Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Dangerous Method Behind My Mountains Of Madness

It's all the rage now, but didn't Freud say something
about delayed gratification?

Recently, folks have been asking me why so many of my recent predictions are for so far in the future.

One answer can be found in three little words: Never Too Early.

This blog attempts to make predictions for all the years and categories. And at the moment, some of those future categories are looking a little bit bare. So I’m working to make sure that I’ve got them all covered.

But a second answer can be found in three other words: Venice. Toronto. Telluride.

These three festivals, and the films that premier at them, can drastically change the landscape of the Oscar race, for both this year (the 84th Oscars) and next year (the 85th Oscars). And that makes updating predictions in the middle of these festivals especially difficult. Each new day the story changes as new films are screened and reviewers race to be the first with a soundbite. And sometimes the early reviews are just wrong, particularly for those films and performances that require the type of perspective and contemplation that can’t be done by a sleep-deprived reporter who is trying to rank 25 films in 3 days.

Yes, A Dangerous Method may be all the rage right now. But didn’t Freud say something about delayed gratification? And while not all of the future films get hyped as much as Guillermo Del Toro’s on-again, off-again passion project At The Mountains Of Madness, trust me when I say that you will be talking about them in the future, and when that time comes you’ll be glad that I have Oscar predictions already waiting for you.

You may not be talking about these films YET,
but you will be soon.
Remember, this is still a fairly new blog (we turn 6 months old on Thursday!), so I’m still building the infrastructure. However, I want to assure folks that I do have a method to my madness. Once I have basic predictions up for all of the years, I hope to institute a schedule for my updates which should keep things exciting. Basically, my plan is to rotate my updates using a progressive system that looks something like this:

84th Oscar predictions updated (approximately) every 2 months
85th updated approximately every 3 months
86th updated approximately every 4 months
87th and beyond updated approximately every 5 to 6 months

But instead of doing them as a large group all at once, I will rotate them. So, for example, in one week you might get 3 predictions for the 84th race (perhaps Lead Actress, Sound Editing and Foreign Language), 2 predictions for the 85th race (maybe Visual Effects and Animated Shorts), 1 set of predictions from the 86th race (Documentary), and one from the 87th, 88th or 89th race (Supporting Actor).

This is just an example of course, but my hope is that the rotation of years and categories will make the blog interesting for my readers (and myself), while simultaneously giving relatively recent predictions for the nearer years and keeping the further years in respectable enough shape that I can be proud of them.

So when does this new plan begin? If I can keep to my schedule, then the new format should begin in late September, which just so happens to match up pretty well with the end of the film festivals and be right on track for the rollout of long lists from the Academy in October. Whether this timing is a happy coincidence, an ingenious plan, or mere madness will be up to you to decide.


  1. It would be great if you also kept track of all the old predictions after they've been updated, that way after the awards you could analyze how right or wrong you were at each step of the way.

  2. I agree Bonjour Tristesse!

    I created a page for My Track Record, hoping to eventually be able to post how many I got right, as well as how close I was for the ones I got wrong. I'm thinking that the tags at the end of the posts will help me find all of them for this year, but as the blog grows I may need to find a better way of tracking them.

  3. Keep up the good work! Wow you have A Dangerous Method winning big. Can't say I'm too excited for the movie after seeing the trailers, mostly because Keira Knightley looks like she is high on codeine or something.

  4. Thank you Castor!

    It may be wishful thinking on my part, but I keep telling myself that A Dangerous Method is Cronenberg's best chance to break in to the Oscar game. A historical piece about Freud and Jung is probably as academy-friendly as he is going to get for a while, and his three stars each have a fan base (or perhaps, three different fan bases), which means that academy members are likely to actually watch their screeners.

    I'm still not sure whether Knightley will try to campaign as lead or supporting, but a codeine-high might be just perfect for the academy's tastes, especially if there are some calmer parts to balance it out.

    Thanks again for checking out my blog!