In the wake of last night’s DGA win by Birdman‘s Alejandro G. Inarritu, even those who have been in serious Boyhood denial mode over the last several months are admitting that the odds seem to favor Birdman taking the Best Picture Oscar. And yet most of the so-called awards-race “experts” (hah!) have been projecting a Boyhood win for months and months. In fact, if you check the latest Gurus of Gold prediction chart, you’ll see that an overwhelming majority of know-it-alls were STILL predicting a Boyhood win right up to the last minute despite Birdman having recently won the PGA Zanuck and SAG ensemble awards. I’m talking about The Delusionals, and their names are Hitfix‘s Greg Ellwood, Toronto Star‘s Peter Howell, Fandango‘s Dave Karger, L.A. Times‘ Mark Olsen, Movie City News‘ David Poland, The Film Experience‘s Nathaniel Rogers, Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone, Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson and L.A. Times Glenn Whipp.
When was the last time in Oscar-predicting history have so many experts and Oscarologists been so dead fucking wrong during the final laps?
I’m the only one in this racket who’s had Birdman‘s back from Telluride on. Which doesn’t mean squat as far as my predicting abilities are concerned. I’ve never been into predicting what Academy members would vote for. Year after year I’ve merely said “this should win” or “that should win” because of my own passions or sensings of what the Movie Godz would prefer. When the Academy has agreed with my preferences I’ve looked like a wise man; when they haven’t I’ve looked out of touch. I was proud, of course, not to have predicted and/or supported the Best Picture triumphs of The King’s Speech, Argo, The Artist, Chicago, et. al.
But the above-named group (with the occasional exception of Sasha Stone) have more or less advanced a claim of being neutral observers and having their finger on the pulsebeat, of being in touch with industry culture and having quote-unquote “insider” views in terms of where sentiments were heading. And they all got it wrong. The bottom line is that they never knew jack squat about the Best Picture situation. They were all simply listening to their own preferences and longings for Boyhood, in pretty much the exact same way that I’ve been expressing preferences for my personal picks all these years. No more, no less.
So let this year dispel the impression that the Gurus and Derby-ites “know” a thing or two. They understand a great deal about the culture and can smell the way things are going from time to time, and some are more sensitive than others. But staying with Boyhood through thick and think, despite an overwhelming sense that it was a soft favorite all along and that it was “too Austin” to be truly embraced by the Academy, is something each and every above-named “expert” is going to have to answer questions about for years and years to come. And I mean particularly their stubborn support of Boyhood in the wake of Birdman‘s recent PGA and SAG wins.
Let the truth be known. Credibility has fallen. Nobody knows anything. Well, sometimes they do but they sure as hell got it wrong regarding Birdman vs. Boyhood.