity with seven wins out of ten nominations.  It didn’t win Best Picture, though.  Gravity almost tied the record for most Oscar wins without winning the top award.  Cabaret holds the record with eight.

On the other end of the spectrum, American Hustle had ten nominations, but did not win a single Oscar.  This almost tied the record for most nominations without a single win.  The Turning Point and The Color Purple hold the record with eleven.  Three years ago True Grit also had ten nominations and no wins.

12 Years a Slave won Best Picture, but could only manage two other wins (Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay) out of its nine total nominations.  You have to go all the way back to 1953 for The Greatest Show on Earth to find a Best Picture winner that received fewer than three total Oscars.  (It won two.)

If you’re a big fan of 12 Years a Slave, though, and you’ve got someone who is giving you a hard time about the fact that it only won three Oscars, just point out to them that The Godfather only won three Oscars, too.

Dallas Buyers Club tied with 12 Years a Slave by also winning three Oscars.  The only other multiple winners were Frozen and The Great Gatsby, both with two.  That’s right.  The Leonardo DiCaprio film that took home Oscars last night was the one that film critics metaphorically shit all over when it was released.  The Wolf of Wall Street with its five nominations won none, while The Great Gatsby won both of the Oscars it was nominated for (Production Design and Costumes.)

Once again the show started at the weird time of 8:30 PM Eastern time and ran to Midnight.  Why they can’t just start it at 8:00 eludes me.  It’s not to cover the red carpet; the show starts airing at 7:00 to do that.  One hour is plenty of time to waste getting people into the auditorium.  Those of us who have to get up to work first thing in the morning would appreciate it if this show would end earlier.  Perhaps I shouldn’t complain, though, because last year I lost power about 10:00 PM from a snowstorm and couldn’t watch who won the biggest awards at all.

Host Ellen Degeneres had more hits than misses with her jokes.  She beat to death a joke about ordering pizza.  On the other hand, it got her down in the audience and she was at her best when she was interacting with them, shaking up some of the stuffiness.  The best moment was when she got a bunch of people together for a group selfie, which she later said broke Twitter.  Her best one-liner was when she said that Jonah Hill showed her something in The Wolf of Wall Street that she hadn’t seen in a very long time.  (You’ll get that if you’ve seen the movie……and if you know she’s gay.)

I rarely notice what someone is wearing, but because she was the first presenter of the night, and because it was so distracting, I have to ask: was Anne Hathaway wearing a top with lights flashing on it?  At first I thought it was the reflections of the stage lighting, but then I noticed that it was a pattern that exactly repeated itself at least twice.  While it’s possible she moved exactly the same way three consecutive times and therefore got the exact same reflections, it seems pretty unlikely.

Enough of that, here’s the winners of every category and how I did.  I first tried to pick the Oscar winners three years ago.  I got a respectable 16 out of 24 correct.  The last two years I’ve tried to really do my homework and see as many nominees as possible.  The result?  I dropped to 14 out of 24 then 13 out of 24.  This year I didn’t put much effort into it and I got 17 out of 24 – my best yet.

Here is the complete list of nominations in all twenty-four categories.  What I would pick is highlighted in yellow.  No highlight means I have not seen any of the choices.  What I think will win is in bold.  I will also say if I think my choice is a lock, likely, educated guess, or wild-ass guess.  What actually won has an *asterisk* beside it.

Best Picture

12 Years a Slave*
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
The Wolf of Wall Street

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – The subject matter of 12 Years a Slave is more appealing to vote for than The Wolf of Wall Street or Gravity.

Best Animated Picture

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
Frozen*
The Wind Rises

Confidence – Likely
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – Not a big surprise.  I’m curious to see both The Wind Rises and Ernest & Celestine, though.

Best Foreign Language Picture

The Broken Circle Breakdown
Belgium
The Great Beauty*
Italy
The Hunt
Denmark
The Missing Picture
Cambodia
Omar
Palestine


Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – This is one where I want to see The Great Beauty to judge if I feel it’s better than The Hunt.

Best Documentary

20 Feet from Stardom*
The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square

Confidence – Wild Ass Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – Not surprisingly, I didn’t get any of my Wild Ass Guesses.

Best Actor

Christian Bale
American Hustle
Bruce Dern
Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio
The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor
12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey*
Dallas Buyers Club

Confidence – Likely
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – I was glad to see McConaughey win because he’s had a hell of a year in movies.

Best Actress

Amy Adams
American Hustle
Cate Blanchett*
Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock
Gravity
Judi Dench
Philomena
Meryl Streep
August: Osage County

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – I haven’t seen Blanchett’s performance, but I will at some point.

Best Supporting Actor

Barkhad Abdi
Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper
American Hustle
Michael Fassbender
12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill
The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto*
Dallas Buyers Club

Confidence – Likely
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – Leto’s win is a triumph of acting over a poorly fleshed out character from the writers.

Best Supporting Actress

Sally Hawkins
Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence
American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o*
12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts
August: Osage County
June Squibb
Nebraska

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – I’m not surprised. It was a coin flip for me over Lawrence or Nyong’o and I picked wrong.

Best Director

Alfonso Cuaron*
Gravity
Steve McQueen
12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne
Nebraska
David O. Russell
American Hustle
Martin Scorcese
The Wolf of Wall Street

Confidence – Likely
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – I was glad to see this, too.  Cuaron has made some truly great films and he deserves wider recognition. 

Best Original Screenplay

American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Dallas Buyers Club
Her*
Nebraska

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – I’m repeating myself, but I’m happy this won.

Best Adapted Screenplay

12 Years a Slave*
Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
Philomena
The Wolf of Wall Street

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – In hindsight this was probably a lot more likely than I was giving it credit for.

Best Original Song

Happy
Despicable Me 2
Let It Go*
Frozen
The Moon Song
Her
Ordinary Love
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Confidence – Lock
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – Thankfully, I didn’t have to fall off my couch.

Best Original Score

The Book Thief
Gravity*
Her
Philomena
Saving Mr. Banks

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – It’s still not going to replace 2001: A Space Odyssey in people’s minds when you say the words “outer space” and “musical score”.  Thus Spake Chip.

Best Cinematography

The Grandmaster
Gravity*
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
Prisoners

Confidence – Likely
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – Not a surprise at all, what with the visuals in this film.

Best Editing

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity*

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – One of many technical achievements for the film.

Best Production Design

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Gravity
The Great Gatsby*
Her

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – I said in my prior post I may regret not picking The Great Gatsby because people may go for flash and they did.

Best Costumes

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
The Grandmaster
The Great Gatsby*
The Invisible Woman

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – I’m surprised The Great Gatsby won here, too, though.

Best Makeup

Dallas Buyers Club*
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger

Confidence – Likely
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – No one wanted to ever hear the words “Oscar winner Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa”.

Best Visual Effects

Gravity*
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek into Darkness

Confidence – Likely
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – It would have been nice to see the second Hobbit film win, but this wasn’t a surprise. 

Best Sound Editing

All Is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity*
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lone Survivor

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – Showing once again there should be a single Sound category to make room for a Best Stunt Production category. 

Best Sound Mixing

Captain Phillips
Gravity*
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lone Survivor

Confidence – Educated Guess
Correct Pick? – Yes
Comment – See prior comment. 

Best Animated Short

Feral
Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot*
Possessions
Room on the Broom

Confidence – Wild-Ass Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – So much for my “it’s got an exclamation point” theory on how to pick a winner.

Best Documentary Short

Cave Digger
Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6*
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Confidence – Wild-Ass Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – As expected, I didn’t get any of my Wild Ass Guesses.

Best Live Action Short

Aquel No Era Yo
Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?
Helium*
Just Before Losing Everything
The Voorman Problem

Confidence – Wild-Ass Guess
Correct Pick? – No
Comment – As expected, I didn’t get any of my Wild Ass Guesses.

Summary of Picks by Confidence Level

(The ones I got correct are highlighted in blue.)

Lock:
  1. Best Original Song

Likely
  1. Best Animated Picture
  2. Best Actor
  3. Best Supporting Actor
  4. Best Director
  5. Best Cinematography
  6. Best Makeup
  7. Best Visual Effects

Educated Guess
  1. Best Picture
  2. Best Foreign Language Picture
  3. Best Actress
  4. Best Supporting Actress
  5. Best Original Screenplay
  6. Best Adapted Screenplay
  7. Best Original Score
  8. Best Editing
  9. Best Production Design
  10. Best Costumes
  11. Best Sound Editing
  12. Best Sound Mixing

Wild-Ass Guess
  1. Best Documentary
  2. Best Animated Short
  3. Best Documentary Short
  4. Best Live Action Short
I got my one Lock, went seven for seven in the “Likely”s, went 9 for 12 in the Educated Guesses, but 0 for 4 on my Wild Ass Guesses.

5 comments:

  1. I missed six. I got all the ones you did except foreign language feature and guessed right on production design and supporting actress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both of the ones you got right were ones I mentally flipped a coin on and picked wrong. Good job on getting 18 out of 24.

      Delete
  2. Chip, you did better than I did! Good job.

    ReplyDelete
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