Roundabout: Potential Award-Worthy Films’ Trailers

Lots of trailers were recently released for the upcoming awards season, and man, what an exciting fall we’re going to have.  There’s so many trailers to post, but I’ll post three that really tickle my fancy.

BIRDMAN (October 17th)

 

GONE GIRL (October 2nd)

 

THE SKELETON TWINS (September 12th)

Terrence Malick’s TO THE WONDER Trailer!

Terrence Malick is quite the director.  Someone who works in unconventional ways, his films continue to cross the absolute line of fresh methodology, and in this film, there was rarely ever a script to be in place for structure.  Odd.  Extremely odd.  But Malick can get away with that, and though Tree of Life was a disturbing experience that I’ve started to quite enjoy more and more, I will always give Malick an opportunity.  Here’s his brand new film, To The Wonder, starring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem.

To The Wonder opens April 12th, 2013

The 2013 Oscar Predictions!

This is it.  It all comes down to this.  The Oscars.  Until it finishes and then we start a brand new year.  But we can all discuss about that and our post-depression after the 85th Academy Awards.  But let’s get straight to it.  Here are my predictions for the 2013 Academy Awards (and who should win).

Best Picture

Winner: Argo
Who Should Win:  Lincoln/Life of Pi
Spoiler Alert: Silver Linings Playbook

I hate hate hate how the Oscars are now predictable.  Though you always want to award film thats deserve the statue, it has become such a mammoth of a game with all these award shows and guilds prior to the big one.  It’s like if the two Super Bowl teams kept playing 4-5 times before the actual big game in February.  It’s became that big of a headache and has led to some anticlimactic years.  This year, it’s not so much predictable as frustrating.  Plain and simple: Argo is not the best film of 2012.  If I had a vote, I would probably have put Lincoln or Life of Pi as my number one rank, and Argo would most likely be my 5th or 6th.  Nonetheless, I predict it’s going to win.  Look out for Silver Linings Playbook to have a big night, and if does, this is going to be the icing on the cake.

Best Director

Winner: Steven Spielberg
Who Should Win: Spielberg/Ang Lee
Spoiler Alert: David O. Russell

As you can see, I’m very split between Life of Pi and Lincoln.  But considering I don’t have a lot of courage in these predictions, I’m going to stick with Spielberg just because it makes the most sense.  If Lincoln is somehow number one or number two behind Argo, then it makes a lot of sense that Spielberg will win his third Oscar for directing.  But something tells me Lincoln is not second.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Life of Pi or Silver Linings is ahead of Lincoln, which would lead to Director going to someone else.  I’m betting money on David O. Russell, not just because Vegas has him at +1500, but because I do think he has a legitimate chance of winning.  Over Ang Lee?  Not sure, but it all depends on how the night is playing out.  If we see De Niro and Lawrence win their respective categories, then I’d be a fool not to bet on Russell.  It’s anyone’s game.

Best Actor

Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis
Who Should Win: Daniel Day-Lewis
Spoiler Alert: Hugh Jackman

If there’s anyone that could potentially upset Abraham Lincoln is Hugh Jackman, but I don’t see that happening.  If it does, then you truly know that the Academy despised Lincoln and will not win one category throughout the entire evening.  But Lewis is going to win…….

Best Actress

Winner: Emannuelle Riva
Who Should Win: Jessica Chastain
Spoiler Alert: Emannuelle Riva

Though I predict Riva will win, she’s still not the favorite as Jennifer Lawrence is, but I think those who predict Lawrence will win don’t see the changing tide and emotional pull Riva has with the Academy.  They loved Amour, so much so they’re willing to sacrifice a 22 year old’s first Oscar (she’s going to get nominated again) and reward the 80’s something French actress who most likely will be her final film of her long and enduring career.  If you look at last year’s Best Supporting Actor, Christopher Plummer, who definitely didn’t put in the best work in that category, but still won because of his age and career’s work throughout the 82 years he’s been placed on this earth.  It’s more of a congratulatory win rather than it being truly deserving, but this year, it’s both a congrats and a deserving vote.  I would’ve voted for Chastain who delivered one of the all time great female roles of all time, but I don’t think I need to go into much detail about why ZDT has gotten one of the all time screwed over campaigns in Oscar history.

Best Supporting Actor

Winner: Robert De Niro
Who Should Win: Tommy Lee Jones
Spoiler Alert: Christoph Waltz

I think the Academy loves Silver Linings Playbook a lot more than the rest of Hollywood, and when you have Harvey F****** Weinstein behind your campaign, then you’re always a threat.  The favorite to most people is still Tommy Lee Jones or Christoph Waltz, but I’m sticking with De Niro.  Waltz technically is in a poster role (dominates screen time) but still his performance is well deserving.  But he just recently won and the Academy usually doesn’t reward the same actors between small gaps.  I would love to see Tommy Lee Jones win, but I’ll stick to my upset pick.

Best Supporting Actress

Winner: Anne Hatheway, Les Miserables
Who Should Win: Sally Field, Lincoln
Spoiler Alert: Sally Field, Lincoln

If Sally Field wins this, I’m calling Lincoln for Director and Picture.  But I highly doubt it.  Anne Hatheway has swept this award since December.  It’s hers for the taking.

Best Original Screenplay

Winner: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Who Should Win: Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
Spoiler Alert: Michael Haneke, Amour

This award all depends on how the Academy feels about these three films.  Django, ZDT and Amour are all in a dead heat race as they’ve split the industry’s votes between the WGA, Golden Globes, BAFTA, etc.  I’m sticking with Quentin on this one, but that’s because I’m going with what my head thinks this year.  My heart tells me Haneke because the Academy is in amour with Amour (someone shoot me, thanks) but I wouldn’t be surprised if any of these three wins, including the one I think deserves to win, Mark Boal.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Winner: Chris Terrio, Argo
Who Should Win: Tony Kushner, Lincoln
Spoiler Alert: David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

This is the category that I potentially think will give us a foreshadow of who’s going to win Best Picture.  All four possible BP winners are in this category (including Life of Pi) and whoever wins this category I believe could very well also be on stage for Picture.  The only film that I see winning Adapted Screenplay and not winning Picture is Lincoln.  Tony Kushner’s script is by far the biggest achievement, but as you’ve noticed with the prior guilds, sometimes achievement is not the most important.  If Argo wins here, we can slowly see the blocks tumbling away and it revealing who will win Best Picture.

Best Editing

Winner: Argo
Who Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty
Spoiler Alert: Silver Linings Playbook

If anything except Argo wins editing (which it should) then anticipate an upset at Picture.  The only film that wins this category but it eventually meaning nothing will be ZDT.  What a shame…

Best Cinematography

Winner: Life of Pi
Who Should Win: Skyfall
Spoiler Alert: Lincoln

I don’t necessarily think Skyfall deserves to win, but I do think Roger Deakins does deserve his first damn Oscar.  He’s been nominated for the ninth time, but still is empty handed.  He’s the best director of photography working today, and almost no one touches him in terms of the quality of work he puts on year in and year out.  But I predict Life of Pi winning, and Deakins will have to sit out another year.  What a shame…

Best Production Design

Winner: Les Miserables
Who Should Win: Lincoln
Spoiler Alert: Anna Karenina

Okay, honestly, Anna Karenina is most likely going to win, but I just don’t want to feel stupid that if it does win, I at least have written it somewhere.  Well, I predict Les Mis is going to win a few categories and this is where it’ll win at least one Oscar.  It’s not the favorite, but I think the Academy just votes which film they enjoyed the most in certain categories.  Lincoln deserves to win, but it will be ignored.  Of course.

Best Sound Mixing

Winner: Les Miserables
Who Should Win: Skyfall
Spoiler Alert: Skyfall

All depends which film they enjoy more, Skyfall or Les Mis.  I’m going to stick with history here and say Les Miserables because musicals usually take this category.

Best Sound Editing

Winner: Life of Pi
Who Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty
Spoiler Alert: Life of Pi

I put Life of Pi as both winner and spoiler alert because I’m picking the upset here.  Skyfall and Argo are technically ahead of Life of Pi in terms of who’s in the lead, but Life of Pi sweeping the MPSE was enough for me to choose it.  Zero Dark Thirty deserves to win this award though, hands down.

Best Costume Design

Winner: Anna Karenina
Who Should Win: Lincoln
Spoiler Alert: Les Miserables

Anna Karenina will win the Oscar here.  If Lincoln does, potential big night for Lincoln.

Best Original Score

Winner: Life of Pi
Who Should Win: Life of Pi
Spoiler Alert: Lincoln

John Williams will lose, but if he somehow doesn’t, then like Costume, could lead to bigger things.  Life of Pi though deserves to win this category.  Great great soundtrack.

Best Original Song

Winner: Skyfall
Who Should Win: Skyfall
Spoiler Alert: Anything other than Skyfall

If Adele performs and attends, you better give it to Skyfall.

Best Foreign Language Film

Winner: Amour
Who Should Win: Amour
Spoiler Alert: Kon-Tiki

Amour will win its first Oscar here (unless Screenplay is before Foreign Language film).

Best Documentary Feature

Winner: Searching for Sugarman
Who Should Win: The Invisible War
Spoiler Alert: How To Survive A Plague/The Invisible War

Searching for Sugarman has swept, but the Academy has a track record of not voting with the trends for documentary.  Only if this were true for everything else.

Best Animated Feature

Winner: Brave
Who Should Win: Wreck-It-Ralph
Spoiler Alert: Frankenweenie

I hope hope hope Brave doesn’t win, but I think it will.  the most deserving film here is Wreck-It-Ralph, and most experts are picking it to win.  But Pixar is the new monster, and it usually wins this category.  Also add in the fact it’s won many of the precursors, and I think you have your eventual winner.  Don’t be surprised if Tim Burton somehow goes up on stage and creeps everyone out.  And then Helena Bonham Carter will come up with him for some reason.

Best Visual Effects

Winner: Life of Pi
Who Should Win: Life of Pi
Spoiler Alert: Anything Else

Richard Parker is the greatest achievement this year.

Best Makeup and Hair

Winner: Les Miserables
Who Should Win: The Hobbit
Spoiler Alert: Les Miserables

Technically, The Hobbit is the favorite, but what I think most people are forgetting is the new addition to the category, Hair.  I don’t think Academy members know squat about makeup and hair, and I really don’t think they liked the Hobbit and its HFR nonsense, so in response, they’ll make sure it loses the one category it most likely should and would win.  Les Miserables, take your Oscar.

Best Live Action Short

Winner: Curefew
Spoiler Alert: Henry

Best Animated Short

Winner: Paperman
Spoiler Alert: Adam & Dog

Best Documentary Short

Winner: Open Heart
Spoiler Alert: Inocente

Well, there they are folks.  I do expect my predictions to get demolished tonight, but hey, who cares?!  But good luck and enjoy your Oscars night.  And in tribute for the films of 2012, here is a great video.

Final Week Before The Oscars: The Dirty Race That Could

The awards season has always been one of the most intriguing and exciting parts of the year for me.  Ever since I was a fan of movies, I was always a fan of the Academy Awards.  I’m not exactly sure why.  It might be the idea of rewarding the best films of the year.  It might be the whole red carpet-glitz factor.  But as I’ve gotten older and my tastes in film has matured, I see the award season as a recognition of the best of the best.  These are the films that are worth paying the ever-so-high admission.  The movie theater experience is a lost art form, mainly putting the blame in the changing atmosphere of our society, and the necessary change studios must also follow to meet the demands of the majority.  But the Oscars, it’s a tribute to those who are still willing to make movies as an art.  To make movies to inspire.  To make movies to enthuse.  Entertainment will always follow suit, but art is everlasting.

But as this will be almost my 15th year following the Oscars wholeheartedly, reading, tweeting, researching and watching, the race has changed immensely.  Neglecting the work on screen, but rather the work on campaigns.  You can’t win an Oscar anymore just off of merit.  You must promote, interview, advertise and even ruin other films and their potential to get ahead.  There’s a small group of actors, directors and producers that hate this systematic election-like process for an award, including the likes of Sean Penn, Woody Allen, Joaquin Phoenix and Terrence Malick, and considering I’ve seen more dirty politics for an industry that should never align itself with the game of politics, they have every reason to be ashamed and disobedient.

I’m not going to lie.  I have my own personal choices for rewarding films.  No individual roots for them all, and no individual ever feels completely satisfied throughout the whole process as film is as much subjective as it is art.  And that’s the beauty of art.  We all can have our own interpretations, feelings and understandings on certain films, and for anyone that feels it is necessary to ignore and shun other opinions on the matter, is at the very least, ruining the purpose of art.

Don’t get met wrong, the possibility of winning an Academy Award is gratifying, career changing and even life changing, especially when you can understand that this is someone’s career.  Not some hobby most average goers assume these industry workers are a part of.  This is their job.  This is what puts the food on the table.  Not everyone makes $10-20 million per movie.  To think that is being extremely ignorant.  As an aspiring screenwriter and filmmaker, the idea of being being recognized by a nomination, more less a WIN, it’s incredibly dream-like and would be the Mt. Everest of any accomplishment.  But at the same time, anyone’s career is not defined by awards or recognition.  It’s defined by satisfaction, the satisfaction of one’s own work and their ability to achieve greatness for others.

The race of 2013 has been like a child realizing that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.  Granted I’m 24 years old, but nonetheless, I’ve always put the Academy at a level of recognizing the best of the best, regardless of manipulation or unproductive mindsets.  Even if you feel like it’s not your favorite, you reward the film considering it is an achievement.  It should never be about what film I liked the most at a present time, but it’s should always be what film deserves the be rewarded as the Best Picture of that certain year focusing on achievement and accolade.

But when this is realized, you can see the evidence that is stacked up against the Academy for year, YEARS, ignoring the greats of this industry and rewarding the trending.  Alfred Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick has never won an Oscar for Best Director (Kubrick has never won one in general), Citizen Kane, Vertigo, Saving Private Ryan, The Social Network, North By Northwest, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, Almost Famous, Roger Deakins, etc.  In any career or organization, making a couple mistakes is not defiant of your legacy.  But when you constantly make these sorts of arrogant denials throughout your existence, one must start, at least, question your ability at the sole responsibility you claim.  It’s fine if the Academy doesn’t proclaim itself as the be all, end all of awards.  It’s fine if they consider it just an opinion.  But of course it doesn’t.

The most important thing to understand about this whole Oscar season is that if your favorite film doesn’t win Best Picture, it doesn’t mean anything.  That’s why Oscar films, in general, are not studio financed films.  If the Oscars had such a strong impact that reflected the feelings of the entire nation, then these are the kinds of films Paramount, Warners, Dreamworks and such would always go after.  But they’re not.  If you want to find a Best Picture candidate, you need to go to Sundance, TIFF or Cannes because that’s where you’re going to find them.  To their credit, however, this year’s Best Picture nominees have made more money than almost any other year.  Almost six films have grossed over $100 million domestically, which is a great reflection of the power of the audience, and the need for more engaging, thought-provoking and qualified films.

But let us remember, these films were popular before the nominations came out.  Those audiences didn’t pay the price of admission because they were going to be nominated for an Oscar.  They came because they felt the film was worth the admission.  That it wasn’t this measly piece of entertainment, but a journey that could enrich for those two hours or so.

I don’t get paid to do this.  This isn’t my job.  But as much as I’ve followed this Oscar season, it has made me apathetic, realizing that it’s not worth all the work when the industry disappoints constantly.  I see Argo as grade A entertainment, but nothing more than that.  When I see films like Life of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild, those are films that are true achievements.  And those are not my four favorite films out of the nine.  But I watch them, regardless of my opinions, and see, wow, that is an achievement.  They’re pushing the boundaries from story telling, character development, visual effects or the entire art form as a whole.  And the nominations are great.  I was surprised that the Academy voted for Michael Haneke and Benh Zeitlin, two underdogs that overcame Bigelow and Affleck.

And to be fair, the Academy has not shared their opinions or thoughts just yet.  This year, we have no clue what’s going to happen.  All the precursors and guilds scream Argo, but until those exact four letters are spoken for the last envelope of the evening, I still have hope that history will remain.  This year has been wild, but the race has been consistently dirty.

*I’ll be doing a Oscar preview for different categories every day up until the big day on Sunday night, where I’ll release my long list of picks.

The Tables Are Being Set: Reaction to the PGAs & SAG Awards

It was interesting going into this awards season, mainly because we had no freakin’ clue who was going to win.  But it’s been a huge shock that Argo, the Ben Affleck driven film that came out in October has taken over the driver’s seat.  After all the Oscar films were released, at its highest, I would place Argo fifth or sixth, behind stronger, more artistic works of film.  Taking nothing away from Argo and it’s achievement, I personally feel there are better films out there.  But witnessing this Oscar game for years now, it’s never about the best film of the year.

But consider that title: best film of the year.  It’s such a subjective statement.  No one can tell you which film is better than the other.  We can state our opinions and list countless reasons why, but in the end of the day, it is your opinion that matters most.  But we always look at the Academy as this perfected system of voters who truly understand and appreciate the arts and the cinema.  To some degree they do.  But we must understand, most of these voters barely have time to watch all these films (hence the DVD screeners).  And they could care less about history, precedents, and all this other nonsense that comes with the politics of the Oscar race.

But that doesn’t mean the politics don’t dominate the Academy Awards.  The Academy claims that they are announcing their choices of the best work that’s come out in film for that year, but in reality, they vote the way that they please.  Rather it being a popularity contest, or voting for a film that’s least controversial.  Whichever the case may be, this political vote has clearly taken center stage this year with the way the awards season has been played out so far.  We must remember, the Academy does not set the trends, they only use the trends to vote in a particular way.  If there’s anyone to blame for this huge mess of a year, it’s the critics and the guilds.  Argo is the least controversial film of the year, BY FAR.  Where it was heading one month ago, Zero Dark Thirty was in control, winning awards left and right and being placed as the favorite, even before a nationwide release.

Then came the article about the possibility of the film being pro-torture.  And then all hell broke loose.  The Republicans were bitching around like they always do, labeling the film as a “pro-Obama” campaign, and the Democrats were bitching because it was an act against humanity, and it showcased this idea that torture does work.  Anyone who’s seen the film fully is aware that the torture, though visible and strongly present, is not what’s at center stage.  What Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal attempted was to provide a scenario where our morals and ethics are thrown out the window, and that we’ve become so disciplined with reaching our goal of finding Osama Bin Laden that we’ve somehow replaced our touch with humanity with a touch of violence.

And to some degree, it’s obviously true.  But artwork is through the eye of the beholder, and if an interpretation is misconceived by many, the responsibility falls squarely on the artist.  But in essence, ZDT was too much to vote for.  That’s why if you look at the timeline of the awards season, ZDT just stopped winning.  It wasn’t this slow transition off stage, but more of a yank of a hook.  A similar polarizing film that has been, for some crazy reason, too difficult to vote for is Lincoln.  Some people just plain out hate the film.  And I can somewhat understand why, seeing the film is all about people talking.  And like one tweeter stated, we can also say that about the Social Network.  It’s just a lot more relevant in today’s society.

This statement couldn’t be any truer.  Yes, Lincoln is a history buff’s wet dream, but we have fascinating people discussing fascinating themes during a fascinating (yet horrendous) era in the United States.  This is where artwork must transform the viewer from seeing this film as entertainment, but more for its importance.  This is the difference between the average movie-goer and the die hards, theart is just as important as the entertainment.  But Lincoln is not universally loved or adored, and the Oscars don’t want to piss anyone off, they just want to have a good night.

This is the perfect storm for Argo.  All this controversy, all this chaos about torture, racism, religion and politics has created this ideal circumstance for Argo to take over the race.  When Argo won the PGA, it made complete sense, considering two of the three producers credited include Ben Affleck and George Clooney.  I would vote for them as President and Vice President for goodness sakes.  Their charm and personality is essential for this long and grueling race.  But what shocked me was the big Screen Actors win last Sunday night.  Though the entire cast of Argo was great, but to say it was better than Silver Linings or Lincoln (considering Lincoln made history by winning the Actor for both Male and Supporting Male) is preposterous.  You don’t give two of the four main awards to the same cast, and then not reward the entire cast’s work.  Both Lincoln and Silver Linings had nominations in three out of the four categories.  Argo had none.  For it to win Best Ensemble (which is a very important factor for Best Picture) shows the current state of Hollywood and the voters throughout.  Argo is the hot pick.  Argo is the safe pick.  No one will get angry or hate us for voting Argo.  In that sense, it’s essentially the won that will win come Oscar night.

Now I’m not completely willing to throw the entire race away because we still have the DGA, WGA, BAFTA and Eddie.  And this is not the first time a film dominated some of the guilds and eventually lost (Apollo 13 and Little Miss Sunshine).  And Argo still has to overcome plenty of history  for it to win Best Picture, including the fact that Ben Affleck’s name won’t even be recognized in the Directors’ category.  And if you’re an avid follower, you know how important winning Director in terms of your chances for Best Picture.  So this is how I see things possibly playing out.

For Lincoln to win Best Picture:
1.  It must win WGA for Adapted Screenplay
2.  Must win Adapted Screenplay at Oscars
3.  Must win DGA (Steven Spielberg)
4.  Must win Best Director at Oscars

This is the only way Lincoln will win, and only because it had a late comeback and was too hot to ignore.  And Argo couldn’t overcome the Director snub.

For Silver Linings Playbook to win Best Picture (and yes, I still do consider it a contender because it’s the first film to receive four acting nominations and was nominated for Director when the DGA ignored it):
1.  Must win Director (David O. Russell) at Oscars
2.  Must win at least two out of four acting categories at Oscars (De Niro, Weaver, Lawrence and Cooper)

For Argo to win Best Picture:
1.  It must win DGA for Ben Affleck
2.  Must win Editing at Oscars
3.  Steven Spielberg cannot win Best Director at Oscars

It’s very clear that Argo has the easiest route compared to the other films.  And I’m not ignoring other films like Life of Pi (I would go crazy if Life of Pi won, in a good way), but these are the three films that are left standing in the Best Picture race.

It’s funny.  When Ben Affleck was not nominated for Best Director on nomination morning, we all proclaimed that Argo was officially out of the running.  It couldn’t win.  It just can’t.  But as we’re approximately one month away from the big night, it’s clear that Ben Affleck not receiving that all important Director nomination did more for Argo than anything else.  Who would’ve thought?!

Best Picture Race (as of 1/29/13)

1.  Argo
2.  Lincoln
3.  Silver Linings Playbook
4.  Life of Pi
5.  Amour
6.  Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Alternate: NO ONE.

Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Alternate:  Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Alternate: Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Alternate: NO ONE.

Best Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
Alternate: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Best Adapted Screenplay: Tony Kushner, Lincoln
Alternate: Chris Terrio, Argo (If Argo wins WGA, it is officially front-runner)

Best Director: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln (only because Affleck is not nominated)
Alternate: Honestly, if anyone else won it would not shock me.  But I’ll go with Ang Lee, Life of Pi

 

ARGO Wins Producers Guild! Major Shift In The Awards Race Ready To Happen

I won’t go in depth about the big Argo win at the PGA (Producers Guild Awards) until after the SAG, which is tonight.  But considering that the PGA is the only other award that runs the preferential vote (the Oscars is the other), it’s safe to say the PGA has a strong connection.  Argo still has plenty to over come, including years and years of history, but the more it wins, the more it beholds the role of the favorite.  Here are the other winners of the evening.

Best Picture: Argo
Drama Series: Homeland
Doc Feature: Searching for Sugarman
Reality Series:
American Masters
Animated Film:
Wreck-it Ralph
Comedy Series:
Modern Family
PGA competition TV award:
Amazing Race
Best Live Talk Show: 
Stephen Colbert

Fuel To The Fire: Reaction to the Golden Globes

“Hey Academy, Argo **** yourself”

The whole point of statistics is to give us a predetermined outcome that we can see coming.  In sports, we’re given information like points per game, batting average, Quarterback rating, because through numerical knowledge, we have a better advantage and perception of the future.  If a major leaguer averages around .300 the last 5-6 season, we can safely assume that he’ll hit for .300 the following season.  Sometimes we’re wrong, but usually, numbers can predict the future.

Thank you for reading that introductory paragraph.  Now, to my main point.  Just like sports and many other fields, the awards season relies heavily on statistics and numbers.  Without them, we are given absolutely no consistent and fundamental patterns, and without this information, we are given a completely blind journey through the circuit.  And though the complaint for the last few years has always been the outcry from less predictability and more shock and awe, most actually don’t want the chaos and anarchy of it.  Why?  Because we all root for films.  This is obvious.  We all have our personal choices, and we favor some films more than others.  But when we’re given this noticeable path of how it’s all going to go down, it’s easier to swallow and accept the eventual outcome, even if it’s not what we want.  When The Social Network was being recognized in a record amount by critics all over the country, we assumed that it would dominate through the guilds.  But we saw a changing tide, where the Producers Guild, Directors Guild and BAFTAs all went for the King’s Speech.  And in two months, we experienced the Social Network to the King’s Speech transition.  Though it doesn’t sit well at all with TSN fans, we saw it coming.  Though we hoped for shock and awe (in a good way), we knew our expectations would trump our wishes, and eventually, our expectations were fulfilled.

But this year, 2013, is a year for the ages.  It all started with the change of Academy voting, where the ballots were turned in before PGA nominations, DGA nominations, Golden Globe awards and WGA nominations.  Oscar voters heavily lean towards some sort of guidance, and without any help from these outlets, they were totally blind.  Now, the Academy are not completely dependent on other awards, nor will they ever admit that they are.  And there are members of these guilds that represent members of the Academy, but the reason why this date change is so important is because any past history must be thrown away.  It’s no coincidence that the DGA nominations and the Best Director (Oscars) nominations don’t resemble each other at all.  You actually have to go back years to find the last the DGA only matched two directors with the Oscars.  With Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg (Spielberg didn’t even get a BAFTA nomination) being the only ones nominated in both, the three switcharoo throws another curveball to an already absent fastball game.

The reason why this DGA-Directors connection is so important is because YOU CANNOT WIN BEST PICTURE WITHOUT A DIRECTOR NOMINATION.  This is a statistic that almost all Oscar experts will go by, and though I don’t consider myself an Oscar expert (I like to think I am), this is truly important considering that if the Academy is unwilling to recognize the director, then the film most definitely cannot be worthy of a win in the field of Best Picture.  But this year cannot use this statistic or any other prior year because we have a year where the favorite at this very moment has no Director nomination.

Argo, coming off Best Director and Best Picture wins from both the Critics’ Choice and Golden Globes, was just recently snubbed by the Academy in the field of directors for Ben Affleck.  Considering that the votes were already placed for the Critcs’ and Golden Globes before the announcement, Argo has genuine support throughout.  The Golden Globes showed that Argo must be respected and recognized, no matter if history has put it out the game completely.  And with knuckleheaded move by the Academy to ignore Affleck in this category, there could be a remorse vote for Argo, and that it’ll be rewarded in an apologetic format for screwing up the no nomination.  Unfortunately for Argo, there’s no such thing as momentum this year as the gap between nominations and Oscar night is huge (a month and a half).  But to ignore Argo now is just as idiotic and repulsive as the snub.

Looking at not just Argo but all the film winners at the Golden Globes, you can see that no film dominates the evening.  Les Miserables won the most that night (three) for Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Best Picture for Comedy or Musical.  Other films that won include Django Unchained (2), Lincoln (2), Argo (2), Life of Pi (1), Silver Linings Playbook (1), Zero Dark Thirty (1) and Skyfall (1).  The Hollywood Foreign Press are sluts for celebrities.  They want to make sure that the A-listers all come out and play nice, and to do that year in and year out, they must reward equally.  No film ever dominates the Golden Globes, and this is also true for the 2013 season.

The Oscars, on the other hand, reward the film they feel most deserves the category (that’s up for debate sometimes).  The HFPA consists of film critics and journalists from different countries represented in Los Angeles, so to safely put it, they are not a reflection of the Academy.  The HFPA is a 100 member group, where the Academy includes over 6,000 members of actors, directors, producers, writers, etc.  To even remotely say they have a similar background is being profoundly negligent.  And in the past 10 years of Golden Globes and Oscar similarities, they are around 50/50, being more off with Best Picture (specifically drama).  The only one they are pretty accurate on is Screenplay (which bodes well for Tarantino and Kushner).

It was great seeing Christoph Waltz, Ben Affleck, Hugh Jackman all win in their respective categories, especially they each deserve those wins.  But those three aren’t going to win come Oscar night.  Christoph Waltz just recently won for Inglourious Basterds in the same category three years ago.  Hugh Jackman, though is very exceptional as Jean Valjean, is at best third behind Daniel Day-Lewis and Bradley Cooper.  And Ben Affleck isn’t even nominated (I mentioned this right?).  Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain is no lock either as the rise of Emannuelle Riva, Naomi Watts and Quvenzhane Wallis and their respective films have given the leaders a run for their money.  Riva and Wallis were both ignored by the Golden Globes, but the fact that they are still recognized by the Academy shows the discrepancy.

Simply put: the Golden Globes are not the Oscars.  Most experts, fans and average moviegoers will tell you that Argo is in the lead, and I somewhat agree.  It has momentum.  It has the angry and violent mob demanding so repercussions in the form of a Best Picture win.  But like any passionate outcry, it will eventually die.  And more importantly, the Academy won’t listen.  If Argo wins, it’s going to win because they thought it was the most deserving, not because of their sympathy towards Affleck (Remember, the Academy doesn’t nominate the five directors, the Directors Branch does).

The announcement of winners that will soon be coming from the Writers, Producers and Directors Guild, BAFTAs and the SAG is more important than the Golden Globes.  But as we stated before, this is the year that statistics may not matter.  We cannot throw out the past as that would be absolutely ignorant on our part, but if we see variety and diversity in winners that don’t match up with any prior precursor, then when Oscar night comes, we really are in the dark.  This is the most exciting but also the most nerve-wrecking Oscar race in recent memory, and it’s a reminder that we should be careful what we wish for because we all may have a Tommy Lee Jones moment come late February.

“Who the hell is Michael Haneke?”

(And talking about Tommy Lee Jones, here’s my favorite moment of the Golden Globes.)