Wrestling the Oscar beast is no easy task. Everyone does their best in the first part of the season to get some kind of foothold on it. We make lists. We think everything is settled and then, wham. Things change. I am used to pushback. It happens to me every year, as I’m sure it happens to anyone who writes about the race. The only way I can keep my sanity is that I have a few people, literally, maybe three, whose opinions I trust. The rest I have to try to balance with what I already know.
And what I know, what anyone else knows, isn’t much. Not on October 12.
There is a filter between seeing films in screenings and how they eventually “do.” The critics are really the ones who mostly shape perception. The bloggers can praise a film until they’re blue in the fingertips, but ultimately – it’s about the critics, the industry, the public and the Academy. Sorry, bloggers, but it just is.
That is why seeing a film in a screening can sometimes be a misleading experience. If the critics don’t agree with the early blogger praise, a film will have a hard time passing the first test. That is why it’s always dangerous to get our strong opinion out there — others are likely to throw it back in our face should the movie fail. This happened to me with The Kite Runner. I am always surprised when I like a movie that ends up doing really well in the race. It is a win-win for me.