Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Oscar build-up

The forecast I'm most interested in, has nothing to do with snow and everything to do with movies. In particular, short films.

In the last few days I have been scouring the internet for as many Oscar predictions as I can scan my eyes upon. Complete Oscar predictions, we're talking all 24 categories, not the five or ten most popular; those are the easy ones. After much deliberation, I have landed on my choices for Foreign Film (In A Better World), Documentary Short (Strangers No More) and Original Score (The King's Speech). The three categories I'm having the most difficulty with, Short Film Animated, Short Film Live Action and Original Song. That's right. I am ringing my hands in deliberation over which box to check for Short Film Live Action. The reason, I really want to get more than 19 of the 24 categories correct on the 27th. I will publish my official predictions on Friday (or maybe Saturday). I like having a little more time, just in case I change my mind or read one more prediction that helps.

All this research, has led me to pause and question my choices for Art Direction and Costume Design. I'm going with Alice in Wonderland for both, but I'm finding that given a King's Speech sweep, these two may go by way of the King not Alice. They are the first two awards to be announced on Sunday and will be presented by Tom Hanks.

When I start to question, I need to rely on my faith in Dave Karger at Entertainment Weekly. Last year (like me) he correctly predicted 19/24. I did not make identical predictions, where's the fun or independence in that. He is definitely my Yoda. I pulled out my Oscar stuff and checked how I've done the previous seven years, and how Dave has done:
2010: 19/24 both KG; DK
2009: 19/24 KG; 21/24 DK
2008: 14/24 KG; 15/24
2007: no record saved KG; 12/24 DK
2006: 15/24 KG; 17/24 DK
2005: 15/24 KG; 17/24
2004: the year of my first party, didn't save any ballots; 21/24 DK

In 2006 EW, as part of their prediction coverage that year, they included a scorecard of how accurately they had predicted in the last five years. Interestingly enough they said that in 2005 they correctly predicted 18 (not the 17 I count in the print magazine). I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that it was a last minute change online that bumped them up to 18. 2003: 16/24; 2002: 15/24; 2001: 13/23. 2011 is only the 10th year that the Best Animated Feature category has existed.
I fully realize, those numbers mean more to me than probably any one else. I get a big kick out of it. Reviewing all those ballots, my selections, EW predictions, all that data through the last decade did offer some help for this year. First off, don't necessarily trust EW in the short film categories. That's where their weakness lies. Second, in Foreign Film, they are correct sometimes but nowhere near as accurate as they are in the major categories. For the acting, writing, directing, best picture and best animated feature categories, EW is the Oscar guru. I've learned from the best. I think part of my goal to get more than 19 correct this year is also to get more than Karger correct. Sunday, we shall see.    

Karger is also working directly with the Academy this year. He is featured prominently on the website. Both in a daily series called The Road to the Oscars with abc's Chris Harrison and he also analyzed the announcement of the nominations with Harrison. Karger will also be the Academy's official red carpet greeter.

Speaking of the red carpet, today the red carpet for Sunday was rolled out on Hollywood Blvd in front of the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, CA. Included are pictures of the red carpet being setup and a photo of the green room.

James Franco joined twitter this week and has posted a link to an interesting video on YouTube. Apparently he and Anne Hathaway are doing some sort of tribute to Grease for the show. It has been suggested that it will be included in the opening sequence. Would they really reveal something that's going to be on the show beforehand? It's a cool, short video.  

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