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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

84th Oscar Foreign Language Updates (1/31/12)

I correctly predicted 4 out of 5 of the foreign language nominees (80%), with the final one being ranked sixth in my previous predictions. It is interesting to note that all five of these films had their premieres at film festivals, and two of them (A Separation and Bullhead) premiered at Berlin, suggesting that next year’s race may begin in earnest in just a few weeks!

As these films are sometimes unknown to the general public, I have included links to each of the trailers, as well as some reviews from my friend Bonjour Tristesse. For those who want to learn more about the foreign film race, I also recommend Dzong2’s blog and Movie-On.



1. Asghar Farhadi for A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader Az Simin) (Iran) (Predicted Winner) (previous rank 1) (Trailer) (Bonjour Tristesse’s Review)
2. Agnieszka Holland for In Darkness (W. Ciemnoscki) (Poland) (previous rank 2) (Trailer) (Bonjour Tristesse's Review)
3. Philippe Falardeau for Monsieur Lazhar (Canada) (previous rank 4)  (Trailer) (Bonjour Tristesse's Review)
4. Joseph Cedar for Footnote (Hearat Shulayim) (Israel) (previous rank 5) (Trailer) (Bonjour Tristesse's Review) (Another of my most loyal commenters has also posted a review HERE. It's in Hebrew but check it out if your computer translates.)
5. Michael R. Roskam for Bullhead (Rundskop) (Belgium) (previous rank 6) (Trailer) (Bonjour Tristesse’s Review)


As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!
To see how I am doing in each race, check out my Track Record Page.
See Foreign Language predictions for other years HERE.
See predictions for other categories at the 84th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 84th,  85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th  

84th Oscar Animated Feature Updates (1/31/12)

I correctly predicted 4 of the 5 nominees in this category (80%), and could have done even better if I had trusted my instincts that the weak year for American animation might lead to two foreign animation nominees, and paid more attention to those who cautioned that the motion capture in Spielberg’s Tintin might not go over with the animation branch. I had left the film outside of my top 5 for most of the year, but when it was deemed eligible for submission in November I relented.

I believe that this award is Rango’s to lose, but have moved Chico & Rita and A Cat In Paris into the second and third slots, precisely because they have not gone up against the front-runner in as many races, and therefore have a better chance of surprising. It is worth noting, however, that Kung Fu Panda 2 received the most Annie nominations, and could conceivably surprise as well.



1. Gore Verbinski for Rango (Predicted Winner) (previous rank 1)
2. Javier Mariscal and Fernando Trueba for Chico & Rita (previous rank 5)
4. Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol for A Cat In Paris (Une Vie De Chat) (previous rank 11)
4. Jennifer Yuh Nelson for Kung Fu Panda 2 (previous rank 3)
5. Chris Miller for Puss In Boots (previous rank 4)


As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!
To see how I am doing in each race, check out my Track Record Page.
See Animated Feature predictions for other years HERE.
If you’re really into animation, check out the Animated Shorts also.
See predictions for other categories at the 84th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 84th,  85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th   

A Look Back: Animated, Documentary and Foreign Language Features

In the Animation category, I correctly predicted 4 out of 5 nominees (80%), and could have done even better if I had trusted my instincts that the weak year for American animation might lead to two foreign animation nominees, and paid more attention to those who cautioned that the motion capture in Spielberg’s Tintin might not go over with the animation branch. I had left the film outside of my top 5 for most of the year, but when it was deemed eligible for submission in November I relented. In the Foreign Language category itself, I correctly predicted 4 out of 5 nominees (80%), with the fifth slot going to the film that I had placed at rank 6 (my first runner up). For Documentaries, I correctly predicted 2 out of 5 nominees (40%), and my previously predicted winner (Project Nim) didn’t even make the list.

In terms of “Close Scores” (having the eventual nominees ranked high in my list of contenders), the animated category showed higher scores much earlier, as might be expected given the higher profile of these films. The decision of the documentary branch to snub most of the populist favorites meant that my score didn’t rise until the short list had been announced. However, two of the eventual nominees did win prizes at last year’s Sundance festival, so I hope that by paying more attention to those trends I can score better next year. The foreign films received a boost after Cannes (again as expected), and two of them premiered at Berlin, suggesting that next year's race may begin in earnest in a few weeks. The dip in the purple line in November represents when I moved Israel’s Footnote out of the top 5 (but still in the top 7), as new (but apparently untested) contenders came online.

What I predicted correctly, and when I came close.


As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!
For even more information on how I am doing in each race, and eventually an analysis of each individual race, be sure to check out my Track Record Page.
See my predictions for Animated Features, Documentary Features and Foreign Language Features.
See predictions for other categories at the 84th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 84th,  85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th  

Monday, January 30, 2012

84th Oscar Original Song Updates (1/30/12)

While I had correctly predicted 28 of the 39 songs that made the submission list, I got 0 out of 2 (0%) of the actual nominees. It’s possible that I would have scored better if this were a full category of 5 nominees. It is also possible that I completely misunderstand what the song writers are looking for when they vote, although my suspicion is that I simply underestimated their ability (and apparent desire) to use the ranked average voting system to vote against any song or artist that they don’t like.

I’m thinking that the critical love for The Muppets, along with the existential crisis at the heart of the masculine psychology, will put Bret McKenzie into the winner’s circle, but perhaps the Latino block can come through for Rio the way that the British block has done in the past?

Note that both of the eventual nominees came from within the film itself, rather than the end credits. The links below show the songs in their full context, and therefore contain SPOILERS.



1. Bret McKenzie for “Man Or Muppet” from The Muppets (Predicted Winner) (previous rank 11)
2. Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett for “Real In Rio” from Rio (previous rank 20)


As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!
To see how I am doing in each race, check out my Track Record Page.
See Original Song predictions for all years HERE.
If you love music, you might also want to check out the Original Score predictions.
See predictions for other categories at the 84th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 84th,  85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th  

84th Oscar Original Score Updates (1/30/12)

The Artist’s Ludovic Bource seems primed to win this, although the fact that the branch nominated John Williams twice may reflect a desire by the Academy to break some more records.

I correctly predicted three out of 5 of these nominees (60%), with the other two nominees being from my top 8 in my previous predictions.



1. Ludovic Bource for The Artist (Predicted Winner) (previous rank 1)
2. John Williams for War Horse (previous rank 2)
3. Howard Shore for Hugo (previous rank 3)
4. Alberto Iglesias for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (previous rank 8)
5. John Williams for The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn (previous rank 6)


As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!
To see how I am doing in each race, check out my Track Record Page.
See Original Score predictions for other years HERE.
Like words with your music? Check out the Original Song predictions.
See predictions for other categories at the 84th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 84th,  85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th  

84th Oscar Sound Editing Updates (1/30/12)

I correctly predicted 3 out of 5 of the eventual nominees (60%), but my previously predicted winner (Super 8) didn’t even make the list.

I’m rearranging my predictions in this category for two big reasons: First, I don’t see Transformers actually winning this award, so while it logically might have moved into the open number one spot left by Super 8, I’m instead moving War Horse into that spot, given its best picture nomination. (I think Hugo will be rewarded elsewhere.) The second change is that this category represents the only nomination for Drive, and so I am moving it ahead slightly, because there is a possibility that fans within the Academy could team up to assure that this receives a win. I’m only moving it ahead slightly though (to third place), since that same group of fans couldn’t get it together enough to garner more than this single nomination.



1 Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom for War Horse (Predicted Winner) (previous rank 3)
2. Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahi for Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (previous rank 2)
3. Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis for Drive (previous rank 8)
4. Phillip Stockton and Eugene Gearty for Hugo (previous rank 4)
5. Ren Klyce for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (previous rank 11)


As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!
To see how I am doing in each race, check out my Track Record Page.
See Sound Editing predictions for other years HERE.
If you’re really into sound, check out the Sound Mixing predictions also.
See predictions for other categories at the 84th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 84th,  85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th  

84th Oscar Sound Mixing Updates (1/30/12)

I correctly predicted 3 out of the 5 eventual nominees (60%), with all five showing up in my previous top ten. I think War Horse has the best shot here, being both a best picture nominee and a film about war, giving it the double distinction of being both loud and acclaimed.



1. Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson for War Horse (Predicted Winner) (previous rank 1)
2. Tom Fleischman and John Midgley for Hugo (previous rank 3)
3. Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jaffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin for Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (previous rank 4)
4. Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, David Giammarco and Ed Movick for Moneyball (previous rank 8)
5. David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (previous rank 9)


For another way of looking at the race, check out Hunter’s analysis.

As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!
To see how I am doing in each race, check out my Track Record Page.
See Sound Mixing predictions for other years HERE.
If you’re really into sound, check out the Sound Editing predictions also.
See predictions for other categories at the 84th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 84th,  85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th  

A Look Back: Song, Score, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing

In the audio categories, I correctly predicted 3 out of 5 eventual nominees (60%) for original score, sound mixing and sound editing, with sound editing being one of the few categories where my predicted winner didn’t even make the nominee list. In original song, I predicted 0 of the 2 nominees (0%). It’s possible that I would have scored better if this were a full category of 5 nominees, but it is also possible that I completely misunderstand what the song writers are looking for when they vote. Overall, I have decided that I need to listen to movies much more carefully than I have been.

The dip that you see in the red line in November represents the point at which I went from merely listing Rio and The Muppets by their movie title, to actually parsing out the individual songs that would make it. Clearly, I chose the wrong ones, as both “Life’s A Happy Song” and “Pictures In My Head” were in my top five, but neither made the Academy’s list.

What I predicted correctly, and when I came close.


As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!
For even more information on how I am doing in each race, and eventually an analysis of each individual race, be sure to check out my Track Record Page.
See my predictions for Original Song, Original Score, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.
See predictions for other categories at the 84th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 84th,  85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th  

84th Oscar Cinematography Updates (1/30/12)

I correctly predicted all 5 of these nominees (100%). I’m rearranging them somewhat to reflect War Horse’s poor showing with many of the guilds, although it won the Critic’s Choice in this category, and has many outdoor scenes that may fit with people’s preconceived notions of what cinematography should be. Most importantly, I’m still holding out hope for Emmanuel Lubezki to win.



1. Emmanuel Lubezki for The Tree Of Life (Predicted Winner) (previous rank 1)
4. Guillaume Schiffman for The Artist (previous rank 4)
3. Robert Richardson for Hugo (previous rank 3)
2. Janusz Kaminski for War Horse (previous rank 2)
5. Jeff Cronenweth for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (previous rank 5)

For a more detailed look at this race, check out Ryan’s analysis.

As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!
To see how I am doing in each race, check out my Track Record Page.
See Cinematography predictions for other years HERE.
If you’re into cinematography, you might also like Film Editing and Visual Effects.
See predictions for other categories at the 84th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 84th,  85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th  

84th Oscar Visual Effects Updates (1/30/12)

I correctly predicted 4 out of the 5 nominees in this category (80%), with Real Steel being the film that I consistently underestimated. I missed it when they introduced both the long lists and the short lists, so perhaps there is something more there that I should be considering.

In the end, though, I think the real contenders are Apes, Potter and Hugo. In my opinion, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes deserves to win, and the attention that Andy Serkis has received this year could very well place it on top. Harry Potter, on the other hand, has the end of an era mystique to it. It also won the SAG’s stunt ensemble prize, which has nothing to do with the visual effects race per se, but does suggest a sort of broad support that could carry over. Hugo, on the other hand, is the only film in this category to also receive a best picture mention.



1. Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett for Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (Predicted Winner) (previous rank 1)
2. Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (previous rank 3)
3. Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning for Hugo (previous rank 2)
4. Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier for Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (previous rank 4)
5. Eric Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg for Real Steel (previous rank 9)

As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!
To see how I am doing in each race, check out my Track Record Page.
See Visual Effects predictions for other years HERE.
If you’re into visual effects, you might also like Cinematography and Film Editing.
See predictions for other categories at the 84th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 84th,  85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th