Well…I lost. Again. To Joseph. Sad face.
The Oscars always seem to hold a few surprises. No matter how confident I am in my heavily researched picks, I always end the night with a “huh” look on my face.
Here is my selection process: First, I make a concerted effort to see every film nominated in every category. I follow up all my viewings with reading what every “expert” under the sun thinks will happen and their rationale and all that jazz. I then do my best to deduct their assured biases. And alas I come up with my picks.
Joseph and I only differed on two categories out of 24 this year. These were Best Makeup and Best Sound Editing. Logic originally told me The Iron Lady would win for makeup. But then there was the buzz for Harry Potter getting undeservedly shunned by The Academy. I figured they might throw them a bone in the visual section. The other difference was Sound Editing, which my gut told me would be Hugo. I again figured The Academy wouldn’t want to give Spielberg a sad face like mine and would throw him one bone for War Horse. I took two calculated risks and both backfired. I figured I’d at least get a split! So I finished getting 17/24 picks correct and Joseph got 19/24 correct. Congrats to Mr. Williams.
Now for what I would consider to be the Top 5 Oscar Surprises.
5. Hugo winning for Visual Effects. In retrospect, this really makes sense. It did have unreal visual effects and I knew The Academy would love them some Hugo. Kind of like my other two slip ups previously mentioned, I just figured they would throw Rise of the Planet of the Apes a bone.
Here’s a breakdown of what most of the major critics expected too to back up the “surprise”.
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo winning for Film Editing. The Academy actually did throw this film a bone and I missed it. I picked all the wrong bones. Should have used my hindsight.
3. Meryl Streep winning Best Actress in a Leading Role for The Iron Lady. Granted, Meryl Streep winning an acting related award is not a surprise. However, this year it kind of was. Everyone and their mom picked Viola Davis from The Help. Viola had blown everyone away with her performance in Doubt and now was her time to shine. According to a tweet by guest poster Jeremy Wilson, “Meryl Streep dressed as an Oscar.” She must have known.
2. Hugo winning Best Cinematography over The Tree of Life. It is well documented that I loved The Tree of Life. But this honestly wasn’t a biased, homer pick. Not only did The Tree of Life have the best cinematography this past year in my opinion, it had possibly the best cinematography I’ve ever seen. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this one.
1. Undefeated winning Best Documentary. This one thrilled me to death to be wrong about! While, like most of the country, I haven’t seen Undefeated, I love the trailer and what it appears to be! For those of you that don’t know what it’s about, watch this trailer. The story is about the Manassas High School football team which is literally located on the same street that I work on. In the hood. I saw no way that it was going to beat the mothership of entertainment television, HBO, though. HBO’s Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, which focused on the murder trials of the West Memphis 3, seemed to be a shoe-in to me. It featured a story that captivated the country, it challenged the criminal justice system in America, and had the backing of some major players in Hollywood all pushing it. I guess The Academy still had Blind Side Fever and wanted to award an actual true story about inner-city football. Which I’m shocked and elated that they did.
(Dis)Honorable Mention: Sacha Baron Cohen vs. Ryan Seacrest
In case you missed it, to no one’s surprise Sacha Baron Cohen was a total goober and spilled an urn of what he deemed to be his friend Kim Jong Il’s ashes on Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet. Here is a video if you missed it!