Sunday, March 18, 2018

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Another Oscar season over...

The 90th Oscars ceremony was simple, classy, and nostalgic, though I was expecting more to be done to celebrate the big 90, like the acting winners' reunion of past anniversaries. But the montages did a pretty good job of reminding people how awesome cinema is.

Not a lot of surprises in terms of winners, which makes my score of 16/21 (I don't make predictions in the three categories on short films) rather bad. But in my defense, even experts were thrown off by Three Billboards's rally at the precursors, including BAFTA. I had Shape of Water for Best Picture until two days before the big show, when I switched to Three Billboards. The other categories I got wrong:

Documentary Feature: I predicted Faces, Places instead of Icarus. I thought the Academy loved Agnes Varda that much, but I should have guessed that they'd go for an American-made doc on doping and Russian interference.

Original Song: I thought the uplifting anthem "This Is Me" would prove irresistible to the voters, but it turns out that they REALLY didn't like The Greatest Showman at all and they REALLY liked Coco, enough to give it 2 out of 2. Can't blame them, Coco is AMAZING and should have been up for Best Picture.

Production Design: I predicted Blade Runner 2049 instead of The Shape of Water. Very silly, in hindsight. Shape's set decoration was one of the best things about it.

Visual Effects: I predicted War of the Planet of the Apes simply because it deserves to win. Flawless effects. But the Academy didn't see fit to reward the closing chapter of this great trilogy and opted for a not-undeserving Blade Runner 2049.

Anyway, the 90th Oscar season is over...and the 91st has already begun! I'm excited to sift through the initial list of contenders and take a shot at my "Never Too Early Predictions." I've always found predicting nominees to be much more exciting than predicting winners, because less consensus has formed by the time we're guessing the nominees. Also, this year is particularly exciting because we'll likely see two fan favorites among this year's nominees repeating next year: Saoirse Ronan (for any of her three films, but likeliest at this point for Mary Queen of Scots) and Timothée Chalamet (for Beautiful Boy). Plus, a kid who starred and wowed in two big Oscar contenders this year (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Lady Bird) might be able to do what Chalamet failed to do: become the youngest Best Actor winner ever for a hopefully tremendous turn in Boy Erased. Oh, and a certain Glenn Close might win her first Oscar.