Tag Archives: Oscars

GrabBag – Oscar Weekend!


It’s Oscar Weekend, folks! I’ve spent the week focused on my 6-part Oscar Predictions series (now complete!), so today’s GrabBag may be a bit less thought-out than usual. Still, you need your weekend fix of internet links, so here we go…

  • Kids reenact Oscar nominees…
  • Fandor has a series of video essays on who “deserves” to win. (I haven’t had a chance to watch these yet, but they are high on my to-do list.)
  • In case you haven’t been paying attention to the season, check out In Contention’s 10 Things You Need to Know About the 2014 Oscars. While I may not agree describing last year’s show as “terrible,” these are the most important facts to keep in mind leading up to the big night.
  • Moving away from Oscar for a moment (I know, right?)… The real backstory of Andy’s mom make the Toy Story films that much more endearing.
  • Speaking of Disney, the folks behind Frozen release a Deleted Scene. (Good thing it was deleted.)
  • And speaking of Frozen (I’ve had a lot of Frozen-related links in these GrabBags recently, haven’t I?): My apologies to your eardrums, but this is pretty hilarious. “Let It Go” as sung by, who else, Mr. Freeze…

That’s all for today. Enjoy your Oscar Weekend! Oh, and Mardi Gras, too. Yeah that’s happening, apparently.

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Oscars One Week Away – Predictions Coming Up

gravity 12 years hustle split

Just one week from tonight, the Oscars will finally be here. We will finally learn just how much validity all the predictions and speculation of the past few months actually have.

Over the next few days I intend to post a series of ranked predictions, with a quick breakdown of each of the 24 categories to help you make your own choices. In addition you will notice a new page titled “Oscar Predictions” in the menu up top. I will update it continuously throughout the week as each of the following 6 posts are published:

Full disclosure: My predictions have never been perfect. I don’t expect that to change this year, especially with so many tight races. But I generally get anywhere from 17 to 21 or so correct. You can use this as a guide to help you fill out your office pool or sound knowledgeable at your party.

In addition, I recommend checking out the guys over at In Contention. Kris Tapley is consistently one of the best prognosticators out there. Also take a look at MCN’s Guru’s Of Gold, which compiles the predictions of all the majors journalists and bloggers covering the race.

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GrabBag – Star Wars, Shorts, and Preferential Balloting Explained


Tonight the DGA awards may finally give us a frontrunner in one of the tightest Oscar races ever. Tomorrow the Grammy Awards will be resoundingly ignored by yours truly. It’s too cold to go outside, so here’s a handful of distractions for your weekend…

  • Apparently the new Star Wars VII will NOT be shot in IMAX. Maybe the use of standard (can we say “old-school” yet?) film will help give it that warm, lived-in, epic feel of the old ones that the prequels so sorely lacked. Either way it’s fun to hear the script is complete.
  • The Oscar for Best Picture and Producer’s Guild Award both use a complicated preferential ballot, or “instant run-off,” to determine their winners. Basically the ballots are organized according to the first place votes, and then the one with the fewest… OK, there’s no way I can explain it, myself. Here, watch this 4-minute video instead. It seems crazy and unbelievably impossible to me that with 10 films and 4,700 votes that system somehow ended up in a tie
  • The Onion “reports” that all 10 of this year’s Oscar nominated screenplays were written during the same continuing education screenwriting class. I want to take that class!!!!
  • “Let It Go” from Frozen, sung in 25 different languages, and it’s still gorgeous. 
  • “100 Films / 100 Behind the Scenes Photos” is exactly what it sounds like. Except it’s a 3-part series, so that’s actually 300 photos. Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

Ok, that’s all for this week. If you have any suggestions for future editions of GrabBag, please email me or post them in the comments. And once again, here’s my plea for any designer willing to donate their skills to help create an original GrabBag logo. Any takers?

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86th Academy Awards Nominations

Oscar statues

Nominations for the 86th Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning.

American Hustle and Gravity lead the field with 10 nominations apiece. 12 Years a Slave was close behind with 9. The 9 nominees for Best Picture were the only films to get 4 or more nods each, which is unusual. There usually at least one or two nominees that don’t get much else, or blockbusters that get a lot of technical nods but nothing in the top category. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a year where ALL the Best Picture nominees got more than all the other films.

Scroll to the bottom to see a breakdown of total nominations per film.

Stay tuned for a breakdown of the various snubs and surprises, of which there were plenty. Until then, I’ll brag that my Pest Picture predictions were spot on! Compare the final results to the rest of my predictions here.

Best motion picture of the year
“American Hustle”
“Captain Phillips”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“12 Years a Slave”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

Best Director
David O. Russell, “American Hustle”
Alfonso Cuarón, “Gravity”
Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”
Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall STreet”

Best Actor
Christian Bale, “American Hustle”
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Best Actress
Amy Adams, “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”

Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips””
Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”
Jonah Hill, “Wolf of Wall STreet”
Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”
June Squibb, “Nebraska”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“Before Midnight”
“Captain Phillips”
“12 Years a Slave”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

Best Original Screenplay
“American Hustle”
“Blue Jasmine”
“Dallas Buyers Club”

Best Cinematography
“The Grandmaster”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”

Best Costume Design
“American Hustle”
“The Grandmaster”
“The Great Gatsby”
“The Invisible Woman”
“12 Years a Slave”

Best Film Editing
“American Hustle”
“Captain Phillips”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“12 Years a Slave”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa”
“The Lone Ranger”

Best Music (Original Score)
“The Book Thief”
“Saving Mr. Banks”

Best Music (Original Song)
“Alone yet, not alone” from “Alone, Yet Not Alone”
“Happy” from DM2
“Let it Go” from “Frozen”
“The Moon Song” from “Her”
“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”

Best Production Design
“American Hustle”
“The Great Gatsby”
“12 Years a Slave”

Best Sound Editing
“All is Lost”
“Captain Phillips”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
“Lone Survivor”

Best Sound Mixing
“Captain Phillips”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Lone Survivor”

Best Visual Effects
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
“Iron Man 3”
“The Lone Ranger”
“Star Trek: Into Darkness”

Best Foreign Language Film
“The Broken Circle Breakdown” (Belgium)
“The Hunt” (Denmark)
“The Great Beauty” (Italy)
“The Missing Picture” (Cambodia)
“Omar” (Palestine)

Best Animated Feature Film
“The Croods”
“Despicable Me 2”
“Ernest and Celestine”
“The Wind Rises”

Best Documentary Feature
“The Act of Killing”
“Cutie and the Boxer”
“Dirty Wars”
“The Square”
“20 Feet From Stardom”

Best Documentary Short
“Facing Fear”
“Karama Has No Walls”
“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall”

Best Short Film (Animated)
“Get a Horse!”
“Mr. Hublot”
“Room on the Broom”

Best Short Film (Live Action)
“A quel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)”
“Avant De Tout Perdre” (Just Before Losing Everything)”
“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)”
“The Voorman Problem”

Total nominations per film:
10 – American Hustle
10 – Gravity
9 – 12 Years a Slave
6 – Captain Phillips
6 – Dallas Buyers Club
6 – Nebraska
5 – Her
5 – The Wolf of Wall Street
4 – Philomena
3 – Blue Jasmine
3 – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
2 – August: Osage County
2 – Despicable Me 2
2 – Frozen
2 – The Grandmaster
2 – The Great Gatsby
2 – Inside Llewyn Davis
2 – The Lone Ranger
2 – Lone Survivor
(All the rest got 1 each.)

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