Rule #1: Watching the Movies nominated for the Oscars does N’t help you accurately predict who’ll win the Oscars
Rule #2: Paying attention to sites watching Oscar voters will 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 perform miles better than the usual film fan who has been running around like a crazy bastard trying to get all the nominated films before the face so as to be“educated“ whenever they cast their ballot.
Rule #3: When in doubt, go with the assumption that the largest block of voters will behave less like curators of superior movie and more like high school pupils opting a prom court.
I haven’t watched all the movies that were nominated. I’ve seen less than half of them, in reality. This makes me more educated on what has been nominated than large swaths of the Academy. And because I’m cleanly divorced from the idea that the distribution of these treasured golden dildoes relies on merit, forecasting the Oscars is an entirely mercenary exercise. That it should be, if you’re going to get the most enjoyment out of the glittery gladhandjob erupting this coming Sunday.
After the jump, your Oscar Ballot Cheat Sheet. Follow it carefully if you would like to clean up at whatever party you are attending (we suggest either the Hollywood Theatre’s shindig, or ShanRock’s Trivia and watching celebration ), and examine my explanations as to why those are the smart selections, and so you need to trust me because I am barely wrong about whatever. Ever. Really.
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Best Manager: 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
Finest Editing: Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Sanger, Gravity
Finest Production Design: Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker, 12 Years a Slave
Finest 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
Very best Sound Editing: Glenn Freemantle, Gravity
Best Visual Effects: Timothy Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Gravity
Finest 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, Only Before Losing Everything
The Whys and Wherefores:
The Academy doesn’t reward comedies when they can reward a very significant movie instead. So comedies such as Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle are right out. So are sci-fi movies, and movies with notions that are generally“weird.“ Those sorts of films are relegated to Screenplay nominations, typically. That is their consolation prize. That is why 12 Years will take Best Picture. I don’t think they’re going to split Picture and Director, either. Rewarding the movie is a message in and of itself (much like Crash was as it won), giving Steve McQueen and John Ridley figurines will populate that message: the Academy is a considerate, compassionate group of individuals. They’re not, but they really like pretending they are. These are individuals who love the power of story, particularly if this storyline is about them and will make them feel good about themselves. The quality of the movie is secondary to its ability to help send that message.
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