Friday, November 17, 2017

Deep(ish) thoughts on Oscar watching; Making a list, checking it twice....


This morning I started my day in a way that I hadn't in quite some time. At Awards Daily. My love of Awards Daily (then Oscarwatch) began back in 2000/2001, the year I became obsessed with "Billy Elliot." I was in a transitional stage of my life, living in Omaha, NE after finishing up an acting job with Nebraska Theatre Caravan, with no money and no plan. The multiple viewings of "Billy Elliot," along with my daily, morning visits to Oscarwatch...reading about other people's accomplishments in the world of Hollywood, pushed me to pursue my dreams of acting and move to NYC.

It was interesting that the piece I read this morning was about how Oscar pundits are often wrong and rarely admit it. It also mentioned how Oscar writers rarely link to each other's work or support each other. Sasha, one of my mentors, and editor of Awards Daily, also mentions at the end of a that particularly perceptive paragraph, "adapt or die."

When it comes to my opinion on the Oscars, I often think I'm wrong, at least in terms of predictions...sometimes even my opinion of movies. Something I think this is perpetuated by my constant trips to twitter, AD, Hollywood Reporter, indiewire, etc around this time year. Sasha is right. Everyone who writes about movies and the Oscars is always so sure they are right. About everything. And if that is the case, where does my own opinion fit in. Do I have to be right to be relevant? Does it even matter?

I'm still trying to wrap my head around that last sentence though and how it applies to me. Last year was probably the most consistent I've been on the site, even (finally) buying the domain for awardswiz.com. But I haven't quite adapted. I don't have ads on this site, I no longer get paid for my work and at my best (12 Days of Christmas Catch Up and 27 Days of Oscar) still only publish around one piece a day  I do continue to write at least one or two pieces for Awards Daily per season, mostly because it gives me more clout and gets my work out to a much larger audience. But also because I want to give back in some way to the place, albeit a cyber one, that played such a large part in my own life.

Yesterday I finalized my LGBTQ block for Oxford Film Festival (if you didn't know, I'm the head programmer for that category), which means it's for better or worse, Oscar time. The reason I headed over to AD was that I wanted to see where I stood (with Sasha's predictions as a guide) in terms of the films I have actually seen. Looking at her Best Picture list and the top 5 for all acting, directing and cinematography this is where I stand:

Seen:
Dunkirk
Get Out
The Florida Project
The Big Sick
Wonder Woman
Detroit
Blade Runner 2049

Not Seen:
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Darkest Hour
Call Me By Your Name
I, Tonya
Lady Bird
Battle of the Sexes
Hostiles
Downsizing
Stronger
Breathe
Disaster Artist
Victoria & Abdul
Mudbound

Of all the films I haven't seen, I do have the ability to see "Lady Bird," "Stronger," "Victoria & Abdul" and "Mudbound." I also need/want to see "The Beguiled," "A Ghost Story," "Spiderman: Homecoming," and "Beauty and the Beast."

Several of the "not seen" films won't even be released in my neck of the woods until well into January, including the film I'm most anticipating, "Call Me By Your Name." Here's hoping Sony Pictures Classics comes through on that one a bit early. What that means for my Top 10 remains to be seen.

And then we have:
 Paul Thomas Anderson's "Phantom Thread" and Spielberg's "The Post"

Not to mention!

"Pitch Perfect 3"
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi"
"The Greatest Showman"

And beyond that, I have been sent links to several of the Oscar long/short listed foreign films and documentaries...something I love, which will also give me the ability to keepwatching/writing while I wait for the bigger contenders to make their way to me.

So, what's the game plan? That's a very good question.

For now, finish watching "Stranger Things."

And check back tomorrow when I will get a little less introspective and get down to actual Oscar business.

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