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How I Did: My Prediction Tally

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Before I start my endless rant about how much these Oscar nominations have ruined my day, any potentially my life (it’s still too soon), I’ll just give a brief rundown of how I did. Sort of good in some places, really bad in others. I’ll try to put a cap on my emotions, as well, and save that for my reactions so we can move this along.

Yet, I cannot stop myself from asking if we could just bring on next year, please? NOW…

BEST PICTURE: 7/9 + 1st alternate (not bad)
Had I only bumped “The Tree of Life” up above “Bridesmaids” in my rankings, I’d have one more, but I won’t cheat and say that I saw it coming. And really, at this point in the game, who really saw “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”? I feel like the Academy had their own private, sick, inside joke going on with that one.

BEST DIRECTOR – 4/5 + 1st alternate (I’ll take it, but damn it!)
Lying in bed last night, all I could think of was how I knew I was wrong not to predict Malick. You can ask my girlfriend, because I was pretty sure I was thinking aloud and she kept telling me to shut up.

BEST ACTOR – 4/5 (I’ll take it)
Demien Bechir’s surprise nomination is less of a sting since I am very proud of myself for staying out on a limb with that Gary Oldman prediction. Kudos to myself and everyone else who did the same.

BEST ACTRESS – 4/5 + 1st alternate (I guess I’ll take it)
The other thing that I was fumbling with in my mind, last night, was Rooney Mara. She was just too exciting of a performance for the Academy to pass up. Certainly didn’t expect her to oust Swinton, though. Brutal.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 4/5 (I’ll take it, but wow)
Once again, I don’t think anybody saw Max von Sydow coming, at least not at this point in the game. Very proud to have stuck with Jonah Hill. I always had an inkling suspicion that the lack of a SAG nomination for Albert Brooks was going to kill him, but never really believed that the Academy would go that far.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 4/5 + 2nd alternate (I’ll take it)
I knew that Shailene Woodley would fall off, but didn’t figure on the Academy giving the full cold shoulder to “Shame.” No accounting for taste, I guess. McTeer takes the spot.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – 4/5 (I’ll take it…grrr)
The roughest category to predict, this year, so I think I came out all right. I could really kick myself in the ear for not predicting one of my favorite scripts from 2011, “Margin Call.”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – 3/5 + 1st alternate (could have done better)
I wrestled a lot with “Tinker, Tailor” taking out “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” but didn’t quite make it there. Certainly thought that “Hugo”‘s screenplay would drop before “The Help.”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – 2/5 (ashamed of myself)
All right. This category is a holy mess. I think I have to give props to Kris Tapley and Guy Lodge at In Contention for sticking to their guns on “Adventures of Tintin” not being considered animated due to its motion capture status. The rest of this…what a pile of unpredictability.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – 5/5 (take a bow)
Ha. Who knew that the branch I’d nail would be one of the Academy’s most unpredictable. Pat on the back for me.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – 2/5 + 1st alternate (could have done better)
You know, while I’m not a fan of my overall performance in this category, I really have to give myself props for being one of the only prognosticators around predicting “If a Tree Falls.” A true dark horse that I nailed. And let’s be real, the absence of “Project Nim” is the most surprising snub of the morning.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – 5/5 (take a bow)
All right, I once again have to give it up for me. Not as difficult of a category, but I knew that the AMPAS wouldn’t give Janusz the cold shoulder like the ASC did.

BEST EDITING – 4/5 + 1st alternate (I’ll take it)
Agh! So close. It looks like “The Descendants” campaign to not get hit by the editing jinx paid off. At least this proves that “War Horse” will not win Best Picture.

BEST ART DIRECTION – 3/5 (could have done better)
Some surprises here. It seems the snub of “War Horse” from the ADG didn’t mean anything, after all. The one and only below-the-line nom for “Midnight in Paris.”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN – 3/5 + 1st and 2nd alternates (could have done better)
Wow, my alternates reigned supreme in this category. Quite shocked about “The Help” missing, here. The most colorful of the bunch. They really seem to have gone for drab, this year.

BEST SOUND MIXING – 3/5 + 1st alternate (could have done better)
After all the sound guilds crowning “Super 8” their king, it runs up completely empty. Ain’t that a bitch?

BEST SOUND EDITING – 3/5 + 2nd alternate (could have done better)
A lot of diversity from the above column on display. Sure is a good thing they upped their nomination count…so they can look exactly like their older brother.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – 4/5 (I’ll take it)
“Captain America”…(sigh)…I don’t want to talk about it. Damn you, David Cohen of Variety. At least “The Tree of Life” didn’t make it and making me look like the biggest fool for not predicting it. For that, I’m happy with how I did, here.

BEST MAKEUP – 2/3 + 2nd alternate (I will take it)
Knew those first two would make it in, but very surprised that “The Artist” juggernaut missed here, and that the monster that is “Hugo” didn’t take its place.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – 3/5 + 1st and 2nd alternates (could have done better)
Wow. Had I just stuck with my gut and switched around my alternates, I’d be a happy man in this category. Too bad. Looks like John Williams is going to cancel himself out again. Guess he can blame Steven Spielberg and his multi-movie years.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – 0/2
You know what, we’re not even going to do this. Go jump off of a bridge, AMPAS Song Branch. You’re a disgrace to movies and life, itself.

And I was going to try and keep emotion out of it.

Well, my total tally of just predictions alone turned out to be: 73/104, which puts me at about 70%.

If you count my 1st alternates as a 1/2 correct choice and 2nd alternates as 1/4, my total is: 78.75, making my average 76%.

If we just discount the bullshit Original Song category, all together, which we should: 73/102, and that’s 72%.

Granted, I’m not really allowed to do those last two options, but damn it, I should. Last year, I ended up with just over 75%, so this year is definitely a bit of a dip in my professional status. Oh well. Shake it off. Next time you hear from me, I will likely be venting my head off. If you’re just waking up, go back to sleep. It’s not worth it.

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2012 Academy Award Nominations!

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

And away we go…

BEST PICTURE
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”
“The Help”
“Hugo”
“Midnight in Paris”
“Moneyball”
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”

BEST DIRECTOR
Woody Allen – “Midnight in Paris”
Michael Hazanavicius – “The Artist”
Terrence Malick – “The Tree of Life”
Alexander Payne – “The Descendants”
Martin Scorsese – “Hugo”

BEST ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE
Demien Bechir – “A Better Life”
George Clooney – “The Descendants”
Jean Dujardin – “The Artist”
Gary Oldman – “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
Brad Pitt – “Moneyball”

BEST ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE
Glenn Close – “Albert Nobbs”
Viola Davis – “The Help”
Rooney Mara – “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
Meryl Streep – “The Iron Lady”
Michelle Williams – “My Week with Marilyn”

BEST ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE
Kenneth Branagh – “My Week with Marilyn”
Jonah Hill – “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte – “Warrior”
Christopher Plummer – “Beginners”
Max von Sydow – “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

BEST ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE
Bérénice Bejo – “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain – “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy – “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer – “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer – “The Help”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“The Artist” by Michel Hazanavicius
“Bridesmaids” by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
“Margin Call” by J.C. Chandor
“Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen
“A Separation” by Asghar Farhadi

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“The Descendants” by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
“Hugo” by John Logan
“The Ides of March” by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
“Moneyball” by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin Story by Stan Chervin
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“A Cat in Paris”
“Chico & Rita”
“Kung Fu Panda 2”
“Puss in Boots”
“Rango”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“Bullhead” Belgium
“Footnote” Israel
“In Darkness” Poland
“Monsieur Lazhar” Canada
“A Separation” Iran

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“Hell and Back Again”
“If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”
“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”
“Pina”
“Undefeated”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
“The Artist” – Guillaume Schiffman
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Jeff Cronenweth
“Hugo” – Robert Richardson
“The Tree of Life” – Emmanuel Lubezki
“War Horse” – Janusz Kaminski

BEST EDITING
“The Artist” – Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
“The Descendants” – Kevin Tent
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
“Hugo” – Thelma Schoonmaker
“Moneyball” – Christopher Tellefsen

BEST ART DIRECTION
“The Artist” – Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” – Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
“Hugo” – Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
“Midnight in Paris” – Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
“War Horse” – Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
“Anonymous” – Lisy Christl
“The Artist” – Mark Bridges
“Hugo” – Sandy Powell
“Jane Eyre” – Michael O’Connor
“W.E.” – Arianne Phillips

BEST SOUND MIXING
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
“Hugo” – Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
“Moneyball” – Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
“War Horse” – Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

BEST SOUND EDITING
“Drive” – Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Ren Klyce
“Hugo” – Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
“War Horse” – Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” – Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
“Hugo” – Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
“Real Steel” – Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

BEST MAKEUP
“Albert Nobbs” – Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” – Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Iron Lady” – Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
“The Adventures of Tintin” – John Williams
“The Artist” – Ludovic Bource
“Hugo” – Howard Shore
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” – Alberto Iglesias
“War Horse” – John Williams

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” – Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio” from “Rio” – Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett

BEST SHORT FILM, LIVE ACTION
“Pentecost” – Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane
“Raju” – Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
“The Shore” – Terry George and Oorlagh George
“Time Freak” – Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
“Tuba Atlantic” – Hallvar Witzø

BEST SHORT FILM, ANIMATION
“Dimanche/Sunday” – Patrick Doyon
“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” – William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
“La Luna” – Enrico Casarosa
“A Morning Stroll” – Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
“Wild Life” – Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

BEST DOCUMENTARY, SHORT SUBJECT
“The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement” – Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
“God Is the Bigger Elvis” – Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
“Incident in New Baghdad” – James Spione
“Saving Face” – Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” – Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

There you have it, folks. My fiery reactions to come shortly, after I blow off some steam.

The SAG Nominations: My Thoughts

December 14, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m not going to lie. While occasionally the Screen Actors Guild throws a curveball or two in the mix when it comes to their nomination day, I have never seen anything like this, before. In every single category (aside from Best Actress, which I managed to score five for five in my predictions), there was at least one major shocker. Not to mention that several films that seemed to be on an absolute roll were left out in the cold.

Let’s start with Best Ensemble Cast. Things here went pretty much as expected. I got four out of five, with my first alternate taking that final spot. Without a doubt this definitely does put the final nail in “The Ides of March'”s coffin. I suppose it might still have a chance with the WGA, especially with the long list of ineligible films, but Best Picture is completely out of its grasp. What these nominees have proven is that “The Help” is going to be a force to be reckoned with. We can now all but stencil it in on Oscar nomination morning, along with “The Descendants” and “The Artist,” but we already knew that. “Midnight in Paris” scored a nice mention, but I’m still not thoroughly convinced it has what it takes to make it all the way to Best Picture. And while “Bridesmaids” certainly had a good morning, after the Globes, it can probably call its awards contention about done. Melissa McCarthy will surely continue her ride to the Kodak, but the rest of the cast and crew will have to sit on the sidelines.

While discussing ensemble, its worth pointing out that it’s exclusion of certain performers in the “Midnight in Paris” cast is really quite appalling. This usually happens every year. When “The Social Network” was nominated in this category, Rooney Mara was disturbingly left out of the finalists, despite being an absolute standout in a small role. This year, some of the most memorable roles from Woody Allen’s film did not make the final cut. Allison Pill and Tom Hiddleston, who played Ella and F. Scott Fitzgerald were left off the list. Perhaps the most disturbing omission of, however, was the lack of Corey Stoll who’s breakout portrayal of Ernest Hemingway was probably the film’s best feature. One has to wonder how the SAG even goes about picking these names and how they could slip up so bad as to miss such brilliant talent.

On to Best Actor, which went pretty much according to plan…aside from one glaringly obvious surprise that was Demien Bechir. Wow. Talk about a wrench thrown into the works. Though, there’s a difference between being flabbergasted and being upset, and its hard to get mad about such an underdog breaking onto the scene in such an enormous fashion. Personally I had no interest in seeing the film, but good for him, nonetheless. Clooney, Dujardin and Pitt earn their expected nods while DiCaprio still holds onto a slim chance for his long overdue gold. At least his chances for a nomination have drastically increased.

I am also not shy at all about predicting the lack of love for “Shame” while nearly everyone else on the web thought Fassbender was a shoo-in at this point. I’m not proud of them for snubbing him, just proud of myself for calling it. He should have a bit heavier chances with the Academy itself, however, who’s selection of voters isn’t at all as random or spontaneous as the Actors Guild is. It really is too bad for Oldman, though. His last hope of resurrecting his chances will be an assured nomination and hopefully a win from the British Academy. It’s certainly helped others in the past.

I don’t have a lot of words to describe the Best Actress race, suffice to say that this could very well be the same lineup we see announced next month. Each of these actresses has overcome what barriers they need and while Close and Swinton are not exactly locks yet, it will still be difficult for them to miss at this point.

On the supporting side of actresses, the biggest shocker was the absence of Shailene Woodley, who, after conquering the National Board of Review was thought to be serious contender for all awards to follow. I feel like a lack of name recognition might have attributed to this miss. It might also just be the overwhelming love for “The Help,” which managed to score two nods in this category. Berenice Bejo proved that “The Artist” is not a one man show and Janet McTeer managed to make it in on Glenn Close’s coattails (actually I have no right to say that without seeing the performance which apparently stands out just as much the lead does). Finally, Melissa McCarthy grabbed the last slot. She is fast becoming my favorite acting contender this year. Probably the funniest performance I’ve seen all year.

Finally, we get to the category that pretty much just threw the entire contest for a loop. First off, the would-be frontrunner and winner of the most awards for any supporting role this year by about two times over, Albert Brooks, failed to even achieve a nomination. Even if he still manages an eventual Oscar nomination, this move has all but ensured Christopher Plummer as the de facto frontrunner. While two other older actors  (Kenneth Branagh and Nick Nolte) made the cut, other veterans like Max von Sydow and Ben Kingsley were beaten out by two performers that I feel actually quite bad for counting down and out. Jonah Hill gets a huge boost for himself and his film with his nomination for “Moneyball” and Armie Hammer, who I spent the last few months predicting but finally gave up when support for “J. Edgar” all but tanked. Now, I’m more than thrilled to see him back in the running.

Well, I gotta wrap this up real quick so I can move on to my globe predictions, which hopefully I’ll have up while some of you are still awake.

Screen Actors Guild Nominations

December 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Sorry I’m a little late on posting this, but I had a meeting with an old friend this morning which took me away from things. Here’s the full list of nominations. I’ll be back in a bit with my thoughts on these. However, there is one elephant in the room that must be addressed right off the bat:

DEMIEN BECHIR. DEMIEN BECHIR. HOLY SHIT, DEMIEN BECHIR. Biggest most out-of-the-blue shocker in, potentially all of SAG history.

Okay, I think I got that out of my system for now. I’ll have the rest of my thoughts up soon.

MOTION PICTURE

Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture
“Bridesmaids”
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“The Help”
“Midnight in Paris”

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Leading Role
George Clooney – “The Descendants”
Demian Bichir – “A Better Life”
Leonardo DiCaprio – “J. Edgar”
Jean Dujardin – “The Artist”
Brad Pitt – “Moneyball”

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Leading Role
Michelle Williams – “My Week With Marilyn”
Glenn Close – “Albert Nobbs”
Viola Davis – “The Help”
Meryl Streep – “The Iron Lady”
Tilda Swinton – “We Need to Talk About Kevin”

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Supporting Role
Nick Nolte – “Warrior
Kenneth Branagh – “My Week With Marilyn”
Armie Hammer – “J. Edgar”
Jonah Hill – “Moneyball”
Christopher Plummer – “Beginners”

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Supporting Role
Octavia Spencer – “The Help”
Berenice Bejo – “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain – “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy – “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer – “Albert Nobbs”

Outstanding Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Motion Picture
“The Adjustment Bureau”
“Cowboys & Aliens”
“Harry Potter and the Deahtly Hallows: Part II”
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
“X-Men: First Class”