Archive

Posts Tagged ‘braveheart’

Oscar Winner Predictions: The Impossibility of Reason

February 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Argo_oscar_winner_predictions

I’ve taken somewhat of a backseat to much of this year’s Oscars and how they’ve unfolded. Maybe I don’t have as much time on my hands anymore, or perhaps I’m getting a little bit lazy. However, there’s also the immutable fact that this is, without a doubt, the weirdest Oscars I’ve ever bore witness to. Pundits like myself have bitched and moaned for years about the Oscar race becoming a predictable formality. Now, we’ve had so many wrenches thrown into the works that all of the precedents, reason and logic have just gone clear out the window. 2012 is the ultimate crapshoot.

Perhaps it’s a good thing, overall. Because while this year’s awards season has spiraled into an enormous whirlwind of indecision and confusion, I believe we can all find a consensus in the overwhelming class and quality that was on display in filmmaking during the past year. I can’t have enough good things to say about 2012 and I believe it will go down as shining star in the chronology of cinematic history, up there with the likes of 2001, 1980, 1976, 1960 and, of course, 1939. I also believe that, in some way, the less focus on awards and accolades, we can foresee that it’s ultimately the movies that we’ll remember decades from now, while fiasco over the gold will simply be an afterthought.

lincoln_oscar_winner_predictions

Nevertheless, at it’s roots, this is an awards site and it’s time to get down to business. Bottom line, the award for Best Picture (and more than a few others) was completely thrown for a loop the morning that the nominations were announced, when two of the year’s biggest heavyweights were absent from the shortlist. Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow being left in the cold was perhaps the strangest occurrence in this category since Ang Lee and Ron Howard failed to receive nominations for their respective work back in 1995 (“Apollo 13” and “Sense and Sensibility”). Yet, this may have overall worked in Affleck’s favor, for since that morning, every critic, actor, producer, director, grip, PA and their mother has seemed to fall head over heels for the film. At this point, it seems that enough voters will sway towards “Argo” for the Best Picture, out of sheer sympathy, more than anything else. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also a fantastically entertaining and uplifting piece that pulls at Oscar’s heartstrings like a toddler on a hoop earring.

Meanwhile, there’s a flip-side to every equation. “Argo” may have taken every award since that fateful morning, yet that doesn’t change the fact that the snub still happened. Affleck missing out on Best Director makes a huge statement. It has to be more than just a fluke or the notion of the Academy leaning so heavily on what the guilds have done in the past. Plus, while one can compare the strangeness of this year’s circumstances to ’95, it’s important to be reminded how that year turned out, with neither Lee or Howard taking home the big prize at the end of the night. For now, I’ll go with the odds-on favorite, but can easily see the winds shifting. This weekend’s WGA will may be a largely determining factor.

Alas, my first round of winner predictions for the 85th Academy Awards:

BEST PICTURE: “Argo”

alternate: “Lincoln”

Read more…

The ACE and BAFTAs…A Shift in the Winds?

February 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Last week, I reported that “The King’s Speech” cleaned up at the British Academy Awards. However, this was to be expected. Records for acting awards and the first film to win both of their Best Film and Best British Film. Go figure, considering it’s the most widely popularized British film since “Shakespeare in Love.” However, on the whole, I almost have to say that “The King’s Speech” underperformed at the BAFTAs, and if one film had an equal, or possibly better night overall, it would have to be “The Social Network.”

No, this is not favoritism. No, it is not just just wishful thinking. I think at this point of the race, it is now more neck and neck between the two big contenders than it ever has been. For the first two weeks after nominations were announced, it was all all about “The King’s Speech,” especially after picking up its trio of key guild awards. However, after the BAFTAs, the WGA, and now the ACE victory, “The Social Network” has shown that it could very easily take home the big prize. One simply has to look at the past and the science behind it all.

Yes, it’s true that the PGA, DGA and SAG are all very heavy hitters when it comes to inducing a Best Picture win. However, in the long run, it looks like “The King’s Speech” will be down several big awards on Sunday night. This takes us back to why the BAFTAs were such a key event. While taking them for a sweep, “The King’s Speech” managed to lose Director and Editing, perhaps the two key awards in the Best Picture race. After winning the American Cinema Editors top prize, “The Social Network” seems to have Best Editing in the bag, along with the obvious Best Adapted Screenplay. And one has to wonder that if the Brits won’t even bestow Tom Hooper with the big director’s prize, how willing will the Academy be to snub David Fincher for what is quite possibly his finest work to date and maybe ever again.

Now, let’s look at the stats. Best Director and Best Editor are more engrained in the blood of a Best Picture winner than any other awards. An example of how important the editing honor is, no film has won Best Picture in over thirty years (not since “Ordinary People” in 1980) without being nominated for Best Editing. Many people believe that aside from the homophobia, this was the bane of “Brokeback Mountain,” being that “Crash” had the fervent support of the editors with both Oscar and ACE awards under its belt. Now, granted, both “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network” have been nominated for that award, so the race does not end on this stat.

However, here’s some other info to chew on. If “The Social Network” does win Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Editing, however loses Best Picture, it will be only the 3rd film in the history of the Oscars to do so. The other two were “Traffic” in ’00 and “A Place in the Sun” in ’51. Furthermore, in the situation that “The Social Network” wins Directing and Editing: Only 2 films in the last 20 years have won Best Picture without winning either of those two awards (“Gladiator” in ’00, “Shakespeare in Love” in “98). Going back even further, only 5 films in the last 50 YEARS have accomplished that task. In this regard, precedents for “The King’s Speech” winning peg it at only about 1 in 10.

If ancient history is too flimsy for some, let’s look at the last decade. Three of the last four films to win Best Picture (“The Hurt Locker,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” and “The Departed”) all took home Director, Screenplay and Editing. Also, in regard to the recent American Cinema Editors award, 7 out of the last 10 films to win Best Picture also won the ACE, and in the years that they didn’t, the winner of the ACE went on to take Best Editing at the Oscars, which speaks well for “Social Network,” as well.

There are a few big precedents to support a “King’s Speech” victory, most glaringly would be “Shakespeare in Love” over “Saving Private Ryan.” However, one event is strangely alike to the present year that stands behind a “Social Network” upset and that is 1995. Before Oscar night, “Apollo 13” had taken the PGA, the DGA and the SAG. “Braveheart” had taken the Golden Globe for Best Director, the BFCA for Best Director, the ACE and the WGA. Freakishly similar. “Braveheart” came out victorious. Perhaps the only thing that separates it would be that Ron Howard was not nominated for Oscar’s Best Director, while Tom Hooper is. However, “Braveheart” also did not have the added incentive of having won practically EVERY SINGLE BEST PICTURE AWARD THAT EXISTS up to the PGA.

A lot of jargon, right? What does it all mean? It means that I have made a decision to support “The Social Network” to the final moments in regards to my Best Picture prediction. Hope may be a dangerous thing in this game, but if ever there was a year that I had to hold on to it, it would be this one. Will I be wrong? Possibly. Probably. Yet, I imagine a scenario in which “The Social Network” won and I predicted against it. I’d never forgive myself.

And in all honesty, I really think it’s going to happen.

Well, I’m off to work on the Edgies. Stay tuned for the winners’ announcement on Thursday evening, while my final Oscar predictions will have to wait until Saturday night. I spare not a second.