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Alex Carrigan's 88th Annual Academy Awards Challenge
Since it's cold outside and there's not much to do, this is the best time of the year to stay inside, watch movies, and then try to discuss the merits of them. For the film industry, this means it's the best time to start giving awards out and patting themselves on the back. We've already heard from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the People, and the Critics. All that's left is the golden juggernaut that goes by the name of Oscar.
For me, watching the Academy Awards and paying attention to awards season is a process that starts fun and full of anticipation, but eventually burns out into a series of groans, conspiracy theories, and social media ranting. Normally, this would be the time where I'd just post a list of what I'd think I'd win each category, but I often find doing so to be underwhelming. There's a forced mentality of being as correct as possible, and there's also a lot of haziness in trying to predict things you have no knowledge of or any way to accurately predict.
This is certainly not helped by the fact that I haven't seen a lot of films this year. I averaged roughly one current film a month, but whenever award season rolls around, it makes it clear that most of the films I watch for about ten months of the year are not the ones that will be as relevant come February. In fact, I've actually only seen one of the eight films nominated for Best Picture this year. I saw Mad Max: Fury Road back in May when it was taking everyone by storm due to its surprising maturity and well orchestrated action and story. That movie stuck with me for the rest of 2015, but now that the Oscars are a month away, I know I can't just let my lingering feelings for Fury Road attempt to sway how I predict how the awards show will go. As much as I'd like it to, it's probably not going to win all ten of its nominations, so there's no need to wear rose-colored glasses for the next month.
Thus, I've decided to try and make more of a challenge for this year's Oscar pool. Last year, I managed to see seven of the eight nominees for Best Picture, and I had a pretty good ranking for them going into the ceremony (for the record, it was Boyhood > Birdman > Whiplash > Selma > The Grand Budapest Hotel > The Imitation Game > American Sniper, with The Theory of Everything being the film I didn't see. There's no point in debating this now). This year, I want to challenge myself to be more aware of the films nominated. A good number of these I only know from reading online reviews or from hearing about winners from the film at other award shows. I want to go into this award season a more knowledgeable critic. I want to push myself to research these films, go into most of them blind when I see them, and let myself be taken on the ride.
Because of that, I'm imposing a challenge on myself. I will watch one Best Picture nominated film a day, then write a post chronicling my reaction to the film here on Quail Bell. My goal is not only to find out what films are more likely to win the award, but to also to see how my opinion can change over a week. I want to know if I can start the week loving a film, only to find it mediocre by the end. I want to see if I'll think an actor has no chance of winning, but then come to appreciate their performance more after having more performances to compare it to. I want to draw connections between films, discover things I didn't realize earlier in the week, and end the week feeling a lot more intrigued for how the ceremony will go.
For this challenge, I've used a random number generator to determine the order I will watch the films. This is so I don't let hearsay determine if I'd rush to watch one movie or put off watching another film. I'll start by watching the seven films I haven't seen yet, then end the week by rewatching Fury Road in order to see if the film that I originally held as the standard the others need to reach still compares to the others. Each day, I'll also post my current ranking of the films, to which I expect to change daily, based on how I react to each new film, and to see if time causes me to see if how I view the films becomes better or worse as the week progresses.
This post will also be used to keep track of this challenge, so check back here to see each article. Below is the scheduled order of reviews. If you're interested, be sure to keep an eye on this post and Quail Bell to see how the challenge goes. Thanks for following!
Schedule of Films
* Day 1: The Revenant
* Day 2: The Martian
* Day 3: Spotlight
* Day 4: Brooklyn
* Day 5: Bridge of Spies
* Day 6: The Big Short
* Day 7: Room
* Day 8: Mad Max: Fury Road
3rd: Mad Max: Fury Road
4th: The Big Short
5th: The Revenant
6th: The Martian
8th: Bridge of Spies
#Real #AcademyAwards #Oscars #Challenge #Movies #Film
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