The Oscar Project
The awards are this evening and it's time to look at the order of when the awards will be presented. As of this writing, no official announcement has been made about the order of presentation, but based on last year's order, here is the order I anticipate the awards being handed out. Don't forget to join The Oscar Project on Discord and be a part of the live conversation during the awards this evening.
Actor in a Supporting Sole
Animated Feature Film
Animated Short Film
Live Action Short Film
Documentary Short Subject
Actress in a Supporting Role
Makeup and Hairstyling
International Feature Film
Actor in a Leading Role
Actress in a Leading Role
Tomorrow is the big day, and I sat down this morning to make my official predictions for who is going to win at the Oscars tomorrow night. I printed out a free ballot from Vanity Fair that has all the categories on one sheet and have included a copy below. Print out your own ballot from the Vanity Fair website and play along. Leave a comment below with how many you got right.
I hope everyone had a great week and got to see some fun new movies, or old movies. With round 3 running a little over the planned end date, I decided to let the quarterfinals go an extra few days as well. That also condenses the semifinal and finals down so we'll be all wrapped up before the end of the month.
Let's do a quick recap of the quarterfinals.
Our overall #1 seed continues to dominate the bracket with a near shutout against #9 Norman Bates who was only able to garner a single vote in the quarterfinal first match up. The Dark Lord of the Sith will face off against #4 Hannibal Lecter who handily took down #12 Pennywise in quarterfinal match up number 2.
The other half of our final four consists of two of the baddest comic book villains of all time. First up is #2 The Joker who soundly defeated #23 The Predator. Taking on the forever smiling clown is #19 Thanos who narrowly defeated #27 Gollum in a vote that literally went back and forth all week. It was a good run for the little ring thief, but in the end, we have a DC vs. Marvel match up for a place in the final round.
The second to last vote it live so get your semifinal votes in now to see who will take each other on in the final round next week!
Don't forget to watch the Oscars this Sunday night and find out who the big winners are. I will be providing a full update of the results next week following the ceremony.
After more than a year away, I have finally been able to go see two films in the theater in recent weeks and I can't express how much I missed that experience.
I didn't think I would have missed it as much as I did, but it truly was something I had taken for granted for my entire life. Until recently, I had never been a regular theater goer. I would pop into the nearest multiplex for big event films like Star Wars or Avengers, sometimes for midnight screenings. The time I went to the most movies in the theater was probably in high school where my friends and I would check out a new movie once a month or so, before walking to the bowling alley next door on a Friday night to pass the time. I couldn't tell you what most of those movies were now, but the experience remains in my head.
Back then, over 20 years ago now, we took that ability to congregate for granted. It never crossed our self-focused teen brains that we would be stuck at home for months on end, only able to go to the grocery store and having to conduct our schooling from home. Looking at this experience through this lens, that's one of the things I fear the most, that the high schoolers and college kids have lost the opportunity to find out who they are through these shared experiences like going to the movies on a Friday night with their friends.
Don't get me wrong, I've been watching movies, probably more in the last year than at any time in my recent memory. I've watched films that have made me laugh out loud, and many more that have made me stop in my tracks and think about parts of this world I was naive to. Films have taken me so many places in the last year and I'm glad that one of them has finally been out of my house and back to a theater.
Yes, it sucks to have to sit there in the dark with a mask on the whole time, but if that's what it takes, I'm willing to do it. Both the films I went to see had small audiences for my screenings, no more than 10 people in either one.
Minari was my first foray back to the theater. I went to an open cineplex on a Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, not quite sure what to expect. When I go to the theater by myself, I don't usually get snacks, but this was a special occasion so I treated myself to a popcorn and soft drink. I felt a little like I was getting away with something during the times I took my mask down to eat and drink.
If you've seen Minari, you know there are a few good laughs provided by the young boy in the film, one in particular involving his grandmother. I had heard about this sequence before seeing the film, but still laughed out loud in the theater when it happened, and I was so pleased to hear other perfect strangers laughing aloud with me. It was a shared experience with these people I didn't know, and probably never will, but it was ours in that moment.
Earlier this week, I continued my progress through this year's Best Picture nominees with Promising Young Woman. Again, I had heard a few things about this film from various commentators, but was completely blown away by seeing it on a big screen. The absolute care with which it was constructed showed exactly why it should be considered among the top films of the year. I would even venture to put it in my top five for 2020, even though I didn't see it until 2021.
All this is to say that I don't think the theaters will be gone any time soon. Yes, some are closed, and smaller theaters may struggle even more because of the pandemic, but there are some films that just need to be experienced on a big screen. I would love to see Nomadland again and this time on a big screen. I will certainly be reserving a seat in a theater for Black Widow when it (FINALLY) comes out later this summer (yes, I'm still a sucker for superhero movies).
At the same time, I appreciate the other avenues that are now available to the consumer for accessing these films. As of this writing, I've seen 25 of the 56 nominated films for this year's Academy Awards, a record for me before the awards ceremony. This is also the third biggest tally for me in a single Oscar year, behind only 2016 (93.55% watched) and 2017 (54.24% watched). I'm hoping to top 50% before Sunday, and should be able to hit at least six or seven of the Best Picture nominees, almost completely rounding out that category.
Don't forget, if you want to vote for Best Picture yourself, check out my post from earlier this week to do so.
Leave me a note in the comments below with your best movie theater memory or tell me the last movie you saw in a theater (if you can remember!).
So last week got away from me a bit and Round 3 extended a few days past when I had planned to shut it down. The good news is that there were a few ties that had to be broken today and finally were.
Let's do a quick recap before getting to your votes in the quarterfinals!
We started off with the Star Wars Sith head to head match-up of #1 Darth Vader and #48 Emperor Palpatine. While I was not surprised to see the original Star Wars villain take down his master, it actually ended up being a little closer than I anticipated. Facing off against the dark lord in black will be #9 Norman Bates from Hitchcock's classic Psycho after he narrowly defeated #25 Michael Myers.
In the biggest landslide of round 3, #4 Hannibal Lecter's opponent, #20 Jason Voorhees, was again only able to garner one vote, which I feel makes Hopkins's character a strong candidate to make it through to the semifinals later this week. The only thing standing in the cannibal's way is everyone's favorite clown, #12 Pennywise who completed a decent upset over #5 Bruce the Shark.
In the bottom half of the bracket, #2 The Joker ended #47 Hans Gruber's Cinderella run from the first round. Batman's arch nemesis will face off against #23 The Predator who narrowly defeated #7 The Terminator in the round's second upset.
And our last match-up in this round includes two lower seeds advancing. The first is #19 Thanos taking out #3 Anton Chigurh. This is our second top five villain to fall out of the bracket this round. Completing the underdogs in this final match-up is #27 Gollum. Perhaps we should call this the Jewelry Bowl since Gollum covets a ring and Thanos covets gem-like stones.
As we near the end of this tournament, it's more important than ever to make sure your votes are cast. I also have a vote going for the Best Picture Oscar race this year so please head over to that post and vote if you haven't already. If you want to find out about the new rounds as they are available, please consider signing up for the Oscar Project newsletter.
With the 93rd Oscars just one week away, it's time to do a little Best Picture voting of our own. I have set up a quick poll to gather votes for the 8 films nominated for Best Picture this year.
The Oscars uses a ranked choice voting method to choose the film awarded Best Picture. I would probably do a terrible job of explaining the process of ranked choice voting, so I'll let the website Ballotpedia.com do it. I THINK I know enough to be dangerous in putting this together, but I can probably figure out how to catalog the votes to determine the winner the same way the Academy does it.
So on to the poll below. I have all eight Best Picture nominees listed below, in alphabetical order to avoid any bias. Please rank all eight films with your first choice being 1 and last choice being 8. Don't worry if you haven't seen some (or even all) of them, you can still vote. Many of the Academy members, all busy working on movies of their own, don't watch all of the nominees but are still eligible to vote.
I also included a question below to see if readers would be interested in voting on the rest of the categories. There are a bunch to choose from, and normally only members of each individual branch of the Academy, but since we don't have branches, I would allow everyone to vote in all categories.
Get your votes in and share this with your friends. I want to get as many votes in here as possible.
I hope you are having a great weekend. Today begin Round 3 of the April Villains Challenge here on the site. There were a number of close calls here and I have to say I was a little surprised how some of these match-ups turned out, but you have created several awesome contests this round with your votes!
To recap Round 2, I was not surprised to see #1 Darth Vader take down #32 Alonzo Harris or #48 Emperor Palpatine take out #18 Keyzer Söze. This sets up a master vs. apprentice face off in Round 3. Michael Myers (25) did surprise in the ease with which he took down Fatal Attraction's Alex Forrest (8). We'll see if he clears #9 Norman Bates who vanquished #24 Lord Voldemort in a close match.
The T-1000 (29) only pulled down one vote and proved no match for #4 Hannibal Lecter. Everyone's favorite cannibal will face off against #20 Jason Voorhees, who narrowly defeated #13 Tyler Durden. The middle part of the bracket continues with some close match-ups with #5 Bruce the Shark narrowly defeating #28 Calvin Candie. Bruce will take on #12 Pennywise who also completed a narrow win over #21 John Doe.
Continuing down the line, The Joker (2) soundly defeated #31 Freddy Krueger and will face off against the winner of the Hans Bowl, Hans Gruber. As the 47th seed coming in, Gruber is the second lowest seed, only higher than Emperor Palpatine. The other Terminator villain, the OG Terminator (7) easily took down #26 Immortan Joe and will face off against #23 Predator who soundly defeated #10 Mr. Potter. This is my favorite match-up of the month so far, with Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator character paired with the Predator, a film in which he appeared as the hero.
Nearing the bottom of the bracket, next up we have #3 Anton Chigurh with a comfortable win over Nurse Ratched. He will take on the Thanos (19) after the Mad Titan completed a solid win over #14 Leatherface. Our last match-up consists of #27 Gollum, who beat #6 Amon Goeth by a single vote, and #22 Annie Wilkes, who ousted The Wicked Witch of the West (11) by a 3 vote margin.
There were many more votes in round 2 than round 1 and I would love to get even more in this round. If you want to find out about the new rounds as they are available, please consider signing up for the Oscar Project newsletter.
In my second monthly installment of the film book spotlight, I am highlighting a book I just got last month that is a great addition to any cinephile's library.
This month I am highlighting the 2017 book Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies by Andrew DeGraff and A.D. Jameson. I picked this book up with a gift card I received for my birthday last month (thanks to my brother for that!) and absolutely love this book.
The concept of the book is simple. The maps of each film plot the main action that occurs throughout the film (or films in the case of the Lord of the Rings trilogy). Each character (or in some cases vehicle) is represented by a different colored line on the map and you can see where different characters' lines intersect and sometimes even travel together.
The maps themselves are not drawn to any real scale and often bring together parts of the films that are not geographically close, in the interest of fitting the entire map on one page. The perfect example of this comes early in the book with King Kong (the original 1933 version). Kong's map features an enormous Skull Island in the foreground, dominating and dwarfing the island of Manhattan that fills the rest of the map, and showing the relative importance of Kong's home in the film.
My favorite thing about some of these maps is how creatively they address some oddities in the films they capture. The map for The Wizard of Oz features a dull brown corner which covers Dorothy's home in Kansas while most of the rest of the map is in the vibrant colors that make up Oz. The Alien map is one of the simplest in that 90% of the action of the film is contained within the Nostromo.
Two of my favorites are for The Breakfast Club and Back to the Future. In the former, all the action takes place in the Shermer High School, but there are so many little nuances that are captured in the map, it's fun to find the little details. From all five detentionees (is that a word?) running the halls trying to stay away from Principal Vernon to Bender's famous exit across the football field, each little piece of the film is there.
When it comes to another 1980s favorite, Back to the Future, there is the added complexity of time travel. The film takes place in the same town, but it could be two completely different locales for how different they look. The art here is handled well by creating two separate maps, one for 1985 and one for 1955, connected by Marty's travel from one to the other. This is also once instance where an inanimate object (the Delorean) get a separate line. Again, subtle details make all the difference here from the time (1:19) displayed on the Twin Pines Mall sign to Biff's car sideways against the manure truck in 1955.
My one and only criticism of this book is that some of the maps are so detailed that it's hard to fully see all the hidden gems they contain while some of the line colors blend together and make it a little tough to figure out who's who. This is a small complaint, but one I hope will be remedied if and when the authors create another volume
If you missed last month's book post, check out my article on Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen and grab your copy today!
I feel like I keep referencing holidays here in these posts, but with the Easter holiday behind us, "official" holidays are few and far between for a while, at least here in the States. I'm hoping that movie releases are not the same and that we keep getting a steadier stream of new films hitting theaters as things open up a bit more.
But back to our challenge for this month, finding out the best movie villain. Round 1 is in the books and for the most part, it fell according to the seeding form the Insider.com list I used. One notable lower seed that won was 47th seed Hans Gruber, played brilliantly by Alan Rickman in Die Hard, taking out 18th seed alien, from the Alien films. The man won fell from Nakatomi Plaza will face off against Christoph Waltz's wonderfully nasty Nazi officer Hans Landa from Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds in what I will be calling the Hans Bowl.
The other "upset" if one can really call it that was Emperor Palpatine taking out Phyllis Dietrichson form Double Indemnity. One clearly has a much bigger following which is likely why the evil emperor took this round, but looking ahead a bit, if Palpatine can take down Keyser Söze from The Usual Suspects, he will likely face off against number one seed, his apprentice, Darth Vader. That of course assumes Vader will take down Alonzo Harris, which is no given, but a pretty strong bet if I ever saw one.
As with round 1, the survey is embedded in this post below, but if you have trouble, you can still access it through Google Forms. The bracket is also available below, but also on Challonge.com. Get your votes in to keep your favorite baddies in the running.
One quick note. Challonge would allow me to enter percentages in the scoring, but did not carry them through to the view below, thus why each match-up only adds to 99% instead of 100%.
Happy April Fools Day everyone. I wish I had a good joke to play on you, but I want to get serious about this next challenge. With last month's Pixar challenge, we got to focus on a bunch of feel good movies that are pretty much adored by everyone. It was a hard challenge simply because all of Pixar's movies are so good. Even the bad ones are really good!
So this month, we're going a little darker and focusing on finding the Best Movie Villain of all time. I am using a different list this time for seeding purposes. The list in question was compiled by Insider.com in October of 2020 and includes their 50 best movie villains. (Check out the full list) Looking at the list, I have a few complaints, but it was one of the better lists I came across and includes a good cross section of baddies from movies as recent as the Avengers films and Get Out to films from the 1940s and 50s (Double Indemnity and The Night of the Hunter).
I also had to make a few changes to this month's format because of the bigger number of entries. The bracket site I was using only allowed for 32 entries without paying for a subscription while SurveyMonkey only allowed 10 questions per survey before hitting a pay wall. Fortunately there are free options for both of these. The survey is now embedded in this post below through Google Forms while the bracket itself is visible on Challonge.com. If you have any trouble with the form below, you can open it in a separate tab here.
Thank you for participating and may the best (worst?) villain win.
I'm just a film buff who wants to watch great movies. Where else to find the best, than the list of those nominated by the Academy each year?