Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscar recap

So here is my recap of my correct picks and my incorrect picks. I did very well, but I stand by my opinions and everything I got wrong was a mistake on the part of the Academy, not on my part. Just sayin'.

My correct picks

Supporting actor
My pick: Christian Bale
Winner: Christian Bale

Leading actress
My pick: Natalie Portman
Winner: Natalie Portman

Supporting actress
My pick: Melissa Leo
Winner: Melissa Leo

Art direction
My pick: Alice in Wonderland
Winner: Alice in Wonderland

Costume design
My pick: Alice in Wonderland
Winner: Alice in Wonderland

Documentary short
My pick: Strangers No More
Winner: Strangers No More

Original score
My pick: Trent Reznor (The Social Network)
Winner: Trent Reznor (The Social Network)

Writing (adapted screenplay)
My pick: The Social Network
Winner: The Social Network

Writing (original screenplay)
My pick: The King's Speech
Winner: The King's Speech

My incorrect, sad, pathetic, loser picks

Best picture
My pick: 127 Hours
Winner: The King's Speech

Best actor
My pick: James Franco
Winner: Colin Firth

My pick: Black Swan
Winner: Inception

My pick: Cohen Brothers (True Grit)
Winner: Tom Hooper (The King's Speech)

Documentary feature
My pick: Restrepo
Winner: Inside Job

Film editing
My pick: 127 Hours
Winner: The Social Network

Visual effects
My pick: Alice in Wonderland
Winner: Inception

My Oscar picks - now more scientific than ever!

Every year at Oscar season, I love to try to predict the winners. Every year, I try to correctly balance all the variables for each film — did audiences like it? did critics like it? did I like it? — and then pick my favorites for each prize. But every year, I fall a little short — there are always many movies I haven't seen, so I can't weigh in completely, and besides, it's hard to choose between what you want to win, and what you think will win.

This year is different. For the first time in my 31 years, this time I've seen all 10 best-picture nominees, a fact that makes me a little proud and a little embarrassed. But whether it's a sign that I'm on top of the popular culture, or a sign that I need some new hobbies and a life, the fact that I've seen them all helps improve my picks a little. Also helping is that this year, I have a foolproof* method: math.

*Note: May not actually be foolproof. Probably isn't foolproof.

After every movie I watched this year, I went to Rotten Tomatoes and gave it a personal rating out of five stars. RT stores that info, so I can go back and remember my exact impression of each movie after seeing it. It also gives a percentage average for how critics liked each movie, and how audiences liked it. My formula is simple: I convert my star rating to a percentage and then come up with the average overall score for each movie. (You'll see what I mean, below.) I like this formula because it gives equal weight to my own rating, critics' rating, and audience ratings. Since I'm just one person, my personal opinion carries a lot more weight in this formula than the hundreds of critics and thousands of audience members, whose opinions are all diluted by each other's. Also, since I'm working off of star ratings, my rating is much more volatile — the difference between 4 stars and 3.5 stars is 10%. So while my pick probably won't be the ultimate winner, it maintains a personal flavor while still factoring in what critics thought and what audiences thought.

OK, here's the breakdown, ranked from highest overall score (i.e., my prediction for best picture winner) to lowest. And the winner is... (You'll have to scroll down because for some reason Blogspot is reading my HTML table weird...)

TitleMy star rating out of 5My rating as a percentageCritics' ratingAudience ratingAverage rating — overall score
127 Hours4.590938890⅓
Toy Story 3480999190
The Social Network480978988⅔
True Grit480958787⅓
The Fighter480909086⅔
The King's Speech3.570959586⅔
The Kids Are All Right480957382⅔
Black Swan3.570888681⅓
Winter's Bone3.570957479⅔