While The Martian might be among the strongest contenders for Best Picture right now, there is no telling which way the race will go from here. We’re heading into the last gasp of the Oscar race, believe it or not, because by the end of this month it will be time for many key precursor groups to start voting.
Fifteen years ago Ridley Scott was up for Best Director for Gladiator. It was the strangest year for Best Picture, one that no other year has really matched since. Ridley Scott’s film was the one to beat. But it had strong competition from two films: Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic.
Ang Lee won the Directors Guild Award, which which set the stage for an unpredictable Best Picture winner. I remember this year very well because it was the first year I started Oscar blogging. Back then, there weren’t really blogs, however. We all built our sites on html before blogging software came along, before opinion-based writing dominated all media, before the Oscars were a 24/7, year round business, before Facebook, before Twitter – practically before cell phones.