I watched the Oscars last night with a large group of people at my friend Lyn's 19th annual Oscar party. A good time, as they say, was had by all, including me, even though I didn't win the pool. Here's what I got wrong:
- Best Supporting Actor: I picked Tommy Lee Jones. Not having seen any of the performances when I cast the ballot, I went with the Screen Actors Guild Award winner. Usually a safe bet, but it didn't play out this time.
- Best Director: I picked Spielberg. I should have remembered that the Academy really loves not giving Oscars to him. It's interesting that Ang Lee's two Best Director Oscars were for movies that didn't win Best Picture.
- Best Original Screenplay: I thought the voters would use this category as a consolation prize for Michael Haneke, since the Best Foreign Language Film award that Amour was definitely going to win would go to the Republic of Austria, not him.
- Best Adapted Screenplay: My theory here was that the Academy would want to give the award to Tony Kushner, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, because stage plays and Pulitzer Prizes are classier than movies and Oscars.
- Best Animated Feature: I picked the Annie Award winner, Wreck-It Ralph. I may also have been influenced in my pick by having seen both Wreck-It Ralph and the ultimate winner, Brave, and recognizing that the former was much better, which Is never a sensible thing to base your Oscar picks on.
- Best Documentary Feature: I picked Five Broken Cameras, which is about a Palestinian man working in a visual medium. With a twofer like that, I thought the Academy would find it more appealing than the other nominees.
- Best Documentary Short: I picked Open Heart for reasons that escape me right now.
- Best Makeup: I assumed the funny noses of The Hobbit would trump the blood and grime of Les Misérables.
- Best Score: I don't know, I think I thought it was Alexandre Desplat's year. Though in retrospect, I have to say Argo's score was not particularly memorable, in that I saw it less than 24 hours ago and can't remember any part of the score except the Led Zeppelin song.
- Best Production Design: I picked Anna Karenina, because period dramas are usually a safe bet. And so it was this time; I just picked the wrong period drama.
I also failed to guess that there would be a tie for Best Sound Editing. (Not that I let that stop me from yelling out, "Lyn, I was going to guess a tie in this category but your online ballot wouldn't me!") But I did correctly guess one of the two winners — Zero Dark Thirty — so I'm counting it as a win.
So ultimately I guessed 14 out of 24 categories correctly: 58%. Not good enough to win, alas. But from time to time throughout the evening, Lyn announces "prize categories," and if you get those right, you get to take a movie-related grab bag gift. I won four prize categories and grabbed from the bag the following: some Pirates of the Caribbean temporary tattoos, which I gave away to my friend Jay, who was collecting unwanted prizes to give out in his classroom; a Woody Pumpkin Push In; a Dora the Explorer lip gloss watch — which wasn't a watch at all, merely a container of lip gloss that can be worn on one's wrist — that I gave to my friend Leah; and Jon Favreau's screenplay for Swingers, which I was legitimately excited to get. I think that would've been hard to beat even if I'd won the guess the winners contest.