Friday, February 26, 2010

Pick Yer Horses 2009

Is it really predictions time again? I feel like this Oscar season just crept up on me, even though I think about it almost every day. Contradictory? Maybe. I'm not a psychologist. I can't explain my own psyche.

Whatever the case, I'm offering the same deal as last year: a gift package including candy, candy, more candy, and an Oscar-winning film for anyone who can beat my predicitons. Of course, that's a tall order--matching me won't get you anything. You have to win. (Sorry, small but loyal band of blog followers--though you're welcome to predict against me, this prize offer is only available to friends on Facebook.)

The movie this year will be either--

A) Citizen Kane
B) Crash
C) The Departed
D) Slumdog Millionaire
E) American Beauty

If you beat me by enough (more than two), I'll even let you pick the movie!

As was the case last year, I'm not offering any more analysis--this post is purely prediction and prophecy (though I am also analyzing the Best Picture race, because I haven't done that yet).

I'm predicting all 24 categories this year. If you want nomination lists, they're available almost anywhere: The Film Experience, In Contention, and, of course, Wikipedia have them easily available. Best of luck! Check out my first 23 predictions, followed by a big section on Best Picture, below.

(Quick correction: I've been referring to Precious' screenwriter as Damien Paul all season, but the writer is actually Geoffrey Fletcher. I apologize for the error.)

Best Documentary Feature
Will Win: The Cove

Best Documentary Short
Will Win: The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant

Best Animated Short
Will Win: Logorama

Best Foreign Film
Will Win: A Prophet (Un Proph├ęte)

Best Makeup
Will Win: The Young Victoria

Best Live Action Short
Will Win: The Door

Best Cinematography
Will Win: The White Ribbon

Best Film Editing
Will Win: The Hurt Locker

Best Sound Editing
Will Win: Avatar

Best Sound Mixing
Will Win: Avatar

Best Visual Effects
Will Win: Avatar

Best Costume Design
Will Win: The Young Victoria

Best Art Direction
Will Win: Avatar

Best Original Score
Will Win: UP

Best Original Song
Will Win: "The Weary Kind," Crazy Heart

Best Animated Feature
Will Win: UP

Best Original Screenplay
Will Win: Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino

Best Adapted Screenplay
Will Win: Up in the Air, Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner

Best Director
Will Win: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker

Best Supporting Actress
Will Win: Mo'Nique, Precious

Best Supporting Actor
Will Win: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Best Actress
Will Win: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Best Actor
Will Win: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart

Best Picture
It comes down to this, folks. This year's Best Picture category could go in directions none of us expected, or it could wind up going exactly the way everyone expected. There are so many variables: almost ever-shifting buzz from Up in the Air to Precious to Avatar to The Hurt Locker to now last-minute buzz for Inglourious Basterds of all things, the preferential balloting that could favor second or third place votes more than first place votes, and a field as diverse as most have ever seen.

The Hurt Locker would seem to be the frontrunner after winning most important precursor awards (the PGA and DGA chief among others), but a recent scandal involving a producer sending emails directly to Academy members threatened the campaign momentarily. However, most ballots were already turned in, so I'm not considering that a real story. In fact, the Locker folks have run an incredibly strong campaign all season long, and have never seemed anything but gracious. I say this is their race to lose, but they just might.

Avatar is supposedly much stronger in this race than I have considered it to be throughout the later stages of this season. Search me. To me, this will always be Dances with Na'vi, and I don't think I can ever get over that fact. Plus, I feel like this movie is a big "f*** you" to writers--we don't need you! We've got pretty effects! As a writer, especially one going to school for screenwriting, that really offends me. But I'm supposed to divorce myself from my personal feelings, and I am--that's why Blue Pocahontas isn't number 10 on this list. I think it's probably in second place, but being second isn't necessarily any better than being in third when the preferential ballot is concerned.

The reason for that is the same as why I still can't shake this nagging feeling that Inglourious Basterds will be our Best Picture winner next Sunday. In order to fully explain this, though, I'm going to have to stage a simulated balloting. I'm going to use a sample of 1,000 voters to best explain this.

Let's say, just tabulating first-place votes, the voting breaks down as such:

The Hurt Locker: 300
America Hates Blue People: 200
Inglourious Basterds: 100
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire: 75
Up in the Air: 70
An Education: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire: 55
A Serious Man (Who Isn't Single): 50
The Blind Side (Though You'd Have to Be Blind to Vote for This Movie): 50
UP: 49
Whatever Movie We Chose With the 9 in It: 1

The movie titles show you how cynical Oscar season makes me. Okay, so, after one round of balloting, District 86 falls off the radar, and whichever movie was ranked No. 2 on its ballots (er, ballot) gets its votes. Since they're both sci-fi films, we'll assume District's vote(s) go to I'm With Bluesy.

The Hurt Locker: 300
Avatar: 201
Inglourious Basterds: 100
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire: 75
Up in the Air: 70
An Education: 55
A Serious Man: 50
The Blind Side: 50
UP: 49

The next round of balloting, Pixar Shoots at Kids gets knocked off, and we can assume 9 of its votes go to the similarly-animated Avatar ('motion capture' my ass), while the other 40 go to the "family friendly" Always Look at the Blind Side of Life.

The Hurt Locker: 300
Avatar: 210
Inglourious Basterds: 100
The Blind Side: 90
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire: 75
Up in the Air: 70
An Education: 55
A Serious Man: 50

Wow, am I cynical about all this. Okay, all of A Serious Headache's votes go to the similarly indie An Education...

The Hurt Locker: 300
Avatar: 210
An Education: 105
Inglourious Basterds: 100
The Blind Side: 90
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire: 75
Up in the Air: 70

...and this is where things take a real turn. Flying with George Clooney's fans are probably all fans of Tarantino, as well, and so its votes go to Engloryuss Basters.

The Hurt Locker: 300
Avatar: 210
Inglourious Basterds: 170
An Education: 105
The Blind Side: 90
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' By Sapphire: 75

Same goes for the very divisive We Made Oprah Cry: Based on the Novel 'Pull' By Emerald.

The Hurt Locker: 300
Inglourious Basterds: 245
Avatar: 210
An Education: 105
The Blind Side: 90

Let's assume Sandra Goes Blonde's fans all love the box office success without a massive budget, so those votes go to Iyng&aea## Basterds as well.

Inglourious Basterds: 335
The Hurt Locker: 300
Avatar: 210
An Education: 105

Look what just took the lead! Now, let's give all of An Education's votes to the other indie, Why Did We Name Our Movie 'The Hurt Locker?'...

The Hurt Locker: 405
Inglourious Basterds: 335
Avatar: 210

...and then give Blue Man Group on Pandora's votes to the similar box office hit I Failed Spelling in 3rd Grade.

Inglourious Basterds: 545
The Hurt Locker: 405

Look what just won! I mean, the real voting obviously won't go this way, but it shows how Inglourious could very easily win. Here's the one caveat, though: as soon as a movie has 50% + 1 of the votes (the majority), that film is Best Picture. If something massively popular like Avatar can wrap this up early, it has a shot at making all this paranoia about the voting system all for nothing.

As far as the other Best Picture candidates are concerned, I don't think this system helps their chances much. Precious and Up in the Air could, in theory, appeal to the emotional sides of voters and pull a huge upset, but past that, the remaining films, The Blind Side, UP, An Education, District 9, and A Serious Man, aren't quite respected enough nor rewarded enough to pull out the win. As far as my prediction is concerned...

Best Picture
Will Win: The Hurt Locker

But know that I am not sure at all of that prediction.

If you're interested in making a run at my predictions for the prize, leave a comment with your full ballot in the comments section of this note on Facebook. One entry per person only, so once you've entered, you're stuck with your picks. If you're only interested in playing for the fun of it, leave a comment on the blog at http://awkwardaim.blogspot.com. Picks for prizes are due at 12:00 PM on Sunday, March 7. The Academy Awards are that night at 7:30.

Good luck to everyone in their predictions! This tumultuous season comes to an end in just eight days!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

where can i find the sad violin melody was played in the climax of the movie" Rachel geting married"?

please email me downloading link, or simple email me the tune.

edeziner@gmail.com