There’s a movement afoot to launch a contra-Gold Derby Oscar Prediction chart, called Straight Shooters. The idea is to spitball the Oscars without the wokester filter — to resist the political stuff (or at least not to bow down in a kneejerk fashion), and to adopt a grounded and sensible ars gratia artis perspective.

Which would mean what exactly? Well, Straight Shooter members wouldn’t necessarily celebrate a film solely because it embraces POC, LGBTQ or woke female perspectives, although they might. Nor would they necessarily discount a film by an older white director or a performance by an older white actor or a film with a white-centric focus in general (i.e., Mank).

In a perfect incarnation, Straight Shooters would be about keeping wokester politics out of it, and letting the pure love of great films and exceptional film technique and world-class acting shine through.

People who may deserve to be Oscar-nominated wouldn’t be nominated strictly because of their ethnicity or gender or sexual identity. Or not be nominated for same. They would hopefully be championed or promoted because they’ve done excellent work. No one should be necessarily celebrated because of an absence of alignment with progressive causes, but at the same time a certain political ingredient or metaphor needn’t be a problem or an obstruction.

It could well turn out that most of the Straight Shooters might project Nomadland to win the Best Picture Oscar and Chloe Zhao to win Best Director. (As I currently am.) But they wouldn’t be required to support same because of Nomadland‘s subject or Zhao’s gender and ethnicity.

Straight Shooters would represent a symbolic unlocking of the handcuffs, and throwing off the politically correct ball and chain. People would be free to support who they want to support regardless of whatever p.c. points are involved. These estimations may in some instances (and perhaps more than a few) align with the predictable Oscar preferences of certain parties. Or not.

The point would be to judge films and performances as if it was 1988 or 1997 or 2005 or 2009 or 2014…to assess the best and the brightness without the demands or requirements of political correctness mucking everything up.


“The under-40 crowd has invested Race, Gender and Sexuality with a kind of cosmic significance. It doesn’t mean a lot to them — it means everything to them. Indeed, much of their conversation and writing seems to always come back to it.” — from “New Academy Kidz Aren’t Concerned With Whole Equation”, posted on 2.26.18.