For the past ten years or so, my dad and sister and I have had a little Oscar prediction competition. (Sometimes my mom and/or Joel will play along, but they aren’t as competitive.)
I can attest that the years I make an effort to see as many of the nominated movies as possible, I do much better than years I don’t. 2008 was the only year I saw every movie nominated in the major categories, and that year, my final score was 20/24 (if memory serves.)
This year, I’m not counting on doing very well, because I’ve seen only one of the movies. As I was tallying up the movies I’d seen, I thought “no way that’s right! We saw a bunch of movies last year!” But we focused or moviegoing dollars on superhero and action movies, and while we saw several “Oscar bait” movies at the end of the year, none of the movies we saw scored any nominations.
A week or two ago, I found this article on Grantland.com that pointed out that the major award nominations this year are dispersed among only 12 movies, the fewest in 30 years. And last year, it was just 14 movies, the second fewest.
The conclusion I came to about this differs from the Grantland article – I just don’t care. I have many fond memories of spending Oscar Sunday on the couch with my family, watching the red carpet, making predictions, enjoying the ceremony. In recent years, it just hasn’t been as exciting.
Even in 2012, when Billy Crystal came back to host, the ceremonies aren’t fun to watch (although, I really enjoyed Seth MacFarlane last year, but I’m in the minority.) The pool of movies is so tiny and there aren’t any that I care about. Not even watching Joan Rivers on the red carpet can get me excited about this year’s Oscars.
Actually, this year, I’m probably not going to watch at all – I’ll be spending Oscar Sunday with my family this year, but at my grandpa’s birthday dinner. I’m not even going to DVR it. I’ll just pull up the results online to see how I did. Probably not very well.
This is an odd mix of who I think will actually win, who I hope to see win although unlikely, and I had no idea but 12 Years a Slave seemed like a safe bet. (I haven’t bothered listing some of the smaller categories here. Want to fill out your own ballot? Download it here.)
Best Picture – 12 Years a Slave
Best Director – Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Best Actor – Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Best Actress – Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actor – Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Best Supporting Actress – Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Best Animated Film – Frozen
Best Adapted Screenplay – Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Best Original Screenplay – Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Best Song – “Let It Go,” Frozen
Best Score – Thomas Newman, Saving Mr. Banks