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March 4th, 2018 - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
Steve's Livejournal

This morning, "J" and I did some last minute preparations for our Oscars party. As usual, I give her more credit for that than I do. We even started a fire in the fireplace, for the first time this winter.

This afternoon, I went to the usual Sunday brunch. The main reason I didn't skip it this time, to get more party preparations done, is that "C" needed a ride to our house. (I thought "N" would need a ride too, but she arranged her own transportation.) The usual people were there: "M", N, the usual other "J", and C.

On the way back to the car after brunch adjourned, I picked up one more party item that we had run out of: popcorn. To spare C the long walk to my atypically distant parking place, I drove back to Broadway to pick her up before heading home.

Our party started during the red carpet show. I missed most of that rushing around doing further last-minute preparations. In addition to J and I, and N and C, yet another "J" arrived later with her husband "B". ("T" spent most of the day in Bellevue though.)

The Oscars show itself was pretty decent. Jimmy Kimmel did a good show. The Academy clearly responded to the recent "Oscars so white" complaints; this year it was a model of inclusion. They also addressed the "Me Too" and "Time's Up" movements, noting that Harvey Weinstein was only the second member ever ejected from the Academy, and recognizing women a lot more than usual. The spectacle was impressive too. I don't recall any slip-ups, but after last year I'm sure they were very much on guard.

The acceptance speeches mostly weren't very memorable. Guillermo del Toro spoke twice (for best director and best picture), and said some good stuff. Frances McDormand concluded her speech with two cryptic words: "inclusion rider" (explained in the link).

One clever gimmick this year was meant to keep people from running too long on their speeches: they offered a Jet Ski to the person with the shortest speech. It seemed to work to an extent; fewer people were hinted off stage with music.

As usual, we had ballots. I was really surprised how well I did on them – 16 out of 24, after seeing only one best picture nominee, and only one other film with a nomination.

It was fun. I'm glad J and I decided to have the party, even without having seen many of the films. And of course I'm pleased that some of our friends were able to attend.

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This is my version of this blank Oscars ballot with my picks and predictions filled in, along with the final results. In addition, I added the sequence of the awards as presented on the broadcast (assuming my notes were correct), below the award names.

I adjusted a couple of my votes after I originally posted my predictions. In both cases I switched from the right guess to a wrong one. I had guessed that Dunkirk would win for film editing, because war movies tend to do well in that category, but I changed my guess because one of our party guests said its editing didn't impress her. And based solely on "Remember Me" being a song from a Pixar movie, I guessed that it would win, but changed my prediction to "Mystery of Love" after hearing them performed on the show.

So, I guessed 16 of 24 categories correctly, which is pretty good for having seen only two of the nominated films, and I would have picked 18 if I hadn't second guessed myself.

I added new feature to this year's version of the ballot:  green  and  red  highlights to indicate which categories I guessed correctly and incorrectly. Also, the number below each category name is the awards' broadcast order.

Click here to view the table. It's fairly large.Collapse )

The categories and 2018 nominees are listed in the order used on the Oscars broadcast nominee list (a link that will probably not work for long after the broadcast). They change the order occasionally (including this year), and they mess with it just enough to make copying the nominees into this ballot a manual process every year. Formal titles for categories (with a few exceptions) are from the IMDB Oscars page (a link that's less likely to break).

Update: I've added a version of this page that includes the nominees in the order the awards were presented on Sunday night's show: ballot with final results, in presentation order.

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