Rule #1: Watching the Movies nominated for the Oscars absolutely does N’t help you accurately predict who will win the Oscars
Rule #2: Paying attention to sites watching Oscar voters can help you correctly predict the winners. In fact, I’d posit that somebody who has watched none of those nominated films but has followed Oscar Watch for the previous two months will do miles better than a film fan who has been running around like a crazy bastard trying to get all the nominated films in front of the face so as to become“educated“ whenever they cast their ballot.
Rule #3: When in doubt, go with the premise that the most significant block of voters will act less like curators of quality film and more like high school students electing a prom court.
I have not watched all the films that were nominated. I have seen less than half of these, in reality. This makes me educated on what has been nominated than large swaths of this Academy. And because I’m cleanly divorced from the idea that the distribution of those treasured golden dildoes relies on merit, predicting the Oscars is an entirely mercenary exercise. That it should be, if you’re going to have the maximum enjoyment from this glittery gladhandjob erupting this coming Sunday.
After the jump, your Oscar Ballot Cheat Sheet. Follow it carefully in the event that you want to clean up at whatever party you are attending (we suggest either the Hollywood Theatre’s shindig, or ShanRock’s Trivia and watching party), and examine my explanations as to why those are the wise picks, and so you need to trust me because I am hardly wrong about whatever. Ever. Really.
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Finest Director: Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Finest Actor: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze, Her
Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen
Best Foreign Language Film: The Hunt
Finest Cinematography: Emmanuel Luzbeki, Gravity
Best Editing: Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Sanger, Gravity
Best Production Design: Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker, 12 Years a Slave
Best Costume Design: Michael Wilkinson, American Hustle
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, Philomena
Best Original Song: Kristen Anderson Lopez, Robert Lopez, Let it Proceed Frozen
Best Sound Mixing: Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro, Gravity
Best Sound Editing: Glenn Freemantle, Gravity
Best Visual Effects: Timothy Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Gravity
Best Documentary Feature: Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge S??rensen, The Act of Killing
Finest Documentary Short: Malcolm Clarke, Carl Freed, The Girl at Number 6
Best Animated Short: Lauren MacMullan, Dorothy McKim, Get a Horse
Best Live Action Short: Xavier Legrand, Just Before Losing Everything
The Whys and Wherefores:
The Academy doesn’t reward comedies if they could reward a very significant film instead. So comedies like Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle are right out. So are sci-fi movies, and films with notions that are generally“weird.“ Those kinds of films have been relegated into Screenplay nominations, typically. That’s their consolation prize. That is the reason 12 Years will take Best Picture. I really don’t think they are going to split Picture and Director, either. Rewarding the film is a message in and of itself (similar to Crash was when it won), providing Steve McQueen and John Ridley figurines will populate that message: that the Academy is a considerate, compassionate group of people. They’re not, but they really like pretending they are. These are people who love the power of narrative, especially if this storyline is all about them and can make them feel good about themselves. The quality of the film is secondary to its capacity to help send that message.
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