“I need to post this,” Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone wrote a few minutes ago, “because Jeff Wells just posted an absurd run-down of why the [Awards Daily Oscar Poll] is wrong. He gives various reasons why [although] most do not hold water. A Single Man has ‘gay-o-vision,’ Amelia has been dissed by an ‘insider’ and therefore has no shot, Food, Inc. is a ‘doc’ and therefore has no chance to make the Best Pic cut. Um. Lebanon is a foreign language and therefore won’t make the cut. Um. Sherlock Holmes is a ‘joke suggestion’ — I could go on. But do I really need to?”
Yeah, you do because (1) of all the things I’ve written about Sasha and Awards Daily, I’ve always managed to keep viciousness (i.e., describing something she’s written as “absurd”) out of the mix; (b) I said that A Single Man is “a sublime film in certain respects” and that it “could qualify” but that “the Gay-O-Vision factor could inhibit”; (c) Amelia, I’ve been told by a trusted source, hasn’t been precisely dissed by an insider as much as respectfully categorized (whatever its assets may or may not be) as not appearing to be an awards contender; (d) the last time I looked docs and foreign-language features don’t qualify for Best Picture consideration; and (e) all indications are that Sherlock Holmes, especially with a weakened, eager-to-please Guy Ritchie at the helm, is a product of whorishly imitative follow-the-formula satanic CG corporate-think, and it goes without saying that such an enterprise wouldn’t even begin to be considered in Best Picture terms…c’mon!
“Anyone who claims to have expert authority on the Oscars is usually one who will end up with egg on his or her face,” Stone writes. “The good predictors fly under the radar and do not brag about how good they are. if you have to put your faith in someone, there are a few who play the predicting game pretty well — Anne Thompson, David Karger, Damien Bona, Kris Tapley, David Poland and a few others whose names escape me — none of them brag about being good at predicting the Oscars. They are good at it because they keep their hearts entirely out of their decision-making. If your heart gets involved, you may get it wrong on occasion.”
Thompson, Karger and Tapley, sure, but Bona is strictly a stats man — he’s written reams of Oscar copy over the years and he’s never struck me as very reliant or trusting when to comes to listening to the Movie Gods or gut intuition. And don’t even mention Poland’s accuracy record over the past few years….please.
Note to Sasha and all the experts: If your heart gets involved, you may get it wrong on occasion — true. But if your heart doesn’t get involved ((along with your inner wizard-cap seance divining rod) then you have no soul. And you’ll wind up putting some of the readership to sleep.