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February 17, 2009: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions) 
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Post Re: February 17, 2008: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
Well, a couple of years ago, Cars won the Annie and yet Happy Feet won the Oscar. Kung Fu Panda's sweep at the Annies is extremely fishy, but Wall-E has the advantage of having a screenplay nomination (and being a front-runner in that category), so its chances for Animated Film are still extremely strong.

As for Ledger, I think he were still alive, he still would have gotten the nomination. The performance has become instantly iconic (like Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs, Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean) and even those who weren't too big on The Dark Knight praised Ledger's work. His chances of winning wouldn't have been quite as secure, but if Downey could get nodded for something like Tropic Thunder, Ledger would definitely have been up as well.


Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:43 am
Post Re: February 17, 2008: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
Quote:
James Berardinelli wrote:
How will I do? Time will tell, but the numbers from recent years may provide a clue:
2008: 13/21 (62%)
2007: 12/21 (57%)
2006: 13/21 (62%)
2005: 17/21 (81%)
2004: 18/21 (86%)


Impressive percentage for 2004 & 2005. Did you tally the percentage just for the 6 main categories for these years?


Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:36 pm
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Post Re: February 17, 2008: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
ReelviewsReader wrote:
Impressive percentage for 2004 & 2005. Did you tally the percentage just for the 6 main categories for these years?


I was 5/6 in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008.
I was 6/6 in 2005.

So, if my history holds, I'll probably miss one this year, and it would likely be either Best Actor or Best Supporting Actress - those are the two I'm the least certain about.


Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:43 pm
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Post Re: February 17, 2008: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
I'm telling you James, it's not too late to go Rourke! Haha, but no, you have a point about Penn. I think it is unlikely for him to win a second Oscar for a movie where he was the second most laudest thespian on-board, but that does not disqualify him from winning outright, as is the Academy's warped mindset.


I think Viola Dvais, if nothing else, should win this year's 'Beatric Straight' award for doing more with less. Her nomination is similar in many ways, and may be singled out in much the same fashion. Does the Academy have a subconscious?


Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:59 pm
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Post Re: February 17, 2008: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
Evenflow8112 wrote:
I'm telling you James, it's not too late to go Rourke! Haha, but no, you have a point about Penn. I think it is unlikely for him to win a second Oscar for a movie where he was the second most laudest thespian on-board, but that does not disqualify him from winning outright, as is the Academy's warped mindset.


I think Viola Dvais, if nothing else, should win this year's 'Beatric Straight' award for doing more with less. Her nomination is similar in many ways, and may be singled out in much the same fashion. Does the Academy have a subconscious?


I think Penn has a slight edge over Rourke - maybe 55/45, so I wouldn't be shocked if Rourke won. The Supporting Actress is a little more wide open, with Davis, Cruz, and Tomei all having shots.

On the other hand, I don't see anyone upsetting Winslet, Ledger, Boyle, or Slumdog. So I feel pretty confident that I have those four in the bag and I'll take my chance that I'll get either Actor or Supporting Actress right. 5/6.


Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:27 pm
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Post Re: February 17, 2008: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
There are two categories where I don't necessarily agree with the predictions. The first is best actor. I think Mickey Rourke has a pretty good chance of winning. The Academy loves seeing a comeback story, and this is one hell of a comeback. The only thing that gives me pause is Sean Penn's SAG win. Had Mickey won that one, he'd pretty much be a lock. But maybe my choice of Rourke has more to do with my desire to see him win, since I think he's a terrific actor that finally got his act together. And I don't think there will be a Brokeback-style backlash. Rourke has been winning many awards, and no backlash has happened after those wins, so I don't expect one will happen after these awards. The general feeling I get is that people are happy that Milk was made at all, and that the film itself is its own reward.

I also think the best supporting actress win is leaning more towards Penelope Cruz. The Academy likes to give best supporting actress awards to previous best actress nominees (eg. Renee Zellweger, Cate Blanchett). Penelope has been nominated before, hasn't won, and this is a chance to make up for her previous loss. Plus, she just has that buzz right now, whether or not it is justified. However, I think it would be nice if Viola Davis wins as well, since this would open a lot of doors for her and give her more opportunities. Penelope Cruz will continue to work and be successful whether she wins or not.

I don't think Hollywood hates the Dark Knight. Afterall, it was the highest grossing film of last year, it brought a lot of excitement back to Hollywood, and it demonstrated that art and commerce can be linked. I simply think that there were a lot of quality films that came out last year that the Academy felt more obligated to nominate. Probably due to their more 'serious' subject matter. Personally, if I were anyone attached to the Dark Knight, I wouldn't care about the lack of nominations since the wild success of the film speaks for itself. People will remember the Dark Knight long after whatever film wins this year.


Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:28 am
Post Re: February 17, 2008: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
I get "The Dark Knight," but I'm confused about why Hollywood doesn't like "Revolutionary Road." Isn't it about the pitfalls of traditional/oldschool marriage (which was unfair to women), or at least exploring that? I haven't seen it.


Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:21 pm
Post Re: February 17, 2008: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
I don't think Hollywood is a sentient entity :-) In fact based on past nominations I am not sure it can think.

The voting system and ballot counting is quite complex. I read an article about they derive nominees 2 through 5 in each category and it's not a straight count. Someone else may be able to explain.

My guess is that Dark Knight featured on many lists and probably a lot more lists than the Reader. For whatever reason, a small group, made this film their number one and allowed it to trump the more populist movie.

Picking the winners is a crap shoot at best. Roger Ebert has also posted a series of articles on his site trying to explain (rationalize) the madness. He too lists his prediction track record.

Rob


Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:31 pm
Post Re: February 17, 2008: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
As good as Kate Winslet is in The Reader, I really think Anne Hathaway deserves the Oscar. She was absolutely gut-wrenching in Rachel Getting Married and I don't think her chances are that slim. I expect Winslet to win, but Rachel Getting Married has a lot of admirers and it isn't any "smaller" of a movie than Boys Don't Cry was.

Also, Slumdog is close to a lock for Best Picture, but I think Fincher has a good shot for Best Director. Something that gets 13 nominations should get at least one major award so I think either Ben Button gets this (as Academy members know that Direction and the technical excellence of the film are not mutually exclusive) or Adapted Screenplay. That being said, I think it is the best film in the field.

I really hope Viola Davis wins as well, although I still need to see Vicky Christina Barcelona. Damn the Weinsteins for being Blockbuster-exclusive with their DVD rentals.


Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:57 pm
Post Re: February 17, 2008: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
joshlovesmovies wrote:
As good as Kate Winslet is in The Reader, I really think Anne Hathaway deserves the Oscar. She was absolutely gut-wrenching in Rachel Getting Married and I don't think her chances are that slim. I expect Winslet to win, but Rachel Getting Married has a lot of admirers and it isn't any "smaller" of a movie than Boys Don't Cry was.

If anyone is going to upset Winslet, it's going to be either Meryl Streep or Melissa Leo. Hathaway has about as much of a chance as Angelina Jolie, maybe even less, considering the perception that Jolie is "due" for a Best Actress win. After all, Jolie managed a nomination despite the very mixed reception to her performance and her movie.

Quote:
Also, Slumdog is close to a lock for Best Picture, but I think Fincher has a good shot for Best Director. Something that gets 13 nominations should get at least one major award so I think either Ben Button gets this (as Academy members know that Direction and the technical excellence of the film are not mutually exclusive) or Adapted Screenplay.

Don't bet on that happening just because of the number of nominations. Oscar voters don't think that way. The movie has been coolly received, and a few daring pundits are saying that it might not even win anything. (Though most agree that it has three Oscars in the bag.) The Fellowship of the Ring also received 13 nominations, but it failed to win even Best Supporting Actor for Ian McKellen, who had won the SAG and was widely felt to be the frontrunner that year. The Fellowship of the Ring also had by far the best reviews and the highest box office gross behind it. The Turning Point and Spielberg's The Color Purple (his first deliberately Oscar-bait movie) both had 11 nominations and walked away with nothing. The widely loved The Pride of the Yankees had 11 nominations and only managed to win Best Film Editing.

Another problem is that actors make up the large majority of voters, and they shouldn't be expected to fully recognize or appreciate the intimate link between directing and technical achievement. What they know as "good directing" is largely limited to the general impressions that they have of the movies themselves and of the performances. If a movie leaves them cold, no matter how impressive the technical aspects are, they will blame it on the director. (The converse is also true: A beloved movie with undistinguished technical achievements can easily win for Best Director and best performances, along with Best Picture; e.g. The Silence of the Lambs.) If you take a look at all of the movies that have been nominated for at least 11 Oscars and have failed to win Best Picture, almost none of them won for Best Director. The only one that immediately comes to mind is Saving Private Ryan, but that's a rather special case, isn't it?

This year, Danny Boyle has won the Golden Globe, the BFCA, the DGA, and the BAFTA, and that's just counting the major precursors. Simon Beaufoy has won the Golden Globe, the BFCA, the WGA, the Scripter (which rarely matches the WGA), and the BAFTA, and that's just counting the major precursors. They are unbeatable. I dare anyone to provide a good argument for any other movie to win either Best Picture, Best Director, or Best Adapted Screenplay. Sunday night will be a lot like the show from five years ago, when The Return of the King won every award for which it was nominated. It's because Slumdog Millionaire is just that beloved by the Academy and everyone else.


Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:23 pm
Post Re: February 17, 2008: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
estefan wrote:
Well, a couple of years ago, Cars won the Annie and yet Happy Feet won the Oscar. Kung Fu Panda's sweep at the Annies is extremely fishy, but Wall-E has the advantage of having a screenplay nomination (and being a front-runner in that category), so its chances for Animated Film are still extremely strong.

All that I was saying was that Slumdog Millionaire is MORE LOCKED for BP and BD than WALL-E is for BAF. And WALL-E is ABSOLUTELY LOCKED for BAF.


Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:27 pm
Post Re: February 17, 2008: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
Final predictions, with alternates in parentheses:

1. PICTURE: Slumdog Millionaire (Milk)
2. DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle (Gus Van Sant)
3. ACTOR: Mickey Rourke (Sean Penn)
4. ACTRESS: Kate Winslet (Meryl Streep)
5. SUPPORTING ACTOR: Heath Ledger (Robert Downey, Jr.)
6. SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Penelope Cruz (Viola Davis)
7. ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Milk (WALL-E)
8. ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Slumdog Millionaire (Doubt)
9. FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Departures (Waltz with Bashir)
10. ANIMATED FEATURE: WALL-E (Kung Fu Panda)
11. DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Man on Wire (Trouble the Water)
12. FILM EDITING: Slumdog Millionaire (The Dark Knight)
13. CINEMATOGRAPHY: Slumdog Millionaire (The Dark Knight)
14. ART DIRECTION: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (The Dark Knight)
15. COSTUME DESIGN: The Duchess (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
16. SOUND MIXING: Slumdog Millionaire (The Dark Knight)
17. SOUND EDITING: The Dark Knight (Slumdog Millionaire)
18. ORIGINAL SCORE: Slumdog Millionaire (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
19. ORIGINAL SONG: "Jai Ho" ("Down to Earth")
20. BEST MAKE-UP: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (The Dark Knight)
21. VISUAL EFFECTS: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (The Dark Knight)
22. LIVE ACTION SHORT: The Pig (Toyland)
23. ANIMATED SHORT: Presto (La Maison en Petits Cubes)
24. DOCUMENTARY SHORT: The Witness from the Balcony of Room 306 (The Conscience of Nhem En)


Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:10 pm
Post Re: February 17, 2008: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
JamesBond007 wrote:
James Berardinelli wrote:
JamesBond007 wrote:
James's accuracy has been steadily declining these last few years. What happened?


The years when I did well were years when there weren't many surprises. I would assume everyone had a pretty high batting average during those years. Overall, I'm around 60% and I see no reason why that should change this year.


Fair enough, although I have no idea what a "high batting average" is.



It appears that James' accuracy is climbing up again. He would have been 6/6 for the major categories if he chose the obvious choice.


Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:00 pm
Post Re: February 17, 2008: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
James Berardinelli wrote:
ReelviewsReader wrote:
Impressive percentage for 2004 & 2005. Did you tally the percentage just for the 6 main categories for these years?


I was 5/6 in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008.
I was 6/6 in 2005.

So, if my history holds, I'll probably miss one this year, and it would likely be either Best Actor or Best Supporting Actress - those are the two I'm the least certain about.


From your Reelthought, I had the impression that you picked Viola Davis (over Penelope Cruz)in anticipation for a surprise upset. Was my impression correct?


Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:04 pm
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Post Re: February 17, 2008: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
ReelviewsReader wrote:
From your Reelthought, I had the impression that you picked Viola Davis (over Penelope Cruz)in anticipation for a surprise upset. Was my impression correct?


Yes. The Supporting categories frequently do not go as predicted. Since Ledger was a lock, that left Supporting Actress. Cruz was clearly the front-runner, but I thought there was a shot Davis could take it. I discounted Tomei because she has already won and it's generally considered that her previous victory was one of the biggest Oscar screw-ups in the last 30 years. (I'm not saying this is correct, but that's how it's perceived.)


Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:30 pm
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Post Re: February 17, 2009: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
Biggest Oscar screw ups of the last 30 years would be an interesting topic in and of itself. With so many screw ups to choose from, how do you pick the biggest?

Shakespeare in Love comes to mind. I have to say, however, that I would need to review the winners (and losers) before I came to a final conclusion.


Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:15 pm
Post Re: February 17, 2009: "Play Along at Home" (Oscar Predictions)
notsure wrote:
Biggest Oscar screw ups of the last 30 years would be an interesting topic in and of itself. With so many screw ups to choose from, how do you pick the biggest?
The Academy passing up a Scorcese masterpiece in favor of a much inferior film no less than three times comes to mind.


Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:12 pm
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