The Oscars are on Sunday, aka, The Night Leonardo DiCaprio Will Finally Win The One Popularity Contest That Has Eluded Him. This has been the tightest race in recent memory, with very few sure things. Best Picture is still wide open, the Supporting Actress race is closer than Alicia Vikander would like it to be, and the technical/craft categories are going to be an all-out brawl between The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road.
The 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”
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.
I called this the “worst Oscar roster in recent memory” when the nominations came out a month ago. I stand by that. In the time since then, I’ve come to realize that in almost every category, the best movie/person wasn’t nominated. In a lot of categories, there are 3+ movies/people that didn’t get nominated. We’re not picking the best of anything this year. We’re picking runners-up and honorable mentions. 2012 might as well be called “the year of the also-rans”. This is definitely a year that we’ll have to revisit with the Ethels in five years. Continue reading “Picks for the Oscar pool”