Readers who don't get into statistics or prediction percentages might want to walk politely on by until this post is over.
I'm sure other oscar obsessives have been discussing their statistics since Tuesday morning's revelations. For the record I got 80% in the top eight categories, 69% if you include the techs. And if you include everything (i.e. the categories only the true crazies like myself predict, such as animated short) it drops to 67%. But that's not what I'm hear to discuss.
Remember how each year I do my "Year in Advance 'April Fools' Predictions" which is quickly followed by all that "that could never happen!" mail/comments from you. Turns out you're right. But don't get too snippy about it because you don't know any better! Here were my top ten Oscar choices for BP way back last April 1st to the left. Yours to the right --taken from group polling held that first week of April last year.
You foresaw another Eastwood (wrong film) and Scorsese smackdown coming a mile away. And you probably got Dreamgirls' placement just right. How about that? I correctly foresaw that Flags would falter (I was, I believe, the only year-round Oscar loudmouth to never predict it) and I sensed that The Prestige and Children of Men would figure in somehow but fall short of the BP shortlist. Since they're both "genre" pictures, I got flack for it at the time. Still, of the fourteen pictures either you or I had some faith in, only one of them ended up in the Best Picture field.
Despite a lower in the top categories in this annual fools game of predicting while some of the movie are still in production, the tech predictions saved me and I still got a 27% success ratio of prediction to nominations a whole year in advance. Not so shabby. I realize that sounds low but it ain't. Just try it on April 1st and tuck that list in a drawer until next January: so many films get delayed, so many arrive out of nowhere, big dogs fall and little dogs rise. Etcetera. I realize that posting such embarassments as the picture above is a quick way to damage my own credibility as a prognosticator but I can assure you that other people aren't any better at it (the year in advance part). And those saying "I knew a year ago!" don't have websites to prove they did. All of this is a long way of saying: I still think it's fun, this prediction game but if you don't have a sense of humor about your own blindspots, foibles and random successes, you shouldn't come anywhere near the keyboard until early November when a lot of the films have been widely seen and the field is starting to clear and its much harder to look like a fool
So what crazy mistakes and haphazard successes will I make predicting the February 2008 Oscars? What will be the next Little Children that looks strong but never really takes off? What will be the next Children of Men that overcomes its genre to be (partially) embraced? We won't know until January 2008 but my guesswork will be up on April 1st as per usual.
Until then, we return to the here and now.