The 85th Annual Academy Awards Predictions and Drinking Game

A popular host and popular films in tight races should give Oscar a ratings boost this year.

A popular and potentially controversial host and popular films in tight races should give Oscar a ratings boost this year.

The 85th Annual Academy Awards aired Sunday Night, February 24th, 2013.  Below were my predictions for the winners in the major categories.  The actual winners were filled in after the Oscars were announced.

PRE-SPIN:

Here’s hoping  first time host Seth MacFarlane treats the gig as if it will be his one and only shot and goes for the jugular.  Great mock-musical numbers seem inevitable, but his usual brand of gross and absurd insult pop-mockery comedy will more than likely be criminally toned down unless he adopts a devil-may-care attitude and taunts the producers.  I have a  hunch the guy will take things surprisingly seriously (with polished laughs and one or two insults that fall flat) and there will likely be far too many Ted gags.

With MacFarlane as host and an unusually tight race in some of the major categories, this could be one of the more interesting years to watch.  Argo seems the odds-on favorite despite some historical precedence working against it.  I still think Silver Linings Playbook could upset and score Best Picture and Director, but I’m not betting on it, and my heart belongs to Lincoln.  Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor are especially tough calls this year. 

POST-SPIN:

  • Seth MacFarlane was okay…but Daniel Day Lewis got the biggest laughs of the night
  • The overall telecast was painfully long (even more so than usual) and kept alive only by the live Tweeting I followed (thanks @PattonOswalt, the fake @Michael_Haneke, et al!)
  • There were a few genuine surprises (Christoph Waltz, Quentin Tarantino and Ang Lee) though none that I could say I was actually pleased by
  • Ann Hathaway gave the most disingenuous speech
  • Jennifer Lawrence gave the shortest, cutest speech
  • Weird guys with long blond hair rocked the tech categories
  • Affleck got all teary-eyed as a winning producer making it sound like getting snubbed for a directing nod or staring in Gigli were akin to having overcome genuine hardship #HollywoodProblems
  • I scored 16/24 (okay, but not great) in my family Oscar pool

And now check out The Spin on my Predictions and the Winners: Continue reading

The 84th Annual Academy Awards Predictions and Drinking Game

The Academy got at least one thing right this year...Billy Crystal is back, baby!

The 84th Annual Academy Awards aired Sunday Night, February 26th, 2012.  Below were my predictions for the winners in the major categories.  The actual winners were filled in after the Oscars were announced.

It was nice to have Billy Crystal back – he was funny though a shadow of his former golden self.  It was a fairly snooze-inducing night with no big surprises except for maybe the tinny microphones (an ironic sound design defect during a show that lavished undeserved gifts upon a silent film) and I eagerly switched over to The Walking Dead on AMC at 11pm. 

I scored a strong 17/24 in my family Oscar pool.  In the only categories I gave a damn about, I was 1 for 2 as A Separation took home a well-deserved statue for Best Foreign Language Film while Emmanuel Lubezki was royally robbed in the cinematography category for The Tree of Life by the guy from Hugo. Continue reading

83rd Annual Academy Awards Predictions and Drinking Game

Anne Hathaway and James Franco are wondering, too, how they got the gig.

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards aired Sunday Night, February 27th, 2011.  Below were my predictions for the winners in the major categories.  The actual winners were filled in after the Oscars were announced.

There were no real surprises this year.  Anne Hathaway did her best, but to no avail, next to lifeless co-host James Franco, who appeared as if he hadn’t even shown up for rehearsal and couldn’t care less that he was there.  Next year, Academy, give us a comedian.  The speeches were nothing special, though who would’ve thought that of the two, Melissa Leo would’ve out “bat-shitted” Christian Bale?  Meanwhile, after batting under .500 in my predictions last year, I rebounded nicely by scoring 16/24 correctly and regained my family Oscar pool crown. Continue reading

The 4th Annual Davies Awards in Film

A Look Back at 2009:

Once upon a time…

…in 2008, while the world economy went into a tailspin, Hollywood delved into super-depressing, self-important mode and the Davies Awards asked sourly, “Why So Serious?”

But then the Brothers Coen and Quentin Tarantino looked around with their impish grins and wondered, “Why can’t we be a little serious but have fun, too?”  Meanwhile, The King of the World, James Cameron awoke from a decade long hibernation to deliver us into a fantastic world we had never seen and finally made a film where 3D technology rose above gimmick status.  All the while, his ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow masterminded the ultimate coup-d’etat.  Will a woman director finally take home Oscar…for a war film?

But these golden days seemed so far far away back in January…

2009 began ominously. The multiplexes seemed a dark abyss. Continue reading

The 3rd Annual Davies Awards in Film

A Look Back at 2008:

Looking back on the year in film that was 2008, I’m left with but one question for Hollywood: “Why So Serious?”

I wish I could say it was the best of times, but mostly it was the worst of times.  Still even in the worst of times, there are plenty of alcoves to hide treasures.  As the world financial markets crumbled, a great depression engulfed the multiplexes from the darkest of comedies (all those alcoves In Bruges) to the darkest of popcorn flicks (The Dark Knight) to the saddest, coldest of Decembers.  2008 produced not only some of the worst films I have ever seen (Be Kind Rewind, The Day the Earth Stood Still), but also some of the most depressing (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Revolutionary Road).

Chopin’s Nocturne seemed ever so fitting a theme for this past year.

Overall 2008 was a stifling and mediocre year for films. Continue reading

80th Annual Academy Awards Predictions and Drinking Game

 

The 80th Annual Academy Awards aired Sunday Night, February 24, 2008.  Below were my predictions for the winners in the major categories.  The actual winners were filled in after the Oscars were announced.

It was an off year for the Academy as they chose the absolute worst film for Best Picture as a way to finally reward the Coen Brothers (just as I sadly predcited).  Meanwhile, the Schleicher Brothers tied for the lead in the Oscar Pool with 13 correct predictions from 24 categories.  This was off from my personal best from last year where I scored 17 correct predictions. Continue reading

The 2nd Annual Davies Awards in Film

The year’s best film , There Will Be Blood, closed in a orchestral flourish with this amazing piece from Brahms.  It was a fantastic way to end a wonderfully strange year at the cinema.

2007 ended up being a great year for films, possibly the best since 1999.  While 2006 was consistent in its passably entertaining mediocrity, filmmakers seemed to take more chances in 2007 leading to more highs (see below), more curiosities (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Beowulf, Sweeney Todd), and more lows (I Am Legend–not quite legendary).  The year’s two greatest films explored Greed and the American Dream.  There Will Be Blood took an epic approach to explore how greed driven and focused can build nations while slowly devouring the soul of the individual, while Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead took an intimate approach and explored how greed ill-planned and misdirected can destroy a family in the blink of an eye.  While Hollywood seemed to cash in on more name brand sequels and three-quels than ever before (and the public ate them up ad-naseum only to quickly forget them a few weeks later) three trends stood out in my mind that I feel defined 2007: Continue reading