Friday, January 8, 2016

Time's Up

Oscar voting closed today, capping off a busy week of industry nominations. I won't parse through them all, but merely highlight that the critical favour of Carol has not converted the way its fans (yours truly among them) hoped that it would, while sleeper contenders Straight Outta Compton, Ex Machina, and especially Sicario have turned up the heat at the tail end of this fertile voting phase.

What it all means in the Best Picture race... Hard to tell with that maddening variable-number-of-nominees system. All I know is that in five of the last six years, at least two PGA nominees have missed the Academy's cutoff, and at least one PGA-snubbed contender always squeaks in.

The good news: Carol seems a likely candidate to be this year's squeaker. The bad news: It could just as easily be something like Trumbo. I'm keeping the former in my predicted lineup for now, but it may be wishful thinking -- I've long since given up on Inside Out, Steve Jobs, Son of Saul, Room and Creed (looks like minimal overlap between me and AMPAS this year).
I have, however, finally turned the corner on the Mad Max Best Picture nomination. I was reluctant for too long, probably, but could you blame me? Who could have envisioned (not merely wished) that this, of all 2015 blockbusters, would be the one on the verge of potentially dominating Oscar nominations? It will be reason enough to celebrate, and will take some of the sting out of seeing other masterpieces sidelined.

I'd probably mind those upcoming snubs less if it weren't at the hands of something as hoodwinky as The Big Short. Future audiences will consider its Best Picture nomination (and probable Adapted Screenplay win) an even bigger fraud than the housing market collapse that the film pretends to so smartly dissect.

And now we play the waiting game. Within a week we'll know for sure. Until then we can preoccupy ourselves with the Golden Globes this Sunday. I approach them with slightly less eagerness than I have recently due to the return of Ricky Gervais, but they're still a seasonal highlight that may even eclipse the Oscars themselves for pure enjoyment; Partly because of the show's looser feel, but more and more because the HFPA's taste in nominees and winners is generally better than the Academy's lately.

I'll be tweeting and/or live-blogging the proceedings as usual, so check back on Sunday for real-time reactions to all the fun!


  1. This may be the most unpredictable race in my seven years of predicting the Oscars.

  2. Honestly I'm prepared for lots of surprises come Thursday morning. I do think that Mad Max will get Picture, but not Director. A sort of Inception thing with that if you ask me. Also, I heard that the Academy loved Inside Out, so I think a Picture nod isn't out of the question. True it has the animation bias and crap, but if anyone can get it, it's Pixar. A few other things don't seem to add up to me, so I think that I am prepared for surprises and snubs aplenty.

    1. Starting to feel very much the same Re: Miller/Mad Max.

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  4. I think "Room" still has a chance to get in Best Picture. It's gonna get in #1 ballots.