Mister Tee wrote:Oddly, except for Magilla, no one seems to have engaged the question of what's going to win best picture. Is it because everyone is dead solid certain it's Hurt Locker, or because no one cares?
I can say that with the exception of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, I want THE HURT LOCKER to win Best Picture more than any other film in Oscar history.
I have been an avid Oscar follower since 1999. That was the year I first joined this board and started absorbing all the information about the Oscars I could. Of the nominees for Best Picture that year, my favorite was THE INSIDER. While AMERICAN BEAUTY was not as bad as some of the worst winners, it certainly was a disappointment for me. The following decade was filled with more disappointment than satisfaction where Best Picture winners were concerned. I still have never seen my favorite film of the nominees win the big prize, though MILLION DOLLAR BABY, THE RETURN OF THE KING, THE DEPARTED, and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN were all second place for me in the year they won.
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN of course was a pretty rough experience. At least in all the other years, I was prepared for the coming disappointment. This loss was such a punch to the gut since I loved the film so much and the precursors made it seem like a win was very likely.
It is the BROKEBACK MOUTNAIN memory that makes me feel apprehensive about this year’s Best Picture winner. I would like to think a brilliant and important film like THE HURT LOCKER could win Best Picture despite how little money it cost to make or how many tickets it sold. All the precursors point to a very likely win, but I know anything is possible.
Best Picture right now looks like a three-way nail bitter. I do not think for a second the winner is a foregone conclusion. From the comments of Oscar followers on other blogs and even comments from the mainstream press, it seems like all three of the main possible winners have very strong fanbases. I can speak for anyone else here, but I know I am certainly not apathetic this year and am so invested in THE HURT LOCKER winning I predict I will have huge butterflies in my stomach throughout the entire Oscar broadcast.
I guess the possible reason we are not more involved in speculating about the Best Picture winner is because this whole ten nominees thing has really thrown us for a loop. We went from all being pretty good Oscar experts to being complete amateurs in regards to Best Picture. I still hope the Academy will change their mind about the ten nominees, but if the ratings are as good as everyone is predicting, something tells me we are stuck with it for awhile. For the first few years, we are all going to have to relearn the new Oscar arithmetic and unlearn all the old Oscar precedents.
For example, no Best Picture winner since 1960 (maybe even longer) has won without winning at least one award from the directing, writing, or acting categories. Even more technically impressive films like GLADIATOR or CHICAGO won an acting award. How can AVATAR possibly win when it was not even nominated for writing or acting, and even the biggest fanboys seem to agree THE HURT LOCKER is taking the director award. This precedent seems to completely sink AVATAR’s chances of winning, yet many people seem to think it will take the top prize. For all we know, they may be correct. We have yet to see what the weighted ballot will do in terms of group-think within the Academy voters. Are people really engaging in sabotage efforts against the rivals of their favorite films rather than rank the ten nominees as they honestly feel they deserve to be ranked? We may never know, but I am sure after a couple of years reports about the voting habits of Academy members will come out to let us know the new Oscars arithmetic.
Until then, this broadcast will be one of the most nerve-wracking and either jubilant or soul-crushing. In case that last sentence made you wonder: yes, I have no life.