I need to clarify matters on the Departures prophecy issue in lieu of this Japanese film having won the Best Foreign Language Oscar — another “gulp” episode in the Academy’s foreign- language voting record. Waltz With Bashir should have won, Waltz With Bashir should have won, Waltz With Bashir should have won. Expel those turkey-neck softies in the foreign-language branch who always vote for the stodgy, emotionally reassuring films. But I digress….
Three days ago (on 2.20) In Contention‘s Kris Tapley wrote in his column that Departures is “looking to spoil” and “waiting in the wings to upset” the presumed front runner (i.e., Bashir). Which was a fairly sage call on his part.
Tapley did not, however, predict a win in MCN’s Gurus of Gold chart. The only Guru who predicted that was The Envelope‘s Pete Hammond, who gave it a 5. (Which indicates some kind of emphatic support.)
And Variety-associated Anne Thompson, it should be noted, gave Departures a 2 vote, which means she had it on her definite possible list.
Update: Coming Soon’s Ed Douglas called the Departures win also.
12:13 pm Update: Tapley has reminded me that he posted an In Contention prediction on or about 2.20 that Departures would in fact win. He did, however, add a parenthetical “updated!” to the original post, and Tapley did write, “I might be making a mistake, but I sense an upset so I’m sticking my neck out for Departures after all.” So he’s not quite Chandu or Dunninger or The Great Carsoni, but he made a good call, all things considered.
He claims that If Poland was a vigorous as opposed to a sluggish updater (i.e., the last Gurus update was a week ago, he says), he would have called it for Departures along with Pete Hammond and Ed Douglas.