Thursday, January 15, 2015

How Did I Do (2015 Edition): Or My Results on the Oscar Nomination Predictions

One prediction I got right was that my predictions would not be very good. I don't have records going all the way back, but I'm pretty sure this is close to my worst prediction year. I got a perfect score for only one category - Original Screenplay - and missed on all five (!) in the Sound Mixing category. That's the first time I've ever gone 0/5 in any category. Pretty bad. Anyway, getting 4/5 in a major category is not really a significant accomplishment. Most of the time there's a pretty solid selection of four actors or actresses, four directors, four screenplays. It's the fifth spot that's the hardest to nail down.

In the top eight categories I went 34/43 for a 79%, a full ten percentage points below last year. I should give myself an extra point for correctly predicting there would be only eight Best Picture nominees.

Across all categories that I predicted (so excluding the three short film categories) I scored 72/106 for 68%. Ouch!

So here are the nominees and how I fared...Nominees marked with an asterisk were the ones I missed.

Picture 7/8
Pretty surprised that Whiplash made the cut and Foxcatcher didn't. I wasn't wild about either movie, but that Bennett Miller was nominated for Best Director is quite an accomplishment considering his film isn't even one of the best eight of the year.

American Sniper
The Imitation Game

predicted but not nominated: Foxcatcher

Director 4/5
We've got three first-time nominees here. Had I seen Selma before making my predictions, I would not have chosen Ava Duvernay. In fact, I saw the movie last night and regretted including her. Pretty good movie, but I thought her direction was occasionally shoddy, but I also thought that about the direction in The Imitation Game.

Wes Anderson - The Grand Budapest Hotel

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu - Birdman

Richard Linklater - Boyhood

*Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
Morten Tyldum - The Imitation Game

predicted but not nominated: Ava Duvernay  (Selma)

Actor 3/5
I like Steve Carell, but I wish he hadn't been nominated for this one-note Rain Man performance. Ralph Fienees would have been a far superior choice.

*Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
*Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton - Birdman
Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything

predicted but not nominated: Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel) and David Oyelowo (Selma)

Actress 4/5
Poor Jennifer Aniston. She's just never going to make that transition to Serious Actress, is she?

*Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore - Still Alice
Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon - Wild

predicted but not nominated: Jennifer Aniston (Cake)

Supporting Actor 4/5
Robert Duvall's nomination here is just lazy. It's just lazy voting, plain and simple. And I say that without having seen The Judge, but come on!

*Robert Duvall – The Judge
Ethan Hawke - Boyhood
Edward Norton - Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons - Whiplash

predicted but not nominated: Josh Brolin (Inherent Vice)

Supporting Actress 4/5
Patricia Arquette - Boyhood
*Laura Dern – Wild
Keira Knightley - The Imitation Game
Emma Stone - Birdman
Meryl Streep - Into the Woods

predicted but not nominated: Rene Russo (Nightcrawler)

Original Screenplay 5/5

Adapted Screenplay 3/5
The two I missed I had as spoilers. I guess that's worth something.

*American Sniper
The Imitation Game
*Inherent Vice

predicted but not nominated: Gone GirlWild

Animated Feature 4/5
Now this was a shocker. The LEGO Movie was widely considered the favorite to win the award. Now it's out and the competition is wide open. Will this award go to a non-American movie for only the third time and first time in nine years.

Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
*The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

predicted but not nominated: The Lego Movie

Documentary Feature 2/5
Finding Vivian Maier
*Last Days in Vietnam
*The Salt of the Earth

predicted but not nominated: Life ItselfThe Case Against 8The Overnighters

Foreign Language Film 4/5
Ida (Poland)
Leviathan (Russia)
Tangerines (Estonia)
Timbuktu (Mauritania)
*Wild Tales (Argentina)

predicted but not nominated: Force Majeure (Sweden)

Production Design 4/5
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

predicted but not nominated: Maleficent

Costume Design 4/5
Inherent Vice is a pretty cool inclusion here. Nice work, Academy!

*Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

predicted but not nominated: The Imitation Game

Cinematography 3/5
Mr. Turner

predicted but not nominated: InterstellarNightcrawler

Film Editing 3/5
*American Sniper
The Imitation Game

predicted but not nominated: BirdmanInterstellar

Original  Score 3/5
*The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat
Interstellar - Hans Zimmer
The Imitation Game - Alexandre Desplat
*Mr. Turner – Gary Yershon
The Theory of Everything - Johann Johannsson

predicted but not nominated: Gone Girl (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross); Unbroken (Alexandre Desplat)

Original Song 3/5
"Lost Stars" from Begin Again
*“Grateful” from Beyond the Lights
*“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me
"Everything Is Awesome" from The LEGO Movie
"Glory" from Selma

predicted but not nominated: "Mercy Is" from Noah"Miracles" from Unbroken

Sound Mixing 0/5
*American Sniper

predicted but not nominated: Into the WoodsFuryThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesGet on UpTransformers: Age of Extinction

Sound Editing 3/5
I just think it's criminal that Whiplash and Fury weren't nominated.

American Sniper
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

predicted but not nominated: WhiplashFury

Makeup and Hairstyling 2/3
Guardians of the Galaxy

predicted but not nominated: Maleficent

Visual Effects 3/5
Honestly, can anyone see a substantive difference in quality when it comes to visual effects in big Hollywood movies anymore? It's no longer like the days of 2001: A Space Odyssey or Independence Day or Titanic where one movie so obviously towers over the rest.

*Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
*X-Men: Days of Future Past

predicted but not nominated: GodzillaThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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