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    1. Midweek Movie Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any movies recently you want to discuss? Any films you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      4 votes
    2. What would have gotten nominated had there been ten nominees each year

      Switching gears from last week’s post. After 2010, the Academy decided to switch from having a set 10 list of nominees to having a sliding scale. Meaning that each movie had to get at least a...

      Switching gears from last week’s post.

      After 2010, the Academy decided to switch from having a set 10 list of nominees to having a sliding scale. Meaning that each movie had to get at least a certain percentage of number one votes in order to secure a Best Picture nomination. This would lead to anywhere from 5 to 10 Best Picture nominees. But the math made it so that only 8 or 9 movies would get a Picture nomination. This was the rule until this past year (when CODA won). Why did they decide to switch to a sliding scale? No one knows for sure. Some speculate it was because indie darling The Winter’s Bone made it in over box office hit The Town. Others point to complaints from Academy member’s who couldn’t think of 10 movies to nominate.

      Ever since then though, those of us into awards have wondered what would have made it in had the Oscar’s kept that set 10 line-up. Here’s what I think would have gotten in. I think some of these might be shocking to some of you.

      2011:

      Already in: The Artist, The Descendants, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, The Help, Moneyball, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, War Horse, and The Tree of Life

      Next in line: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

      Other possibility: Bridesmaids

      The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was nominated at the DGA, something usually reserved for movies in the top 5. It was also nominated at PGA, the combo of which usually results in a Best Picture nomination. It also ended up winning Film Editing, which are usually Picture nominees.

      Bridesmaids is another possibility, having been nominated for Original Screenplay and Supporting Actress as well as getting nominated for PGA and SAG Ensemble.

      2012:

      Already in: Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, D’jango Unchained, Les Mis, Zero Dark Thirty, Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild

      Next in line: Skyfall

      With a nomination at PGA plus winning the BAFTA for Best British Film along with several tech nominations, considerable critical acclaim and a billion dollars, makes Skyfall an easy choice for Best Picture.

      2013:

      Already in: 12 Years A Slave, Gravity, American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska, Captain Phillips, Her, Philomena

      Next in line: Blue Jasmine

      Woody Allen’s last Oscar success, getting nominations for Original Screenplay, Lead Actress, and Supporting Actress. There’s nothing else that would have made Picture, and this made PGA.

      2014:

      Already in: Birdman, Boyhood, The Imitation Game, The Grand Budapest Hotel, American Sniper, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash, Selma

      Next in line: Foxcatcher and Interstellar

      Other possibilities: Mr Turner, Nightcrawler, Gone Girl

      With nominations in Director, Lead Actor, Supporting Actor, and Original Screenplay, Foxcatcher is an easy 9th place. In fact it’s odd that it missed a Best Picture nomination to begin with.

      The tricky part with this year is what came in 10th. Nightcrawler and Gone Girl had similar awards trajectories including getting nominations at PGA (although Gone Girl was helped by being a box office hit). They ultimately both missed crucial nominations. Nightcrawler missed Lead Actor for Jake Gyllenhaal (in favor of Bradley Cooper in American Sniper) and Gone Girl missed a nomination in Adapted Screenplay (in favor of Inherent Vice). Interstellar recieved many technical nomintations and was a big hit with audiences, which distinguishes itself from Mr. Turner which recieved the same amount of nominations.

      2015:

      Already in: Spotlight, The Revenant, The Big Short, Mad Mad: Fury Road, The Martian, Room, Brooklyn, Bridge of Spies

      Next in Line: Carol and Star Wars: The Force Awakens

      Other Possibilties: Straight Outta Compton, Ex Machina, Sicario, Inside Out, The Hateful Eight

      This was another year where the 9th place was very clear (with several technical nomiations as well as nominations in Lead Actress, Supporting Actress, and Adapted Screenplay for Carol).

      But 10th place was muddy. All of these movies have their own reasons for making Picture (Original Screenplay nominations for Straight Outta Compton, Ex Machina, and Inside Out and several tech nominations for Sicario and The Hateful Eight). But I think what would have made the cut was Star Wars. It got several tech nominations, including a nomination in Film Editing which is usually only reserved for Picture nominees. As well as incredible hype, box office prowess, and pretty good reviews. Star Wars would have distinguished itself while the other more typical prestige contenders would split the vote.

      2016:

      Already in: Moonlight, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Hidden Figures, Lion, Fences, Hell or High Water

      Next in line: Jackie

      There wasn’t really an alternative here as PGA and WGA were busy nominating Deadpool. And movies like Nocturnal Animals and 20th Century Women severely underperformed.

      Plus, Fox Searchlight was backing this film and they’re usually powerhouse campaigners.

      2017:

      Already in: The Shape of Water, Three Billboards, Get Out, Lady Bird, Dunkirk, Darkest Hour, The Post, Phantom Thread, Call Me By Your Name

      Next in line: I, Tonya

      Other possibilities: Baby Driver, Blade Runner 2049

      I, Tonya got nominated for Lead and Supporting Actress and Film Editing. Baby Driver got nominated for the two sound categories and Film Editing (same nominations as Ford vs Ferrari) and Blade Runner got nominated in a lot of tech categories and won Cinematography, which are usually only Best Picture nominees.

      However, I, Tonya had a lot going for it. Including the lack of genre bias (as opposed to Baby Driver and Blade Runner), and a Supporting Actress win for Allison Janney.

      2018:

      Already in: Green Book, Roma, The Favourite, Blackkklansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born, Vice, Black Panther

      Next in line: If Beale Street Could Talk and Cold War

      Other possibilities: First Man, Mary Poppins Returns

      Beale Street is an easy 9th, having been nominated for Adapted Screenplay and Original Score, and having won Supporting Actress.

      10th could go a couple of ways. Cold War was nominated for Director and Cinematography (as well as International). It had great critical reception, won an award at Cannes, and Amazon ended up prioritizing it after Beauitful Boy kind of flopped.

      First Man bombed at the box office and severely underperformed with nominations. Missing things that were supposedly locks, including Cinematography, Film Editing, Adapted Screenplay, and Supporting Actress and even missing Original Score in which it was supposedly the front-runner (which is what led to Black Panther winning). Even then it got a few noms and maybe could have limped it’s way to the 10th spot.

      Mary Poppins Returns ended up underperforming throughout the season. But unlike First Man, Mary Poppins Returns was a box office hit, and only missed one nomination (Lead Actress). There’s definitely an argument to be made that this was 10th, and I think it would come quite close to making it.

      2019:

      Already in: Parasite, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman, Joker, Jojo Rabbit, Marriage Story, Little Women, Ford vs Ferrari

      Next in line: Knives Out

      Other possibility: The Two Popes.

      Knives Out got nomianted at PGA and was nominated for Original Screenplay. It was also a box office hit at a time when the Oscar’s were moving towards nominating more of those.

      The Two Popes was nominated for Lead Actor, Supporting Actor, and Adapted Screenplay. But, Netflix struggles with more than two movies at a time (as we’ve seen in recent years with them missing Picture with Tick Tick Boom and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom). And Knives Out had more passion.

      2020: Already in: Nomadland, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Minari, Promising Young Woman, Mank, Sound of Metal, The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah

      Next in line: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and News of the World

      Other possibilities: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, One Night in Miami

      Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, while critically liked, had incredibly low audience scores. It ended up missing a crucial Adapted Screenaply nomination. One Night in Miami was really weak throughout the season and Amazon ended up switching all their resources to Sound of Metal. So I don’t think either of these films would make the Picture line-up at the end of the day.

      Borat got nominated for Adapted Screenplay (over Ma Rainey) and Supporitng Actress. It was also nominated at PGA and won the Comedy Globe. Maria Bakalova was also the runner-up in Supporting Actress. Borat was a big hit, everyone was talking about it, and it hit the zeitgeist in a way that few streaming films do. It was such a strong reflection of the COVID era, I can’t imagine it misses Picture at the end of the day.

      News of the World had a lot of below-the-line support. And while it didn’t have a lot of passion, it was better liked than Ma Rainey and One Night in Miami, at least by audiences. It scratched a crowd-pleasing oscar bait itch that not many films did during this time.

      And that’s it.

      3 votes
    3. Midweek Movie Free Talk

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Have you watched any movies recently you want to discuss? Any films you want to recommend or are hyped about? Feel free to discuss anything here.

      Please just try to provide fair warning of spoilers if you can.

      8 votes
    4. What would have been nominated for Best Picture if there were five nominees each year

      The academy expanded the line-up after snubbing The Dark Knight in Picture in favor of Oscar bait The Reader. They received so much backlash that they reverted to nominating 10 nominees each year,...

      The academy expanded the line-up after snubbing The Dark Knight in Picture in favor of Oscar bait The Reader. They received so much backlash that they reverted to nominating 10 nominees each year, something that hadn’t been done since the 40s.

      While there are now multiple Best Picture nominees each year, each year there are a designated “Top 5.” As in the films that would have made the cut pre-expansion. Here’s a list of possible Top 5 movies, there’s a lot of argument about which movie was which but this is generally what is accepted/kind of what I think.

      2009: The Hurt Locker, Avatar, Inglorious Basterds, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, Up in the Air

      All 5 movies were nominated for Director. 4 of the 5 were nominated for Film Editing (another mark of a top 5 film) and all except Avatar were nominated for Acting and Screenplay. Avatar got nominated in almost all the technical categories.

      2010: The King’s Speech, The Social Network, The Fighter, Black Swan, True Grit

      Barely misses the cut: Inception

      Inception, unfortunately, undeperformed with nominations missing both Directing and Film Editing, and was never in contention for acting nominations. It misses in favor of True Grit which was a late-breaker and over-performed in nominations.

      2011: The Artist, The Descendants, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, The Help

      Barely misses: Moneyball

      The Help arguably underperformed with nominations but it was such a big hit that I’d imagine it would still make Best Picture.

      2012: Argo, Lincoln, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook, D’jango Unchained

      Misses: Zero Dark Thirty, Les Miserables

      Zero Dark Thirty started dying out throughout the season, and Les Mis was more of a British thing. D’jango had a lot of passion and ended up becoming the front-runner in Original Screenplay and Supporting Actor.

      2013: 12 Years A Slave, Gravity, American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club

      Misses: Nebraska, Captain Phillips

      Dallas Buyers Club over-performed and got nominated for Film Editing and Original Screenplay when it wasn’t expected to.

      2014: Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, American Sniper

      Misses: The Theory of Everything

      Similar thing with Les Mis where Theory of Everything was more of a British thing.

      2015: Spotlight, The Revenant, The Big Short, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian

      Misses: Room

      The Martian missed director but it had more nominations and it was a hit at the box office. Although Room probably was pretty close.

      2016: Moonlight, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge

      Misses: Hidden Figures

      Hidden Figures maybe would have made the line-up considering it was such a big hit. But Hacksaw won too much stuff and Mel Gibson had a strong comeback narrative. Gross.

      2017: The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Dunkirk, Get Out, Lady Bird

      There is no real alternative to these five.

      2018: Green Book, Roma, The Favourite, Blackkklansman, Bohemian Rhapsody

      Misses: Vice, A Star is Born

      Bohemian Rhapsody was a phenomenon and won four Oscars. It would have gotten a Best Picture nomination easily.

      2019: Parasite, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman, Joker

      Jojo Rabbit was close. But four of these got 10 nominations and Parasite won Best Picture.

      2020: Nomadland, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Promising Young Woman, Minari, Mank

      Misses: The Father

      2021: The Power of the Dog, Belfast, Dune, West Side Story, King Richard

      Misses: Licorice Pizza

      At the time of nominations CODA would not have made the cut. It is the first Best Picture winner to be bottom 5.

      5 votes