Sunday, February 20, 2011


They are in a week!

Are you ready?

Full disclosure: I don't know if I am.  Because this year was TOUGH.  There were a lot of good movies.  And the performances were even better.

Right now, the heavy competition seems to be between The King's Speech and The Social Network (ehh hemm...both of which I lauded and praised on this very blog long before nominations or post Thanksgiving buzz..gloat, gloat, gloat).

Don't worry.  My pride may be totally destroyed next Sunday.  Because this is one of the first years in recent memory where I am petrified to make my picks.  Here's the situation.  At first, everyone was all about The Social Network.  And then The King's Speech took over.  As of about two weeks ago, I would have bet everything that The King's Speech would take everything.  But then, Egypt happened.

No, seriously.  It is silly and stupid that something so serious could effect something so trivial, but Hollywood experts are saying it very well may have.  The presence of Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media/networking were a central component throughout the protests.  I mean, the government issued an internet blackout for a reason.  And then, when the ban was lifted, the internet blew up with Egyptian youth and protesters communicating their experiences with each other and the world.

So, all of a sudden, this movie about how a couple of Harvard computer geeks changed everything seems a little less grandiose and a little more realistic and significant.  Maybe more so than a movie about a dead English monarch learning to overcome a speech impediment.  (Of course, you could make the argument that he gave hope to a nation during the worst war the world has even seen.  But that was the past. Egypt is the present. And people have short memories).

Here's the other rub with the whole King's Speech vs. Social Network debacle.  More often than not, whatever film wins Best Picture also wins Best Director and Best Film Editing.  Problem is...a ton of people are saying King's Speech will win Best Picture.  But The Social Network will win Film Editing.  And the decision over director is almost split down the middle. This is because Tom Hooper (King's Speech) won the Directors Guild (the winner of which wins the Oscar 9 out of 10 times).  But then David Fincher (Social Network) still has a teeny tiny edge in the critics polls and...he's due for a win having been snubbed for Se7en, Fight Club, etc.

See?   It's all muddled.  And the voters don't like it to be muddled.  They like for there to be a clear "BEST."  They like for one film to sweep everything.  The "big" awards rarely get split between big films. Literally, the thinking is...we've got to make sure that we vote a stand out.  

And Colin Firth WILL win Best Actor for King's Speech.  Bet it.  But, Aaron Sorkin WILL win for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Social Network. (you can bet that one too).

Ugh!! This year is soooo tricky.

Thankfully, I have come across a much better, more interesting, and more fun way of doing Oscar balloting.  If you have an office pool to set up or are hosting a party, you may want to consider doing this.

Step One: Print out Oscar ballots for your guests/office mates.

Now here's where things change.  Instead of just circling the winner in sharpie, writing your name at the top, and then "counting" to see who got the most categories right, do a "lean" vs. "lock" points system.

Here's how "lean" vs. "lock" works.

For every category, you have two options.  After you circle who you think will win, you designate it a "Lean" which means "Eh, I think they'll win" aka. "I'm leaning towards them" or a "Lock" meaning "I feel confident that they will win" aka. "They are a lock."

For every "Lean" that you get right, you get 1 point.  For every "Lock" that you get right, you get 2 points.
However, for every "Lean" that you get wrong, you lose 1 point. For every "Lock" that you get wrong, you lose 2 points.

The person with the highest points total wins.

Now, here's where the debate comes in. I have seen Lean/Locks that require voters to choose a winner in every category.  I have seen Lean/Locks that allow you to not make a prediction for every category.  For me, the latter way feels like cheating or at the very least is a pussy move.  So, I won't be playing that way.  But, I'll leave it up to you to decide. Cowards.

Oscars are Sunday, Feb 27 at 8:00.  But, the Red Carpet goes live at 7:00.  Which... I could you NOT watch the carpet?  Scoff and please.

And, finally, my Oscar prediction picks will be up on the blog by Wednesday (with Lock/Leans assigned).  Want to play me?  The prize can be bragging rights.  Or beer.


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