A friend recently asked mewho I think will win the Super Bowl. Myresponse was: “The Super Bowl? It’s thisSunday? Are the Cowboys playing?” Obviously, I am not planning to watch thegame on Sunday (although I heard Madonna will be performing). Lately, my focus has been diverted to my ownversion of the Super Bowl: the Oscars. Some guys are into fantasy football; I’m into predicting the Oscars.
My earliest memory of theOscars was in 1991 when Beauty and the Beast was nominated for BestPicture. I was 8 years old then livingin Southern California and my school took a field trip to watch the film at theEl Capitan Theater in Hollywood. It was perhaps the first time that I hadactually seen a film that was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture and Ihoped it would win. Instead, anotherfilm about a beauty and a beast would eventually win (Silence of theLambs). Since then, I was hooked on theOscars.
Fast forward several yearslater and I would find myself a student in film school attending friends’ Oscarparties still debating who will win. Iwould religiously read Entertainment Weekly’s coverage of the Oscars andfrequent many Oscar message boards and blogs especially Sasha Stone’sOscarWatch site (now called Awards Daily). I became obsessed. Before theAcademy cracked down on unofficial Oscar-viewing parties, I used to attend theAlamo Drafthouse’s annual Oscar party. For two years in a row, I won their prediction contest and was asked togo to the stage to accept a fake Oscar and give a speech.
This may all seem silly, Iknow, but what makes predicting the Oscars so fun and interesting is that itopens a dialogue about a film’s merits. Just because a film wins an Oscar, does it validate it as the best filmof the year? As I’ve come to realizefirsthand as the director of a screenplay competition, judging art at any levelis, by nature, extremely subjective. Themeasure of an artist’s talent is not subject to the outcome of a competition oran Academy Award but it sure is fun to debate about it.
So who will win the SuperBowl? Unless Meryl Streep is playingquarterback this Sunday, I have no idea. In the meantime, I’ll eagerly await mySuper Bowl on February 26th.
In the weeks leading up tothe Oscars, I’ll reveal my picks for each of the categories. This week, I’ll give my predictions for thewriting categories.
Will Win: The Descendants should take this but thedream team of Zaillian and Sorkin for Moneyball might be enough to upset.
Will Win: Midnight in Paris. The Artist could win here but I think Hazanavicius has a better shot forBest Director and the Academy probably can’t resist giving Woody Allen anotherOscar even though he probably won’t show up.
–Matt Dy, Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Director