Handicapping the craziest Oscar race in recent memory

academy-awardsThe last couple years I’ve actually done fairly well with my handicapping, but this year I am not at all confident in my picks. Too many races are too close, but there’s also a wide disparity between the movies that will win versus the ones that should win. I enjoyed Argo, I like Ben Affleck as a filmmaker and I think he’s developing into one of the most consistent and entertaining American directors, but Argo was not the best movie of 2012. It won’t even go down as the best movie of Affleck’s career. But the politics, they matter this year, even more than usual. With no clear masterpiece to lead the field and critical tastes too evenly spread over too many movies (primarily Argo, Lincoln and Life of Pi) and with Harvey Weinstein shoving Silver Linings Playbook down our throats like it’s something other than a rote, if well-acted, romantic comedy, the Oscar race turned into a dog fight. But it’s almost over. The Oscars are on Sunday, so it’s time for final predictions. Continue reading “Handicapping the craziest Oscar race in recent memory”

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T-minus two weeks till Oscar

It’s been an exhausting award season. It’s a knock-down, drag-out fight in most categories, with very few locks going into the Academy Awards in two weeks (only Anne Hathaway and Adele are locked in at this point). But I think we’ve all felt it, yes? The shift toward Argo, whether motivated by pity for Ben Affleck’s director snub (maybe a little) or that Argo is a movie about film literally saving lives (much more likely) starring beloved character actors (yes, very much), you can’t help but feel that Lincoln has been cut off at the knees and it will be Argo’s night.

Argo

Continue reading “T-minus two weeks till Oscar”

Post-SAG Oscar Handicaps

That sounds like a post-operative procedure for plastic surgery, doesn’t it? Well there’s been a bit of a shake-up in the predictions since the SAG Awards. In the wake of The King’s Speech win for Best Cast Ensemble there, and following wins at the Directors’ Guild and Producers’ Guild, The King’s Speech takes over as the Oscar favorite. We now have a two-horse race heading into the Oscars at the end of the month between guild favorite The King’s Speech (the Writers’ Guild weighs in this weekend) and critical darling The Social Network.

But do we have an upset coming? Not unless Toy Story 3, The Kids Are All Right or Winter’s Bone pulls out the win. Between The King’s Speech and The Social Network it’s two of the most well-received films of the year. Throw a dart—either one is an acceptable winner. It’s just a matter of personal taste, which one you think deserves to be Best Picture. Most of the major categories and many of the technical/artistic ones are going to be decided between these two. And that’s boring right? Of course it is. But this is how it goes most every year. Everyone loses their shit for one or two movies and it/they win all the hardware. But where are we with these movies in five years? That’s for another day. On to the second round of Oscar handicaps. Continue reading “Post-SAG Oscar Handicaps”