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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2014 Annual Oscar Whoo-Whoo Thingy

With the coming spring is a perpetual event over which we all salivate hungrily in anticipation, procuring salty snacks and drinks, hiring babysitters, pump up with predictions and insightful analysis, and after which we go all go our separate ways and discuss for weeks on end, perhaps until June’s arrival, musing on this celebratory bonfire of artists embodying the multifaceted energies of human problems.

Inside Llewyn Davis

But enough about Wrestlemania.

Rather, it’s Philomania that’s runnin’ wild. The 86th Annual Academy Awards ceremony is this Sunday. In line with how wonks try to perfect a science applied to election predictions, Oscar bloggers and prognosticators continue to have a fun time going over the formula for what will win Best Picture, studying the timing of ballots in relation to the unpredictable atomic evolution of buzz, the impact of critical circles, guilds, the Oscars’ drunk kid-brother the Golden Globes, and what happens across the Atlantic with the BAFTAs. Last year was on a suspenseful track as, beginning in September 2012, Argo was hands down favorite with its premiere in Toronto and Telluride, its spot usurped by David O. Russell’s bipolar romantic comedy Silver Linings Playbook, which was itself tossed aside when Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln proved to not be the schmaltz many predicted but rather one of the filmmaker’s most sophisticated and masterfully woven films, and reaching a peak of excitement with Kathryn Bigelow’s unnerving and stark CIA procedural Zero Dark Thirty–which would win 2012′s first Best Picture prize from the New York Film Critics. Then a controversy sparked by cinematic illiteracy torpedoed Bigelow’s chances, people complained that Lincoln was too austere, and Argo, a fine but hardly extraordinary work of plot-driven proficiency steered by Ben Affleck’s affable direction, swept everything–the smaller critics’ groups, the Globes, the guilds, the BAFTAs. And so a good movie would blemish its legacy by somehow besting a half-dozen more deserving pictures by Oscar night’s end. Not that I at all cared (whatever, I was pissed off; I mean how does Argo beat Tony Kushner’s impeccable work in the adapted screenplay category; total bullshit. But I digress).

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