BLOG: 2016 Oscar Predictions

Academy_of_Motion_Picture_Arts_and_Sciences_logooscar

by Ken Bakely

The Academy Awards are upon us yet again. In just a few days, fancy envelopes will tell us what movies old white men in Hollywood liked the most from last year. And as is tradition for this site, I will share my predictions for the big show with you, and if you really feel like taking a risk, I’ll let you use them for your own Oscar pools (that is, if you’re prepared to lose potentially large sums of money). I will be providing my predictions in all twenty-four categories, although I’ll only provide commentary for the biggest and/or most contested categories.

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Road to the Oscars: 2016 Nomination Predictions

oscars statues

by Ken B.

Before we kick things off, let me reprint my yearly awards season mantra:

“To predict the outcome of awards shows, you don’t need to have seen all of the nominees, you just need to have seen awards shows before.”

As we had last year (and I will copy-paste the same introductory statement I wrote last year), there will be a rank, from 1 – 5 (or 1 – 10 in the case of Best Picture and 1 – 3 in the case of Best Makeup/Hairstyling), and 1 Biggest Threat (or 2 for Best Picture), which, if nominated, do not count towards my final accuracy score. The lower the number, the higher the odds of a nod (in a five nominee category, #1 has what I see as a 99.9% chance of a nomination (round to 100), #2 has a 90% chance, #3 has an 80% chance, and so on).

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Blog: Oh, What a Night: Reactions to the 87th Academy Awards

John Travolta gets a little too apologetic with Idina Menzel in what was arguably one of the most uncomfortable moments at the 87th Academy Awards.

by Ken B.

First off, answers to the questions I asked at the end of my final predictions post:

  1. Something that would have been significantly more enjoyable had it been shorter or earlier in the show. She still killed it, regardless of time.
  2. Eh, about a six and a half.
  3. No.
  4. About 30 seconds in, no less.
  5. As far as I can tell. Didn’t happen though.
  6. The numbers went through the roof. One of my best looking traffic reports in months.

As for Neil Patrick Harris in the hosting position… what a letdown. I love the guy (who doesn’t), but I thought he really fell flat here. With a mildly promising opening number (“Moving Pictures”) behind him, NPH was stuck with reams of poor material and bad jokes, delivered at inopportune times and a fatally bad setup to a trick (the locked briefcase with his predictions) which had a payoff that was way too late in the night and way too unspectacular to be worthwhile. While it’s obvious that he was giving a real effort to keep the show going, it doesn’t help when you don’t have worthwhile content to start with (“best and the whitest” line notwithstanding). One of the arguably oddest bits of the night was a recreation of the Times Square scene in Birdman, which culminated in Harris walking onstage and introducing the next presenter in his underwear. Already feeling like a bad comedy sketch to begin with, the question becomes how much of the viewing audience actually saw Birdman and understood the reference? Assuming an average movie ticket price of $10, less than ten percent of roughly 35 million viewers in the United States.

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Blog: 2015 Oscar Predictions

Oscars 87by Ken B.

NOTE: View the most recent update to this post here.

February 7, 2015 — The Academy Awards are upon us yet again. Just three short weeks from now, fancy envelopes will tell us what movies old white men in Hollywood liked the most from last year. And as is tradition for this site, I will share my predictions for the big show with you, and if you really feel like taking a risk, I’ll let you use them for your own Oscar pools (that is, if you’re prepared to lose potentially large sums of money.) This year, we’re doing something a little different. Instead of spilling my whole set of picks at once, I’ve decided to spread this out over the next few Saturdays, until we get to February 21, the day before the show.

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The Oscar Forecast — Nominations

oscar Academy_of_Motion_Picture_Arts_and_Sciences_logo

by Ken B.

Have I told you that nomination morning is basically the least cringeworthy part of the Oscars for me (even though there are always omissions and inclusions that can make one’s head spin)? Anyway, here we go. I will predict nominations in 21 categories (short films will be excluded). Before we kick things off, let me republish my yearly awards season mantra:

 

“To predict awards shows, you don’t have to have seen all of the nominees beforehand, you just have to have seen awards shows beforehand.”

Let’s roll. There will be a rank, from 1 – 5 (or 1 – 10 in the case of Best Picture and 1 – 3 in the case of Best Makeup/Hairstyling), and 1 Biggest Threat (or 2 for Best Picture), which, if nominated, do not count towards my final accuracy score. The lower the number, the higher the odds of a nod (in a five nominee category, #1 has what I see as a 99.9% chance of a nomination (round to 100), #2 has a 90% chance, #3 has an 80% chance, and so on). An asterisk denotes what I see as a virtual lock (although, in many categories, especially Best Foreign Language Film and Original Song, calling anything a “lock” is sheer folly.)

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Obligatory Reactions Part II

by Ken B.

What a bore. The Oscars were very predictable last night, as the only real surprise probably was Mr. Hublot winning Best Animated Short. Ellen DeGeneres was a pretty decent choice as host – she remained entertaining while not ruffling the numerous feathers that Seth MacFarlane did last year. The pizza bit was pretty memorable. Excluding those short films, I was 20 for 21, and that’s about as good as I can ever expect to be (my out on a limb vote for Captain Phillips for best editing proved to be ill-advised.) If you extend that out to all categories (you can see my scores on GoldDerby), It’s 22 out of 24. It wasn’t really an achievement for everyone to do well in their Oscar pools this year. I hope next year’s ceremony turns out to be a real nailbiter.

Once again, the show was way too long. Best Picture was announced at 11:56PM Eastern Time, one minute later than last year. There’s really no reason to have the Best Original Song performances, or the song following the In Memoriam segment. The speeches, especially towards the end of the night, appeared to drag on a bit again. At least they weren’t all choruses of thank yous; some people had some genuinely cohesive things to say, like Lupita Nyong’o, who had wonderful words prepared.

I don’t have a terribly high amount of things to say, because there isn’t a terribly high amount to write about. It was a safe, mostly forgettable, and pretty much standard evening, with the exception of the photo with (at the time of this writing) 2.8 million retweets. Come on AMPAS, give us a real big show next year.

STAR RATING THINGS JUST BECAUSE:

HOST  25Star                                             

PACING 1-5Star                                            

 

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE   2Star              

TOTAL 2Star                                               

Obligatory Reactions Part I

by Ken B.

Ahahahahaha…

Well, the Oscar nominations were announced, so let’s take the time to go down the list and see how my predictions fared. The nominations presentation is the only part of the season I really care about – I struggled to stay awake watching the ceremony last year, and seriously considered shutting it off and reading the list in the morning on at least one occasion.

A boldfaced nominee indicates that I predicted it. I’ve only seen the ones I reviewed. I’ll repeat my mantra I use throughout Oscar season: you don’t need to see these movies to know the voting trends.

BEST PICTURE

RESULT: 7/9

THOUGHTS: Surprised by no Inside Llewyn Davis or Saving Mr. Banks. I didn’t expect Philomena to be nominated. It was good, but I liked Saving Mr. Banks better.

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Alfonso Cuarón – Gravity
  • Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
  • Alexander Payne – Nebraska
  • David O. Russell – American Hustle
  • Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street

RESULT: 4/5

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

RESULT: 4/5

BEST ACTRESS

RESULT: 4/5

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

RESULT: 3/5

THOUGHTS: Tom Hanks snubbed twice…

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

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

RESULT: 3/5

THOUGHTS: No nomination for Oprah, huh?

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • American Hustle
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Her
  • Nebraska

RESULT: 4/5

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

RESULT: 5/5

THOUGHTS: 😀

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

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

RESULT: 4/5

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • The Broken Circle Breakdown
  • The Missing Picture
  • The Hunt
  • The Great Beauty
  • Omar

RESULT: 3/5

BEST DOCUMENTARY

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

RESULT: 3/5

THOUGHTS: Wasn’t Blackfish supposed in here at one point?

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • The Grandmaster
  • Gravity
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Nebraska
  • Prisoners

RESULT: 2/5

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • The Grandmaster
  • The Great Beauty
  • The Invisible Woman

RESULT: 2/5

BEST EDITING

RESULT: 3/5

BEST SCORE

RESULT: 3/5

THOUGHTS: I’m glad the score for Philomena was nominated, ‘twas a good one.

BEST SONG

  • “Alone, Yet Not Alone” – Alone Yet Not Alone
  • “Happy” – Despicable Me 2
  • “Let it Go” – Frozen
  • “The Moon Song” – Her
  • “Ordinary Love” – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

RESULT: 2/5
EDIT (Jan. 29, 8:51PM): “Alone Yet Not Alone” has been rescinded as a nominee. For original scoring purposes, I keep the original record here.

FINAL RESULT: 56/84 (67%)

It beats my 61% from last year, but my total for all 24 categories on goldderby.com is 60%, down from 63% last year.

Predicting Nominations

by Ken B.

*Sigh*

It’s that time of year again, where we forgo any practical thinking and attempt to predict the minds of sixtysomething white millionaires. The Oscar nominations are announced January 16, so let’s get cracking and imagine how things are going to shape up. Same note as last year – you don’t have to see the movies to know how things are going to go. The higher the rank, the higher likelihood I see of a nomination. The goal here is to beat my 61% success rate from 2012. I’m also throwing in a few more categories this time.

ROUND ONE: BEST PICTURE

(Between five and ten slots are available here. I’ll go with ten, just to be safe).

# FILM
1 Gravity
2 12 Years a Slave
3 American Hustle
4 Saving Mr. Banks
5 Captain Phillips
6 The Wolf of Wall Street
7 Inside Llewyn Davis
8 Her
9 The Butler
10 Nebraska

ROUND TWO: BEST DIRECTOR

# NOMINEE FILM
1 Alfonso Cuarón Gravity
2 Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave
3 Martin Scorsese The Wolf of Wall Street
4 David O. Russell American Hustle
5 Paul Greengrass Captain Phillips

ROUND THREE: BEST ACTOR

# NOMINEE FILM
1 Chiwetel Ejiofor 12 Years a Slave
2 Matthew McConaughey Dallas Buyers Club
3 Robert Redford All is Lost
4 Tom Hanks Captain Phillips
5 Bruce Dern Nebraska

ROUND FOUR: BEST ACTRESS                           

# NOMINEE FILM
1 Cate Blanchett Blue Jasmine
2 Sandra Bullock Gravity
3 Emma Thompson Saving Mr. Banks
4 Judi Dench Philomena
5 Amy Adams American Hustle

ROUND FIVE: BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR          

# NOMINEE FILM
1 Jared Leto Dallas Buyers Club
2 Michael Fassbender 12 Years a Slave
3 Tom Hanks Saving Mr. Banks
4 Barkhad Abdi Captain Phillips
5 Daniel Bruhl Rush

ROUND SIX: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS                                              

# NOMINEE FILM
1 Lupita Nyong’o 12 Years a Slave
2 Oprah Winfrey The Butler
3 June Squibb Nebraska
4 Jennifer Lawrence American Hustle
5 Octavia Spencer Fruitvale Station

ROUND SEVEN: BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

# FILM
1 American Hustle
2 Blue Jasmine
3 Her
4 Inside Llewyn Davis
5 Nebraska

ROUND EIGHT: BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

# FILM
1 12 Years a Slave
2 Before Midnight
3 The Wolf of Wall Street
4 Philomena
5 Captain Phillips

ROUND NINE: BEST ANIMATED FEATURE 

# FILM
1 Frozen
2 The Wind Rises
3 Monsters’ University
4 The Croods
5 Despicable Me 2

ROUND TEN: BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM            

# FILM
1 The Hunt
2 The Great Beauty
3 The Broken Circle Breakdown
4 Two Lives
5 The Grandmaster

ROUND ELEVEN: BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE      

# FILM
1 Stories We Tell
2 Blackfish
3 The Act of Killing
4 The Square
5 20 Feet from Stardom

ROUND TWELVE: BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

# FILM
1 Gravity
2 Rush
3 12 Years a Slave
4 Inside Llewyn Davis
5 Captain Phillips

ROUND THIRTEEN: BEST COSTUME DESIGN

# FILM
1 American Hustle
2 Oz the Great and Powerful
3 The Great Gatsby
4 The Invisible Woman
5 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

ROUND FOURTEEN: BEST EDITING            

# FILM
1 Gravity
2 Captain Phillips
3 12 Years a Slave
4 Rush
5 The Wolf of Wall Street

ROUND FIFTEEN: BEST SCORE

# FILM
1 Gravity
2 12 Years a Slave
3 Saving Mr. Banks
4 Frozen
5 The Book Thief

ROUND SIXTEEN: BEST SONG                                               

# NOMINEE FILM
1 “Let it Go” Frozen
2 “Ordinary Love” Mandela: Long Walk to Fredom
3 “I See Fire” The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
4 “Young and Beautiful” The Great Gatsby
5 “Atlas” The Hunger Games: Catching Fire