Well folks, Oscar Nomination Morning (a strange little holiday in our household) has come and gone, and we are left with all of our why's and WTF's - and I am left with my worst prediction rating in...well, in as long as I can recall. Garnering a rather pathetic prediction percentage of just 71% (slightly lifted to a still quite poor 77% when including just the big eight categories), I should well be ashamed of myself. I am not, but I should be dammit. Anyway, to get on with what gave me such a low rating, here we go.
I went four for five in all the acting and both the writing categories, and I went eight for nine in Best Picture (I even aced the costumes - so there), but alas, it was Oscar's quite surprising choices for the director slot that got me, and many other Oscar precogs I am sure, all befuddled and bewildered. Allow me to quote what I wrote yesterday, when predicting this category. "The top three here are locks. No doubts. In fact, I think Affleck may actually take the Oscar, but that is a story for next month." Well, those top three, and I may add, the top three on nearly every other prediction I came across yesterday, were Steven Spielberg, Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck. Anyone who was up early to watch the nominations this morning, or anyone who has looked up the nominees since then, you already know full well that the latter two of those supposed locks, were not named today. Snubbed, royally snubbed indeed. So, in the very same category that I boldly claimed that I was assured of at least a 60% accuracy rate, I got just a 40%. Yeah, I figured picking Tarantino was a bit of a stretch, but I figured Affleck and Bigelow were safe bets. Locks, no doubt, some said. Anyway, I digress.
There were some nice surprises too. Like, to go right back to that director fiasco, Michael Haneke's first ever nomination in the category - as well as a nod for screenplay (and the film is also up for picture, actress and, of course, foreign language as well). I did have the Austrian master pegged as my dark horse pick at least. Other dark horse picks to grab nominations were Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor and Quvenzhané Wallis for Best Actress. Wallis, along with Haneke's Amour star Emmanuelle Riva, are now the youngest and oldest ever Best Actress nominees, respectively. Other nice picks were Tarantino for Screenplay and Christoph Waltz for Supporting Actor. As a fun sidenote, for the first time ever, all five nominees in a single category (Best Supporting Actor in this case) are former Oscar winners. So there. Granted, I would have liked to have seen Matthew McConaughey and/or Ann Dowd get surprise nods, or possibly P.T. Anderson, but alas, 'twas not to happen. As for who will win, my best conjecture right now is Lincoln, Spielberg, DDL, Chastain, De Niro, Hathaway. My Alt. Picks: SLP wins all six of these. My Alt. Alt. Picks: Haneke wins Best Director, and Lars von Trier suddenly becomes frontrunner for next year. But, I am getting ahead of myself here.
Hey, before I go, I should probably mention the new poll here at The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World. Starting today, and running through February 22nd, you can cast your vote for the film that you think SHOULD win the Best Picture Oscar. As I am sure you can see (this golden-coloured poll can be found near the top of the sidebar of this very site), all you need do is choose which of the nine nominees you would vote for if you had a ballot. Remember, not what you think will win, but what you think SHOULD win. Winners (and losers) will be announced the day before the Oscars - as will my final Oscar predictions. Here's hopin' I do better than I did today.