The 85th Academy Awards has come and gone, and as usual there were a few surprises including the sixth-ever tie at the ceremony. Like so many prognosticating pundits, I made my picks and couldn't get them all, but all things considered, I did pretty well.
Every link below leads to my review of the film. The first eleven categories are the ones I classified as major categories; for these, I got 10 points for a win, 5 for a darkhorse win, and 2.5 in categories where I selected two darkhorses. The final ten, marked by dashes, are minor categories. For each of these, I got 5 points only in the case of a direct win. I didn’t include Live Action Short Film, Animated Short Film, and Short Subject Documentary since I have not seen them.
The maximum total of points I could achieve was 170. When the Academy Awards were announced last year, I guaranteed an 80% or better success rate on my picks and ended up getting 74%. This year, I aimed to exceed 80%, which means I needed to accumulate at least 136 points.
Zero points. Ang Lee won for Life of Pi, and while no tracking could have predicted the winner safely, but I was dead wrong with David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook.
10 points. Daniel Day-Lewis was a no-brainer for his eponymous role in Lincoln.
10 points. Jennifer Lawrence was also a pretty safe pick for her role in Silver Linings Playbook.
Best Supporting Actor:
Zero points. Christoph Waltz won for Django Unchained, a win preceded by his victory at the BAFTAs. I flubbed this with the safe pick of Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln.
Best Supporting Actress:
10 points. Anne Hathaway was also as safe as it gets for Les Misérables.
Best Original Screenplay:
10 points. Quentin Tarantino may not have been a runaway favorite, but he was tracking ahead of his compatriots with his script for Django Unchained.
Best Adapted Screenplay:
10 points. Chris Terrio locked up a deserved Oscar for Argo and had probably the best speech of the night.
Best Documentary Feature:
10 points. After a few years of depressing picks, Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn were due for the uplifting Searching for Sugarman.
10 points. It pains me to be right; as much as I love winner Claudio Miranda, even if I didn't see Life of Pi, Roger Deakins had a much more successful effort with Skyfall. Remember, though, both Avatar and Hugo beat out the ASC winners for Oscars just because they're 3D.
Best Foreign Language Film:
10 points. Michael Haneke's win for Amour was an easy pick, seeing as he got the film nominated in four other categories.
- Best Animated Feature Film:
5 points. Brave may not have been the favorite, but that win at the BAFTAs went a long way toward insuring its success. Always bet on Pixar.
- Best Production Design:
Zero points. I wasn't even close to picking Lincoln on this one, thinking that Anna Karenina had the best chance.
- Best Film Editing:
5 points. Traditionally the Best Picture winner also gets this category, and Argo was no exception.
- Best Original Score:
5 points. I predicted Life of Pi would take home the most Oscars and was not disappointed.
- Best Original Song:
5 points. With this being the 007 and musical tribute Oscars, it wasn't hard to believe Adele would win for the title song in Skyfall.
- Best Costume Design:
5 points. Anna Karenina didn't shock in this category, as predicated by major wins in the design guilds.
- Best Sound Mixing:
Zero points. I assumed the technical awards generally go with one big film, but forgot that Les Misérables had live singing. Whoops.
- Best Sound Editing:
- Best Makeup and Hairstyling:
5 points. With Les Misérables one of only three nominees, it was a lock.
- Best Visual Effects:
5 points. With 3D dominant, cinematography and visual effects go hand in hand, so Life of Pi was a no-brainer as well. Though I would have been happy to have been wrong and seen this go to Prometheus.
So, how did I do? Well, wouldn't you know it, I ended up with 125 points and matched last year's success rate of 74%; not bad, but I'll need to improve in the future. Considering I base most of my picks on tracking other awards before the big show, have I uncovered a 26% unpredictability rate with the Academy Awards? You decide!
E-mail Bryan at ExaminerFilm@gmail.com for questions, advice, opinions, and suggestions. Questions, advice, and opinions may be posted anonymously. Follow Bryan on Twitter at ExaminerFilm and on Facebook at FilmExaminer.