2019 Oscar Prediction Ballot

nohost.jpgIt’s nearly Oscars Week! That’s right, next Sunday, February 24th at 8:00 PM EST, there will be a 91st Academy Awards and it will be bonkers. There is no host, and the controversial decision to hand out several awards during commercial breaks has raised even more eyebrows. Nonetheless, this is always an exciting time for The People’s Critic, and as always, I welcome you to join in on the fun by filling out an official People’s Critic Oscar Predictions ballot (use this link if on mobile). I have made my predictions, so now it’s your turn.

The ballot below contains the nominees for all 24 categories! On Oscar night, feel free to review the Summary of responses page for live updates on how your picks are doing, as well as view the live analytics (available only after you’ve submitted a response) for each category throughout the week!

Also, to make your Oscar night as lavish as possible, feel free to grab a copy of this blank Oscar ballot for your Oscar party, and if you’re looking for a feast sure to be a favourite, please enjoy our carefully curated 2019 Oscar dinner menu (printable version). Good luck and enjoy!

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2018 Oscar Prediction Ballot

JKIt’s Oscars Week! That’s right, this Sunday, March 4th at 8:00 PM EST, Jimmy Kimmel will host the 90th Academy Awards. This is always an exciting time for The People’s Critic, and as always, I welcome you to join in on the fun by filling out an official People’s Critic Oscar Predictions ballot (use this link if on mobile). I have made my predictions, so now it’s your turn.

The ballot below contains the nominees for all 24 categories! On Oscar night, feel free to review the Summary of responses page for live updates on how your picks are doing, as well as view the live analytics (available only after you’ve submitted a response) for each category throughout the week!

Also, to make your Oscar night as lavish as possible, feel free to grab a copy of this blank, printable ballot for your Oscar party, and if you’re looking for a Beauty of a Feast, please enjoy our carefully curated 2018 Oscar dinner menu (printable version). Good luck and enjoy!

2018 Oscar Predictions

90scars_newsbanner_copyThis year’s nominations are representative of a pretty strong year at the movies, but few clear winner-take-all situations are teed up this year leaving some real head-scratchers in many of the big categories. I mean if you were ever wondering whether a southern racist cop dark dramedy is better than a love story about a fish-monster, then this is the year for you! Now I don’t think we’ll ever have the drama and excitement matching last year’s Best Picture faux paus with La La Land and Moonlight, but I think we will see some surprises given that Academy voters will be all over the place in their selections. The field was vast and the quality was strong in a year where Hollywood finds itself out of the #OscarsSoWhite and into the #MeToo. This is a year to make statements but also celebrate some great filmmaking.

For those of you eagerly awaiting my annual predictions, your wait is over.

Like I do every year, I have laid out all 24 categories and their nominees along with my humble (yet educated) opinion on who will bring home the gold at this year’s ceremony, held Sunday March 4th, hosted again by Jimmy Kimmel.

Visit my Awards Spotlight Page for links to Oscar Predictions past and present as well, and be sure to check out the highly anticipated 2018 Oscar Dinner Menu.

So pour yourself a pint of Get Stout, and check out my predictions for the 2018 Oscar winners! I know it’s a long post, but it’s 1000 words shorter than last year!

2018 Oscar Predictions
2018 Oscar Dinner Menu
2018 Printable Oscar Ballot
Awards Spotlight

2016 Oscar Predictions Ballot

oscar-college-2
Info-graphic courtesy of Stephanie Miller, Head of Student Relations at Study Soup, LLC.
Awards season is finally heading towards its climactic finale, with the 88th annual Academy Awards! Nearly all of the important cinematic achievement awards have been given out for the films released in 2015. As the Academy’s final voters submit their ballots, the race still seems relatively wide open. If you examine the data from the PGA, WGA, BAFTA, and other key awards, this year’s winners may be some of the toughest to predict.  And since making the most accurate predictions is often based on collecting and analyzing data, here’s an interesting tidbit for you to ponder before you delve into making your final selections.  A writer and self-proclaimed movie buff recently contacted me regarding some research she’s been doing.  She posed an interesting question regarding whether there is any intersection or correlation between winning an Oscar and where one spent his or her post-secondary education (see info-graphic above).  We often expect great minds for business or science to come from certain schools, but not so much in the realm of entertainment.  The results are rather fascinating in that a trend may actually be emerging; one that that incidentally makes Leo’s win this year even more of a sure thing.  Thus, it may behoove you to read Stephanie Miller’s full article, “Where Students Dream in Gold: The Top Ten Schools with Oscar Winners” as well as preview The People’s Critic’s Official Oscar Predictions before you make your own predictions (which you can do on the ballot below)!

The awards air live on ABC Sunday, February 28th at 8:00 PM ET.  Now that you’re fully informed, show what you know by predicting who you think the big winners will be!  Enter your predictions on all 24 categories, and then see how your results compare to how everyone else voted on the big night.  Good luck and enjoy!

Oscar Predictions: Part 4 – The Big Ones

OscarsOscar Predictions: Part4 – The Big Ones

The final installment of The People’s Critic’s Oscar prediction series lists my picks for the six major film awards: Directing, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Actor, Actress, and Picture.  These are the categories decided by the largest blocks of voters and, thus reveal the academy’s consensus feelings on the great films of the year.  Readers are invited to continue to weigh in with their own opinions by submitting to the public polls following each category’s predictions.

Best Director:

Nominated directors are Michael Haneke for Amour, Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Ang Lee for Life of Pi, Steven Spielberg for Lincoln, and David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook.

The Best Director Oscar is basically the Cinematography Oscar crown jewel.  The director oversees every chosen element on set to ensure his/her vision is secure and successful.  In the Classic Hollywood Cinema days, this award was a bit easier to come by as directors like William Wyler, John Ford, and Frank Capra were nominated often and won more than any other directors in history.  Over the years, the award has become much more aloof; very few directors earn more than one Best Directing Oscar.  The award is closely associated with the Best Picture winner as well, however these awards are becoming more independent of one another now that the Best Picture field of nominees has been increased to up to ten films.  This year will be an upset year no matter which way it goes.  Not since the 1930s has it been more likely that the Best Picture will go to a film who’s director was not nominated.  Additionally, it is quite likely that the Best Director will go to a film that does not win Best Picture.  Therefore, it is critical to look at each of the nominated films for director’s merit alone. Haneke and Zeitlin turned out two emotionally charged human dramas that are deserving of immense appreciation.  In terms of directing, Zeitlin is the better choice between the two, but these small films rarely make a dent in the voting pool.  Spielberg does not deserve to be nominated for this award this year.  Russell has once again made a great film that would have won last year, but he will find himself beaten this year.  The award is between Russell and Lee.  The Peoples Critic Selection: Ang Lee for Life of Pi


Best Supporting Actor:

Nominees are Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln, Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained, Robert DeNiro for Silver Linings Playbook, Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master, and Alan Arkin for Argo.

Best Supporting Actress:

Nominees are Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables, Helen Hunt for The Sessions, Sally Field for Lincoln, Amy Adams for The Master, and Jackie Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook.

Acting categories need the least amount of explanation.  The supporting role awards are traditionally a bit more exciting.  These Oscars have gone to some surprising upsets over the years and is more likely to go to an edgier or younger performer than the awards for Best Actor/Actress.  On the men’s side, this year’s field has two performances that are practically lead roles (Waltz and Hoffman), and this will most likely work in one of their favors.  On the ladies’ side, there is a clear winner, so I’ll simply explain why she wins.  Much has been made of the fact that Anne Hathaway is only in Les Misérables for a short period of time.  However, this award has gone to many recipients whose screen-time is limited.  The Oscar for Supporting Role is designed to recognize superior support, regardless of screen time.  What Anne Hathaway does with her segment of an otherwise dull film is give a Hugh Jackman quality performance and then leave you wanting more.  What worked for her will unfortunately not work for Jackman since his Best Actor field also has a clear winner who accomplishes a similar feat in that category.  The People’s Critic Selection for Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz for Django UnchainedThe People’s Critic Selection for Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables.  

 

Best Actor:

Nominees are Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln, Hugh Jackman for Les Misérables, Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook, Joaquin Phoenix for The Master, and Denzel Washington for Flight.

Best Actress

Nominees are Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook, Emmanuelle Riva for Amour, Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty, Naomi Watts for The Impossible, and Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Hugh Jackman picked the wrong year to turn out his best performance of his career.  What he does as Jean Val Jean in Les Misérables is raw and spectacular.  However, it will be the one-two punch of excellent writing by Kushner and flawless delivery by Day-Lewis that will allow him to make history as the first to win three Best Actor Academy Awards.  Meanwhile, the Best Actress category has already made history by nominating both the youngest and oldest nominees ever considered for the Best Actress Oscar with Riva and Wallis.  Unlike the men’s race, no clear winner exists here.  Riva has enjoyed a surge as of late given her heart wrenching performance in Amour along with the fact that Oscar night just happens to be her 86th birthday.  However, it seems that the “girl on fire” this year will come away with her first trophy, solidifying what will likely be a long and dynamic career.   The People’s Critic Selection for Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln.  The People’s Critic Selection for Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook. 


 Best Picture:

Nominated Films are Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty.

Nine films were deemed worthy of Best Picture honors this year.  The jury is still out on this callback to the olden days where ten (even twelve!) films could be nominated for this award.  In 2009, the Academy expanded the limit of nominees from five to ten, but finding that there are not always ten worth-while nominees, the rule currently allows the list to vary between five and ten nominees.  This year’s collection of nominees would all have beaten last year’s winner, The Artist substantiating what an excellent year at the movies 2012 was.  As stated earlier, this award is often tied closely together with the winner for Best Director; however, no year in recent history has provided a lower likelihood of this happening than this year.  Therefore, how does one judge a film on its merits alone without necessarily taking the director’s choices into strong consideration?  How much does one weigh the writing, the cinematography, the set design, the acting, etc.?  These are tough questions.  One major element is to examine the editing.  Best Picture is more about conveying a message, entertainment, structure, and overall effect than anything else.  Editing (along with direction) is the key to all of those characteristics that make a movie great.  Therefore, if direction becomes a lowered value in the equation for determining greatness, the vacuum will be filled with editing.  The result is an upset that has only happened three times in history and not at all since 1989 – a Best Picture winner where the director was not even nominated.  The People’s Critic Selection: Argo

Oscar Predictions: Part 1 – The Ones You Always Guess On

The 85th Academy Awards will be airing on ABC February 24th, 2013. The People’s Critic has decided to unveil predictions on all 24 major categories over the next four weeks. This week’s predictions will focus on the six categories that are usually the toughest to call since they require some technical knowledge about film making, or they are short films not easily viewed by most people. Nonetheless, we leave no category behind. Additionally, all readers are encouraged to weigh in with your own opinions by submitting to the public polls following each category’s predictions.

1. Best Short Film (Live Action):

Nominated films are Asad, Buzkashi Boys, Curfew, Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw), and Henry.

Asad and Buzkashi Boys are both glimpses at hard luck youth who struggle in their homelands of Somalia and Afghanistan respectively. Buzkashi seems to be the stronger film of these two, while Death of a Shadow is certainly the strongest technical achievement of the five. Curfew and Henry pose little threat, but the off kilter relationship between the uncle-niece relationship in Curfew is interesting. The Peoples Critic Selection: Death of a Shadow

2. Best Short Film (Animated)

Nominated Films are Adam and Dog, Fresh Guacamole, Head over Heels, Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare,” and Paperman.

Adam and Dog and Head Over Heels are both extremely simple but cute. Head Over Heels has no chance, however. Yes, The Simpsons have a film entered here, which played theatrically with Ice Age 4, but this one comes down to powerhouse animation studio Pixar’s Paperman and the ingenious stop-motion film, Fresh Guacamole…but come on – The People’s Critic Selection: Paperman

3. Best Documentary (Short):

Nominated films are Inocente, Kings Point, Mondays at Racine, Open Heart, and Redemption.

For short films, these are all pretty heavy in terms of their subject matter. I think it comes down to Inocente, Kings Point or Mondays at Racine. I like Kings Point, which chronicles the lives, loves, and losses of several older Americans in a retirement home in Florida. I don’t know if it has the stuff to win, and I also don’t know if it’s that great, but I like it. Inocente probably has a much wider appeal given its subject is an artistic and interesting young homeless girl. Mondays at Racine certainly puts a touching spin on Cancer by examining the stories of different patients who come to a salon that opens free of charge to Cancer patients on a Monday, once a month. The Peoples Critic Selection: Kings Point

4. Best Visual Effects:

Nominated Films are The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Life of Pi, Marvel’s The Avengers, Prometheus, and Snow White and the Huntsman

Ok, now we get down to films that the average filmgoer can evaluate. The Visual Effects Oscar goes to a film that demonstrates greatness in the world of special effects. If one were to see all of these films, there is certainly something to admire in each. However, a large part for why one of these ended up being The People’s Critic’s #2 film of the year, was its visual effects. The People’s Critic Selection: Life of Pi

5. Best Sound Mixing:

Nominated films are Argo, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, and Skyfall

6. Best Sound Editing

Nominated films are Argo, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Skyfall, and Zero Dark Thirty

I’ve decided to deal with these two together since most people are unaware of their differences. Sound editing is the art of recording sound effects, background music, as well as sound creation. Sound mixing is taking all of the sounds recorded and needed for a film, along with the dialogue, and putting it all together, adjusting the levels, etc. Traditionally, I go along with the theory that more times than not, the film that wins one will win both. Thus, Argo, Skyfall, and Life of Pi are the only contenders. The People’s Critic’s Selection: Life of Pi for both