Friday, August 19, 2011

Open Thread: Is It Ever Too Early To Make Oscar Predictions?

In doing research, I have found many different interpretations of when Oscar predictions should begin.  As you know from the name of this blog, my philosophy is that it is Never Too Early. But I’m curious to learn what my readers think, and I thought it might make for an interesting open thread this weekend.

When is the appropriate time to begin Oscar predictions?

After an actor/director/writer/producer says “I’m thinking of pitching a film about...”
After a script makes the Black List.
After a studio picks up a film.
After a film is listed on IMDB or similar sites.
After a director has been attached.
After major casting is completed.
After shooting has begun.
After shooting has wrapped.
After a distributor has been secured.
After a tentative release date is set.
After the trailer is released.
After a film gets scheduled for a film festival.
After a film plays at a film festival.
After a film is released in theaters.
After the critics have weighed in.
After you have personally seen the movie.
After the shortlists are announced.
After the precursors and guilds have spoken.
After the nominees have been announced.
The morning of the Oscar ceremony.

Let me know what you think in the comments. And Happy Weekend!


  1. I think people who say that it is too early to make Oscar predictions are taking it a little too seriously. However, I don't really start thinking about a film's Oscar chances until it is given a tentative release date or it begins filming (which ever happens first). I also use the tentative release date approach loosely. For example, I think about how Lincoln will fare at the Oscars fairly often, but all that is known about that film is that it will probably be released in December 2012.

  2. Typically I'm only interested in the current year's awards because so much can change over time. But there really is no too early, especially if you are having fun with it.

  3. The moment I know a movie's director, actors and story I can start predicting Oscars. Usually as soon as the Oscar ceremony is over, by the end of that week I have started working on the predictions for the next.

  4. Thanks Ryan, Bonjour Tristesse, and Lime_Vortep!

    While some films only list themselves as drama, comedy or sci-fi, I've actually been surprised at the number of films that I have found stories for--either because they are sequels or adaptations of books, or because they come with a brief synopsis.

    I completely agree that some folks seem to take them too seriously, or are too afraid of being wrong. I figure I can give it a shot and can always update my choices later as more information comes out.

    And I do enjoy the early predictons a lot, sometimes even more than the later ones when everything seems "locked"!

    I'm off to see The Help today, with a review to follow after I've digested it.

    Thank you to all three of you for being consistent commenters!

  5. Just a friendly advice, but you need to lower The Tree of Life predictions in the major categories.

    The movie is losing to much of it's 'spark' and by November-December the movie will be forgotten.

    Pure statistics. The earliest nominee in the BP race for the past 10 years had a July release. The Tree of Life was released in May. If the movie was released in the 'Oscar window' then it would had some chances.

    Trust me on this, aside for a Cinematography nomination (with possible 1 or 2 more tech noms) the movie will not be a major Oscar player.

    This are the movies that I see as a sure players in the Oscar game.

    The Descendants

    The Academy loves both Alexander Payne and George Clooney, and there is usually a dramedy in the BP race.

    The Ides of March

    George Clooney directs a political drama with a star cast and an October release date. Again with the statistics. Oscar loves Political dramas.

    The Artist

    I just see that movie going big this year. IF the academy reacts as I expect and they shower the movie with nostalgic love, the sky is the limit.

    War Horse

    Spielberg. That has to be enough, but to be honest if the movie is to Disney it might get left out.

    J. Edgar

    On paper this looks as a winner, but the same was with the last Eastwood pic, Invictus. I need a trailer.

    I don’t want to go into your business, but I just don’t see The Tree of Life in the mix at all. Just wanted to share my opinion.

  6. Thanks Lime_vortep! I’ve been wondering also if I have Tree Of Life in too many categories. Probably early enthusiasm combined with this being my first year made me rank it too high.

    But I am still wondering if the new 5% rule will actually help this movie. The people who love it really seemed to love it... or at least they did when it came out. Not sure if they’ll still love it come voting time or not. And while most of the BP nominations come from the end of the year, I seem to remember a few that had early releases. IMDB says that Gladiator and Crash came out in May and The Hurt Locker in June. But then again, all of those were more actor and narrative-driven, so maybe they aren’t good comparisons. Still, I think it will drop in several of my categories next round.

    I completely agree about Descendants, Ides Of March, The Artist, War Horse and J. Edgar and currently have all of them in my top 8. I’ve also been thinking that in terms of statistics, I really need to include a film with a female lead, as there is almost always one in the line up. Blindside, Precious, The Reader, Juno, The Queen, Little Miss Sunshine, Crash (sort of), Million Dollar Baby, The Hours, etc... So I’m wondering if maybe The Iron Lady, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Martha Marcy May Marlene or The Help needs to move up in my list some. (I was supposed to see The Help yesterday, but decided on an indie film Amigo instead... Reviews to come shortly).

    Thanks again for these suggestions! I’m heading over to check out your August predictions now.

  7. If you see my updated predictions you will see that I have The Iron Lady in my seventh position.

    It covers two Academy stereotypes. A Lead woman driven film, and a British film.

    PS: On my opinion I don't see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo going big this year. It's just shaping up to be a horribly competitive year.

    Please, check my new Oscar updates

  8. You know that I have actually been a bit of e hypocrite. I don't think that The Tree of Life is going to be nominated because of the May release date, and yet I just now saw that Midnight in Paris in also a May release and I have listed it in 6th position.

    That said, I just think that by the time Oscar season opens The Tree of Life will be forgotten.

  9. Great predictions lime_vortep. In your defense, I think that Midnight In Paris is much closer to the type of film that can be remembered from a May release than Tree Of Life--due to audience reception and narrative and characters, as well as box office.

    I saw the trailer for Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and also didn't think it looked Oscar enough. But I haven't read the book or seen the original. I can't tell whether the supposed buzz about it is just fans, or if it is something real.