Before Thanksgiving hits and brings with it much holiday madness & movie watching along with festive face stuffing & belt loosening, I thought I'd update the ol' Oscar prediction pages. This is my final pre-precursor guesswork. I presume you all know how this works: Once December hits about 97 organizations (a slight exaggeration, yes) and 500+ critics (not an exaggeration) start issuing their proclamations of "BEST OF THE YEAR!"
I love this process. I loathe this process. 'If only everyone had my good taste,' he says with (half) a straight face.
Oscar voters, though they live in industry bubbles, presumably absorb this "BEST OF THE YEAR!" information and are --to arguably varying degrees-- influenced by it. At the very least it informs the overall media-soaked climate in which they selfishly go about choosing their favorites: a 6000+ person process wherein people like Dakota Fanning, Sally Kirkland, Ron Howard and Jamie Foxx personally destroy desperate hopes of awardage for your favorites by discarding them for theirs. It's a public process about a personal thing: taste in film.
Every year about this time about three of the eventual five nominees in any given category are already widely agreed upon, usually due to a happy combo of box office, buzz, and perceptions of quality. The final two slots always seem up for grabs until the precursors begin to do their sometimes volatile winnowing work, a nightmarish or fantastical process (depending on what you like and how well it's doing) wherein everyone shouts "pick me! pick me! pick me!" and then: the picking.
Today I've been tempted to pick Little Miss Sunshine. I'm not sure how much good campaigns and swag have to do with overall affection for a given performer or movie but they do have short term effects if you're human (and honest). For example: When this little minivan (pictured left) arrived in my mailbox the other day, I felt a teensy new wave of affection for Little Miss Sunshine wash right over me... and it's not even one of my favorite films of the year! (Please note Sunshine fans: I did enjoy. Just not as much as you)
There I was, a casual liker, suddenly feeling like a true fan. That is the potential power of sweet spot hitting campaigns and promotion. Fox Searchlight has done a great job keeping Little Miss Sunshine in play (and in theaters) and it's starting to look like it just might pay off.
Here are the new Oscar predictions in all categories along with (mostly) new or revised commentary: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor and other delectable things like Best Costume Design, Foreign Films, Screenplays and other Visual and Aural categorical delights.
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Things will heat up (for real with the first wave of precursors) very soon so take this time now to dream, however improbably, about your personal favorites making the shortlists. Discuss your dreams and fears for this awards season in the comments.
tags: Academy Awards, movies, Oscars, Hollywood