How Good Were My Year-Old Oscar Predictions?

A little under a year ago, I fisked a Variety article written about the day after last year’s Oscars. My purpose was to make fun of Variety’s substanceless click-bait, but as it evolved, I emitted a handful of sneering predictions. Which is to say, inasmuch as I participated in the anticipation of a program I never watch, Variety won that exchange. But let’s see how I did:

Regarding Marwen:

Prediction: Carell gets a best actor statue for this weepie, since it’s a mostly comedic actor playing a tear-jerk. The Academy loves that crap. Zemeckis gets nominated, doesn’t win. The film doesn’t get nominated, and everyone gets pissy about how that can even happen.

I was right about the film not getting nominated, wrong about everything else. I expected it to be competent enough to be Oscar-worthy. Nope.

Regarding First Man:

Prediction: This film will do reasonably well at the box office, and won’t get any nominations.

Got one for Production Design. I guess that means I was wrong.

Regarding If Beale Street Could Talk:

That’s more like it. Something obscure and from the director of a previous Best Picture. This will do garbage box office and be hailed by the people who hail things as Significant and Powerful. It will get some nominations, maybe one Oscar, for screenplay or something.

If Beale Street Could Talk Domestic Box Office : $10,912,908

If Beale Street Could Talk Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 95% Fresh

“With Beale Street, (director Barry) Jenkins cements his status as this generation’s cinematic poet laureate of the American condition.”

-Matt Ward, Cinematic Considerations

Oscar Nominations: 2, for Best Supporting Actress and Adapted Screenplay.

nailed-it-4

Regarding The Favourite:

Nominated for Costume Design. Wins for Costume Design. The End.

Well, I was wrong about that. Best Picture, Best Actress, Two for Best Supporting Actress, Screenplay, Cinematography, Film Editing, AND Costume Design. Although if it wins for Costume Design and nothing else, I will be proved retroactively right. So there’s that.

Regarding Isle of Dogs, well, I’ve beaten that one to death. But it ended up with a nomination for Animated Film, as predicted. That means a win.

Regarding Hereditary: 

If a horror film ever gets Oscar Gold, it’s going to have to be blessed by Sundance or something else first. And it’s going to need to have Topical Politics, so everyone can high-five each other about how much it would bother Mike Pence if he saw it.

Prediction: Toni Collette gets a nomination. No idea if she wins or not.

I was right about the film, wrong about Toni Collette. I underestimated Hollywood’s love of self-referential entertainment (Lady Gaga, A Star is Born, really?).

Regarding Mary, Queen of Scots:

My initial response is to say that Costume Dramas don’t win Oscars, but some instinct tells me not to leave out the possibility that they’ll nominate both Ronan and Robbie for the same award, that Drama and Sisterhood might ensue. Besides, Ronan-Robbie has a certain ring to it.

My instinct was right, but should have been applied to The Favourite. My initial response remains undecided.

Regarding Boy Erased:

This wins Best Picture. You heard it here first.

LOL. That’ll learn me.

Regarding Vice:

I think the whole “Prosthetics and Weight Gain for Oscars” thing might be played out now that they finally gave one to Gary Oldman for doing it. But Dick Cheney might make a good MASH-mask for Donald Trump, so who knows.

Best Picture, Best Lead Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director. These are the Big Boys. Mike Pence will totally hate it if it wins for something. So I’m going to call this a win.

I didn’t make any predictions regarding Black Panther, so that’s a wash.

Overall Score: 3 Solid Right, 2 Partially Right, 3 Solid Wrong. I am the Detroit Lions of Making Oscar Predictions a Year Out.

Next: Winner Predictions based on Nominations

Why Vice is Writing About Astrology

Apparently it’s 1971 or something, because Vice UK has a whole subsection of Astrological blather. It’s tongue-in-cheek, but also not:

But that’s not what brought me in. What brought me in was this exercise in Making Astrology Woke: Why Straight Men Hate Astrology So Much.

Astrology give Teh Marginalized a means of control and order in the cishetcarnophallocentricpatriarchy, you see.

To understand your and others’ personalities, to try to predict the future: ultimately, it’s grasping for control, when we have none. Women and queer people are drawn to astrology because it offers community and refuge, something to lean on during a time in which religion has taken a backseat. In a heterosexual patriarchy, cis-het men arguably have less to seek refuge from.

Do you ever notice how paragraphs of this kind can be, and regularly are, written about almost anything? Today it’s Astrology, yestrday it was Yoga, tomorrow it will be the new Woke edition of the I Ching. Always with the same rhetorical point: this new thing is better because the Right Sort of People are doing it, and the Wrong Sort are the ones who disparage it, because that feeds their Wrongness. We’ve gotten to the point where the derpy advice columns that have been sitting in the back of your newspaper for a century and more are being turned into a badge of #thestruggle by trowelling a pile of Frankfort School Crit-Theory manure all over it. Welcome to 2018.

What does my horrible self think of astrology? Not much, by which I mean, I don’t think about it a lot. Astrology is a means of organizing random data to create a map of your persona with concomitant suggestions as to when you should do stuff.

Is it valid? Shrug

Is it harmful? I can see if you took it way too seriously, it could be. I don’t know how many people do.

To me it’s like Jungian archetypes or Freud’s id, ego and superego: a heuristic of human impulses and needs. If you find it useful, go nuts. Just don’t expect anyone else to go for it in the same way.

And if you insist on making a shibboleth out of it, don’t be surprised at how those in the out-group react.