The Art of Predicting Oscars

I got a wee bit excited on weekend when I received this e-mail:

gold-derby“Hi Satu,

Congrats for making the list of Gold Derby’s Top 24 Users predicting the Oscar nominations. That means we’re featuring your predix in our charts —

So please keep your predictions up to date at all times. The top 24 league competes against our experts and editors, so a lot of people are looking carefully at your predix at all times. You were chosen for inclusion because you scored in the Top 24 last year among all users predicting Oscar noms at Gold Derby:

TX for sharing your prognostication skills at Gold Derby! All best …

Tom O’Neil”

I did know that I was there within the Top24 Users but it’s still very nice to get a message that tells you to update your Oscar predictions regularly. No one has ever said that to me before. And I’ve still done that for over 10 years already.

tekstiThe first proper memory of “watching” Oscars is back from 1998. And by watching I mean that I checked text-tv every now and then on the night of the Oscars to see how many bald guys Titanic was getting. You have to understand that in Finland where I live, they have showed the actual Oscar ceremony live from 2005 perhaps or something like that. And 1998 internet was not that common (that’s so weird to think about now), so I couldn’t watch the Academy Awards except by checking the text-tv. And you also have to understand that the gala itself starts around 3am here in Finland. We have 10 hours difference to LA.

2003 was the first time I was able actually watch the Oscars because I was living in the UK back then. And for that year I think I made my first proper predictions. The year before had had the premier of LotR: the Fellowship of the Ring (which is my favourite trilogy of all time) and it was a huge thing to me that it got so many nominations. I’m not sure if I made the predictions already for nominations in every category, it might have been that I made them only for the “main” categories, e.g. acting, directing and writing. Plus the Best Picture of course. Anyway, I was so excited to watch the show live. And that show included my favourite win of all time, Adrien Brody getting the Oscar instead of Jack Nicholson or Daniel Day-Lewis who had been winning the awards the whole season, it was so surprising (plus I love Brody):

After that I started to watch the Oscars every year. The net was a common thing and like I told you, they started to broadcast the actual show live a couple of years after I lived in England. I also met one of my today’s best friends who shared my passion to movies and oscarparty5especially the Oscars. We have had our Oscar viewing party ever since from 2006 (except the year when I was in Germany) and they’ve gotten bigger and bigger. This year there were about 10 of us already. And the next year one of my friend’s friend wants to host them. Let’s see how it goes. It feels kind of sad to let the hosting to someone else because I’m the Oscar freak of my peers. It has always been “my thing”.

When it comes to predicting the Oscars, I started doing it first with the winners, then the “main” categories and little by little expanded it to all of the categories. These days I try to watch all the films, even the short subjects, if I can get them somewhere. Sometimes it’s not possible to see all the films in cinema because especially those indies tend to come to 12-years-a-slaveFinland quite late. Or even some of the bigger names too. Like 12 Years a Slave. It has its wide opening next Friday in the States but here we have to wait until the end of January, if I remember correctly. But at least we get to see it on time. The last year was the first year we had the opportunity to see all of the films that had nominations before the actual gala. Hopefully this year will be the same. At the moment it looks good.

When predicting Oscar nominations, I usually keep the upcoming movies in mind from that point on when I read about the production for the first time. Especially those that has “Oscar” written all over them like Scorsese-DiCaprio collaboration, whenever Daniel Day-Lewis or Meryl Streep are playing, when there’s known director with the true strory, when James Cameron or Ang Lee are doing something etc., you got the point. And then when the awards ceremony is over for that year, I’ll do my first draft for the next year (the updated version is available at my IMDb profile) and after Cannes I start to limit it and categorize. And thanks to Gold Derby, I’m these days able to keep track easily by doing my predictions there. I do also have lists at my pc. But it’s very easy to use Gold Derby especially when the awards season is really getting on. I also read other Oscar bloggers like the guys of HitFix’s In Contention, Scott Feinberg or Brad Brevet from Rope of Silicon. I used to think that I wasn’t as good at predicting as these “experts” like Tapley and Feinberg but at least the last year, I beat all of them. 😉

Have a happy awards season and keep up with my predictions at Gold Derby (and no, they are not paying me, I just really like the site)!

Photo credits to: Gold Derby, Satmania, Wikipedia


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