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It’s important to own your mistakes.

As someone who has been writing about movies professionally for well over a decade, I’ve had my share of bad takes. Whether it was early praise of a film that failed to hold up upon closer inspection or condemnation of a movie that ultimately proved its excellence, I’ve got some misses on my resume.

That carries over to the Oscars as well. This year marked the 14th time that I’ve predicted the outcomes of Hollywood’s biggest night. As with everything else, I’ve had my ups and downs when it comes to making these picks. Some years are better than others, but every time out, I whiff on plenty of choices.

This year was no different. And so, in the spirit of accountability, I’m going to discuss some of the predictions where I went awry. Any pundit can bask in the praise that comes with being right, but precious few will take the time to own the moments where they were wrong.

This week, I’m here to own those moments.

Published in Movies

Better late than never.

It feels weird to be writing an Academy Awards preview in April instead of February, but thanks to the pandemic, that’s where we are. 2020 was also a weird year for movies in general, what with the extended closure of movie theaters and the general lack of enthusiasm by Hollywood for releasing their big-ticket offerings.

Still, the Academy pushed back the Oscars by a couple of months and expanded the eligibility window for films, both in terms of timeline and of distribution. It only makes sense that after a year unlike any other, we would wind up with an Oscars unlike any other.

And as always, I’m here to offer up my thoughts.

This is the 93rd edition of Hollywood’s favorite awards show. It’s also the 14th time I’ve offered up my Oscars predictions, if you can believe that. You might think that after 14 years, I know what I’m doing. And maybe I do … to an extent. I’ve gotten pretty good at sussing out who is going to win. But the real joy of these awards is that there are always going to be some surprises. You just never know, and in a strange year like this one, who can say what will happen?

Here are my picks. I’ve gone in-depth on the big-ticket categories and included winners for all the others. And as always, the disclaimer: these are my predictions as to who WILL win, as opposed to my feelings about who SHOULD win. There will always be a degree of disconnect, though perhaps a touch less than in previous years.

Let’s hit the red carpet.

Published in Cover Story

It’s Oscar time again!

This year marks the 92nd Academy Awards, with the ceremony set to take place starting at 8 p.m. on the night of February 9. Over nine decades of Hollywood’s biggest night of self-celebration and self-congratulation. Nearly a century of dazzling gowns and dapper tuxedos and impactful acceptance speeches and inane interviews on the red carpet. Generations of excitement and disappointment.

As someone who loves the movies, I love the Oscars. Yes, they’ve grown increasingly out of touch over the years, but so what? There’s something exciting about rewarding the best of the best – even if what seems like the best of the best today might not seem so great later on down the road.

This marks the 13th Oscar preview I’ve written for The Maine Edge. I’ve been doing this for a baker’s dozen years. You might think that means I know something. And maybe I do … but not that much. While I’ve gotten pretty good at determining just who is going to win, the reality is that there are always going to be some surprises. That’s the joy of it – you just never know.

Here’s a look at my predictions for the 2020 Academy Awards. I've included write-ups for the big ones and just winners for the down-ballot stuff. As always, bear in mind that my picks here are for who I think WILL win, not who I think SHOULD win; this year especially feels like one where there’s some disconnect between the two.

Published in Cover Story

As we come to the end of another cinematic year, certain elements of the Hollywood machine are ramping up.

We’re entering into prestige season, where studios have traditionally trotted out their awards contenders in order to ensure that they are fresh in the minds of voters when balloting takes place.

Granted, that has changed somewhat in recent years – the combination of an expanded Best Picture field and a willingness to recognize more mainstream and commercial fare has led to less specificity with regards to where a film lands on the calendar. As such, there are a number of prominent prestige films either already in theaters or already come and gone.

Plus, there’s the recent entry into the fray of the streaming behemoths. We’ve also included a few movies from Netflix and Amazon, films that received limited theatrical releases in order to qualify for these awards but whose REAL release date is when their availability for streaming arrives.)

On the flip side, this late part of the year has also become a sort of summer redux as far as blockbuster fare. Films expected to do massive box office are no longer just the purview of June and July – November and December have now become perfectly acceptable spots to drop your nine-figure franchise powerhouse, turning the always-popular holiday movie season into something truly huge.

What follows is a look at some of the upcoming films that are closing out 2019. We’ve got some movies looking to win awards, others just looking to have a good time. As for what YOU are looking for? Well – whatever it is, you might well find it somewhere on this list.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 27 February 2019 14:01

Unpacking poor Oscars predictions

Man – that stung.

I’m referring, of course, to my abysmal performance in predicting this year’s Academy Award winners. In years past, I haven’t written a follow-up to my Oscars preview. For the most part, this is because I always did pretty well and I’ve never been one to be all that inclined toward victory laps.

This year, however, was probably my worst prognosticative performance in my entire decade-plus as a professional movie-knower. I have never been as off as I was this year, so I thought it might be fun to unpack it.

For the record, I correctly predicted 14 of 24 awards. Considering the wild unpredictability we experienced this year, that’s not a terrible number. Compared to last year – when I went 21-for-24 – it IS a terrible number.

I did get a fair amount right. Three of the four acting categories. Best director and cinematography (both Alfonso Cuarón). Adapted screenplay and best song. Both animated film categories and feature documentary and foreign language film. Costume and makeup and production designs.

But that’s not what we’re here for. Let’s take a look at what went wrong.

Published in Buzz

It’s Oscar time again!

This year marks the 91st Academy Awards. 91 years of Hollywood’s biggest night of self-celebration and self-congratulation. Nearly a century of dazzling gowns and dapper tuxedos and impactful acceptance speeches and inane interviews on the red carpet. Generations of excitement and disappointment.

As someone who loves the movies, I love the Oscars. Yes, they’ve grown increasingly out of touch over the years, but so what? There’s something exciting about rewarding the best of the best – even if what seems like the best of the best today might not seem so great later on down the road.

This marks the 12th Oscar preview I’ve written for The Maine Edge. I’ve been doing this for a dozen years. You might think that means I know something. And maybe I do … but not that much. While I’ve gotten pretty good at determining just who is going to win, the reality is that there are always going to be some surprises. That’s the joy of it – you just never know.

Here’s a look at my predictions for the 2019 Academy Awards. I've included write-ups for the big ones - the four acting categories, director and Best Picture - and just picked the winners for the rest.

Published in Cover Story

It’s Oscar time again!

This year marks the 90th Academy Awards. 90 years of Hollywood’s biggest night of self-celebration and self-congratulation. 90 years of dazzling gowns and dapper tuxedos and impactful acceptance speeches and inane interviews on the red carpet. 90 years of excitement and disappointment.

As someone who loves the movies, I love the Oscars. Sure, they’ve grown increasingly out of touch over the years (though there’s been some solid bounceback in the last few). So what? There’s something exciting about rewarding the best of the best – even if what seems like the best of the best today might not seem so great later on down the road.

This marks the 11th Oscar preview I’ve written for The Maine Edge. I’ve been doing this for over a decade. And while I’ve gotten pretty good at determining just who is going to win, the reality is that there are always going to be some surprises. Hell, just look at last year, when “La La Land” was the winner for Best Picture … until it wasn’t.

OK, so maybe we won’t see THAT big a surprise this time around, but that’s the joy of it – you just never know.

Here’s a look at my predictions. I've included write-ups for the big ones - the four acting categories, director and Best Picture - and just picked the winners for the rest.

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Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 11:42

Awards bait and blockbusters

Looking ahead to year-end movie offerings

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 22 February 2017 12:35

Celebrating cinema with the Academy Awards

Predicting the Oscar winners for 2017

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 24 February 2016 10:32

Celebrating cinema with the Oscars 2016

Predicting the 2016 Academy Award winners

It's that time of year again, folks. Time for Hollywood to dress up and throw statues at one another in a whirlwind of self-celebration and ego stroking.

That's right it's Oscar time!

I'll be the first to admit that I love the Academy Awards while also acknowledging that they are growing increasingly irrelevant and out of touch. I love the movies and this is the biggest celebration of cinema on the American pop culture calendar.

Published in Cover Story
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