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2015 Oscar Predix or The Inevitable End of the Precedent

February 22, 2015 Leave a comment

OSCARS 2015 The Oscars are down to minutes away and I was unbearably close to not even posting my predictions, and not just because I expect to do terrible in my guesses. There’s a number of reasons that predicting this year’s big night just seems a mute point and it has been a growing fundamental for the last couple of years. That precedent is, well, the end of all precedents.

Outside of gut instinct and sticking a wet finger up to feel which way the wind is blowing, the strongest aid in predicting the Oscars is looking back at what history as taught us. And no matter which way you roll the dice, this year, history goes right out the window.

For example, it’s clear that the two frontrunners in this year’s Best Picture race are “Birdman” and “Boyhood,” the attack of the killer Bs. Both are stellar films finding themselves at the tip-top of my favorites list, however, both films have a lot stacked against them, at this point in the race. “Birdman” has racked up wins with the Producers Guild, the Directors Guild and the Screen Actors Guild. The last time a film won that trifecta and lost the big prize was 19 years ago when “Apollo 13” lost to “Braveheart” in 1996. Meanwhile, “Boyhood” recently won the British Academy Award for Best Picture, an award that has lined up with Oscar for 6 years straight.

Perhaps the biggest precedent of them all is the one that Oscar prognosticators like myself can always fall back on for comfort, and that is the editors. As of this year, no film has won Best Picture without a nomination for Best Editing in 34 YEARS. “Birdman” would be the first since “Ordinary People” took down “Raging Bull” in 1981. Some might consider this a technicality with the whole “one shot” concept and that the editors simply didn’t understand or notice the intricacy and complexity of making such seamless cuts, but I think the editors are smarter than that.

Meanwhile, if the frontrunners manage to split and either “Selma,” or “The Grand Budapest Hotel” manages to upset, than one has to ask what they hell we’re all even doing here, from a predictions standpoint.

Anyway, I rail all this out, but we all know I’ll still be here trying my luck for years and years to come. But first things first, see below for my predicted winners, my runner-up guesses and my picks for if I had a vote. These favorites, of course, come just from the nominees. I’ll be doing my overall picks at the 5th Annual Edgy Awards over the next few weeks.

Here’s to the night and the history:

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BEST MOTION PICTURE of the YEAR

WILL WIN: “Boyhood”
MIGHT WIN: “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
SHOULD WIN: “Boyhood”

BEST DIRECTOR

WILL WIN: Richard Linklater – “Boyhood”
MIGHT WIN: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
SHOULD WIN: Bennett Miller – “Foxcatcher”

BEST ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE

WILL WIN: Eddie Redmayne – “The Theory of Everything”
MIGHT WIN: Michael Keaton – “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
SHOULD WIN: Michael Keaton – “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

BEST ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE

WILL WIN: Julianne Moore – “Still Alice”
MIGHT WIN: NOPE
SHOULD WIN: Julianne Moore – “Still Alice”

BEST ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE

WILL WIN: J.K. Simmons – “Boyhood”
MIGHT WIN: Edward Norton – “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
SHOULD WIN: Edward Norton – “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

BEST ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE

WILL WIN: Patricia Arquette – “Boyhood”
MIGHT WIN: Emma Stone – “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
SHOULD WIN: Patricia Arquette – “Boyhood”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

WILL WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
MIGHT WIN: “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
SHOULD WIN: “Boyhood”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

WILL WIN: “The Imitation Game”
MIGHT WIN: “Whiplash”
SHOULD WIN: “Inherent Vice”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

WILL WIN: “Wild Tales”
MIGHT WIN: “Ida”
SHOULD WIN: “Ida”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

WILL WIN: “Citizenfour”
MIGHT WIN: “Virunga”
SHOULD WIN: “Virunga”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

WILL WIN: “How to Train Your Dragon 2”
MIGHT WIN: “Big Hero 6”
SHOULD WIN: N/A

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

WILL WIN: “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
MIGHT WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
SHOULD WIN: “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

BEST EDITING

WILL WIN: “Boyhood”
MIGHT WIN: “Whiplash”
SHOULD WIN: “Boyhood”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

WILL WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
MIGHT WIN: “Into the Woods”
SHOULD WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

WILL WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
MIGHT WIN: “Mr. Turner”
SHOULD WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

BEST SOUND MIXING

WILL WIN: “Whiplash”
MIGHT WIN: “American Sniper”
SHOULD WIN: “Interstellar”

BEST SOUND EFFECTS EDITING

WILL WIN: “American Sniper”
MIGHT WIN: “Interstellar”
SHOULD WIN: “Interstellar”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

WILL WIN: “Interstellar”
MIGHT WIN: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”
SHOULD WIN: Either of the Above

BEST MAKEUP and HAIRSTYLING

WILL WIN: “Guardians of the Galaxy”
MIGHT WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
SHOULD WIN: “Guardians of the Galaxy”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

WILL WIN: “The Theory of Everything”
MIGHT WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
SHOULD WIN: “Interstellar”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

WILL WIN: “Glory” from “Selma”
MIGHT WIN: “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me”
SHOULD WIN: “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again”

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM

WILL WIN: “Aya”
MIGHT WIN: “The Phone Call”
SHOULD WIN: N/A

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

WILL WIN: “Feast”
MIGHT WIN: “The Bigger Picture”
SHOULD WIN: N/A

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

WILL WIN: “Joanna”
MIGHT WIN: “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”
SHOULD WIN: N/A

Final 2013 Oscar Predictions with Analysis

February 24, 2013 Leave a comment

AMPAS Monday Nights With Oscar Screening Of "Driving Miss Daisy"

Only a couple hours left to go. Below, you can see my predictions for this year’s Oscar winners, finally set in stone. I’ve included a bit of insight and reasoning for each category.

Make sure to also check back for live updates as the awards are announced.

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR

Will Win: “Argo”
Could Win: “Lincoln”
Analysis: This year’s Best Picture race is, without a doubt, the most upside down it’s been in recent memory. All logic (and good judgment) would point to “Lincoln,” as not only the year’s best film, but also the most nominated and a genuine perfect storm of concept and execution. However, the combination of a sweep of all four guilds, the BAFTA, the BFCA and the Globes, along with (and perhaps the cause of the former) the sympathy vote for Affleck and his lack of a Director nomination, one would have to be a fool not to predict it for the final showdown. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for an upset, but not my predictions.

Read more…

My 2012 Top Ten List

February 18, 2013 Leave a comment

It seems ironic and more than a little redeeming that around this same time last year, I ran my mouth off about 2011 being one of the worst quality years for filmmaking in some time. Well, the gods of cinema seem to have answered my prayers, for I don’t think I could have asked for a more diverse and memorable year. Just working on this list is a treat, and I hope so will reading it.

Without further adieu, let’s start with this year’s runners-up:

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dark_knight_rises_top_ten“The Dark Knight Rises”

Directed by Christopher Nolan
Written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan

While living up to its predecessor was a bit too much to ask for, Nolan’s final chapter is still a head above any other comic book film in this year, or really any other. The new characters are sharp, the villains are brutal and the epic tale’s message is as poignant as ever.

 

 

Read more…

2nd Annual Edgy Award Winners

February 25, 2012 2 comments

At last, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. After a lot of work and, actually, a lot more deliberation than I had originally imagined, it’s now time to announce the winners of the 2nd Annual Edgy Awards. If you missed the original nominations, you can find the full list here. These winners encompass what I believe to be the best work put forth in each respective category. Now, I’m sure there’s a few that people are sure to disagree with, so, in addition to posting video clips that showcase the work, I’ll also provide a bit of commentary that will help to defend my decisions.

This year shows a very different distribution than the 1st Edgy Awards. Last year, nearly fifty percent of the awards were collected by only two films (“The Social Network” – 7 and “Inception” – 4). This year has seemed to take on a more “spread the wealth” fashion. For example, last year, there were only six films taking home one award apiece (and that was with an extra category). This year, there are thirteen. This might also be the first time in my history of giving awards that a different film has won each of the eight technical categories (Cinematography, Editing, Art Direction, Costume Design, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, and Makeup). I guess that shows the diversity of filmmaking that this year brought to the table.

It’s time to sit back and enjoy. Here are your Edgy winners:

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Think You Can Wait”

Music and Lyrics by “The National

RUNNER-UP: “Shelter” from “Take Shelter”

Aside from just being a straight-up beautiful and enjoyable song to listen to, over and over, “Think You Can Wait” is a phenomenal companion piece to Thomas McCarthy’s “Win Win.” The longing melody and wistfully fluid lyrics encompass both the woes and lingering hopes of the suburban life experienced by the film’s characters. This winner was never a question in my mind. A fantastic song.

Read more…

The 2nd Annual Edgy Award Nominations

February 21, 2012 2 comments

One of the primary focuses of this site is to analyze and report on each year’s film awards race, and many of you know this to be my true passion in life. However, if there’s one thing I enjoy more than following the Oscars, it’s making my own. Therefore, it has become a tradition of mine to gather up all my favorite aspects of the year’s filmmaking, break them down into nominations and then award what I believe to be the best of the year. And while I’ve been doing this for a long time, The Edge of the Frame gave me a chance to name them. Therefore, I present to you fine readers the 2nd Annual Edgy Award Nominations.

This year has certainly delivered a mixed bag of finalists. A total of 39 films received nominations, although 19 of those only garnered a single nomination apiece. While some categories may have some resemblance to the Academy’s choices (sometimes, they do actually make wise decisions), there are some striking differences. Thank goodness for that, for as a film critic, if my picks matched up with the Oscars, I wouldn’t be able to respect myself in the morning. Many of you have already seen my choices for Best Picture, what with my Top Ten List being released earlier in the week, and you’ll have noticed that only three films also find themselves in Oscar’s top nine ballot. Also, for the first time in my long history of doing this, not a single one of my Best Director nominees overlaps with the Academy’s.

A few notes to cover before we get started. I’ve used a similar format as last year’s nominations, listing out each nominee by name, instead of just the films themselves. Now, some of you will be bound to wonder how, if these are only the 2ND Annual Edgy Nominations, some individuals will have more than 2 mentions under their belts. The answer is because I have a slate of personal awards for each year going back over seven decades. I’ve got endless spreadsheets cataloging my choices for film winners from long before I was even born, I just don’t have the means (yet) to make those available to the public. The annotations refer to the amount of past nominations each individual has had in their respective category, except for performers who’s mentions overlap with all the other acting categories.

Now, for any readers who need more info, don’t understand or just think I’m full of it, I’ve provided a link to a separate document which holds a complete list of every single one of this year’s nominees, coupled with a complete record of their Edgy nominations and wins. Have I gone overboard with these things? Absolutely, but I have an anal retentive need to be comprehensive, not to mention that I have a devotion to all things statistical. Hope at least one person gives it a look.

One other thing to point out is that, this year, I have refrained from creating categories for both Best Foreign Language Film and Best Animated Film. To be honest, I just haven’t seen enough foreign fare to make up an accurate barometer of the year’s best. As far as animation goes, I honestly just avoided this year, practically, all together. Just a weak field that I didn’t bother focusing my income towards. I did, however, add a full category for Best Ensemble Cast. I do believe that when a film pulls off an effective ensemble performance, it’s worth taking note of because it help’s define the film and its quality. If only the Oscars shared this opinion.

So, without further ado, here are the 2011 nominations:

 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“The Living Proof”
featured in “The Help”
Music and Lyrics by Mary J. Blige (2nd Nom)

“Marcy’s Song”
featured in “Martha Marcy May Marlene”
Music and Lyrics by Jackson C. Frank (1st nom)

“Never Be Daunted”
featured in “Happythankyoumoreplease”
Music and Lyrics by Jaymay (1st nom)

“Shelter”
featured in “Take Shelter”
Music and Lyrics by Ben Nichols (1 nom)

“Think You Can Wait”
featured in “Win Win”
Music and Lyrics by The National (1st nom)

Read more…

My 2011 Top Ten List

February 16, 2012 2 comments

My favorite time of the year has finally come. It’s the time when I can finally take a break from reporting on other individuals and groups choices for best of the year and actually focus on my own. If any of you missed last year’s, here’s a link to last year’s big list. Over the next week, leading up to the Oscars, I’ll be writing a series of posts that will encompass my feelings on the 2011 year in films. I’ll start things out with my Top Ten List, featured here, followed by two posts chronicling the nominations and winners of the 2nd Annual Edgy Awards. Hopefully, I can maintain concentration and get all of this done before the entire awards season comes to a head.

To be quite honest, this is probably my least favored year of films in terms of quality in at least a decade. I’m not sure what exactly went wrong or rubbed me the wrong way, but there was something lacking in the overall caliber of releases. Disappointing to say the least. Perhaps, it’s not even the overall batch of films, but rather some favorites of the film critic and connoisseur community just did not register in my book. Yet, even with the diminished standard, I still feel compelled to give a shout out of recognition to the films that were more than respectable. The following seven films, listed alphabetically, are some examples of damn fine filmmaking, but had just a few too many flaws that kept them out the final ten.

Here we go. The runners-up are as follows:

“The Artist”

Written and Directed by
Michel Hazanavicius

A delightful and sometimes intriguing romp into the throwback world of silent filmmaking, highlighted by some great design qualities and a stellar lead performance by Jean Dujardin. Yet, the film really suffers from having…well…nothing really important to say or leave us with.

Read more…

17th Annual Critics Choice Winners

January 12, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ll be posting the awards as they’re announced live. The technical awards and, you know, others that don’t include stars, will be announced prior to the show starting, so they will be showing up first.

Here are the winners:

BEST PICTURE
“The Artist”

BEST DIRECTOR
Michael Hazanavicius – “The Artist”

BEST ACTOR
George Clooney – “The Descendants”

BEST ACTRESS
Viola Davis – “The Help”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christopher Plummer – “The Beginners”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Octavia Spencer – “The Help”

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST
“The Help”

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Thomas Horn – “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“MONEYBALL”!!!!!!!!!!

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“Midnight in Paris”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
(TIE) “War Horse” – Janusz Kaminski and “The Tree of Life” – Emmanuel Lubezki

BEST EDITING
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

BEST ART DIRECTION
“Hugo”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
“The Artist”

BEST SOUND
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part II”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

BEST MAKEUP
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part II”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
“The Artist”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Life is a Happy Song” – “The Muppets”

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“George Harrison: Living in a Material World”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“A Separation”

BEST ANIMATED FILM
“Rango”

BEST COMEDY
“Bridesmaids”

BEST ACTION MOVIE
“Drive”