Rule #1: Watching the Movies nominated for the Oscars absolutely does N’t help you accurately predict who’ll win the Oscars
Rule #2: Paying attention to websites watching Oscar voters will help you correctly predict the winners. In fact, I’d posit that somebody who has watched none of the nominated movies but has followed Oscar Watch for the previous two months will do miles better than the usual movie fan that has been running around like a crazy bastard trying to get all the nominated films before the face in order to be“educated“ whenever they cast their ballot.
Rule #3: When in doubt, go with the premise that the largest block of voters will behave less like curators of quality movie and more like high school students electing a prom court.
I have not watched all the movies that have been nominated. I’ve seen less than half of these, in fact. This makes me educated on what has been nominated than big swaths of the Academy. And because I am cleanly divorced from the idea that the distribution of these treasured golden dildoes is based on merit, forecasting the Oscars is a totally mercenary exercise. That it should be, if you’re likely to get the most pleasure from the glittery gladhandjob erupting this coming Sunday.
After the jump, your Oscar Ballot Cheat Sheet. Follow it carefully if you want to clean up at whatever party you are attending (we propose either the Hollywood Theatre’s shindig, or ShanRock’s Trivia and viewing celebration ), and read my explanations as to why those are the smart selections, and therefore you need to trust me since I’m barely wrong about whatever. Ever. Really.
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Best Director: Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Best 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 First 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
Finest Editing: Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Sanger, Gravity
Best Production Design: Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker, 12 Years a Slave
Finest Costume Design: Michael Wilkinson, American Hustle
Finest 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
Very 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 does not reward comedies when they can reward a very serious movie instead. So comedies such as 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 are relegated to Screenplay nominations, normally. That’s their consolation prize. This is the reason 12 Years will take Best Picture. I don’t think they’re going to divide Picture and Director, either. Rewarding the movie is a concept in and of itself (much like Crash was when it won), providing Steve McQueen and John Ridley statues will underline that message: that the Academy is a considerate, compassionate group of individuals. They’re not, but they love pretending that they are. These are people who appreciate the power of story, particularly if this storyline is about them and can make them feel good about themselves. The standard of the film is secondary to its ability to help deliver that message.
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