Gold Derby is paying out a cool $1,000 for the winner of this year’s Oscar prediction contest. Head on over to play.
Tom O’Neil who runs Gold Derby asked me why, if I keep saying Birdman is going to win Best Picture, I keep predicting Boyhood. Here is my answer:
1) I have predicted no other film to win Best Picture this year. Every single time anyone has asked me to predict I put Boyhood on the top, and Birdman usually second. I do not think I would be a useful predictor if I scrambled around now at the last minute and shifted Birdman to the top spot. Why would that be meaningful in any way? Even someone like Scott Feinberg, who prides himself on being a good predictor had every other movie imaginable on top, from Interstellar to Boyhood at one point but no Birdman. If he now shifts his prediction to Birdman, as he has done, that doesn’t tell you anything much either. That’s sort of like seeing that it’s raining outside and declaring, it’s raining. So I don’t want to change my prediction now, that’s one reason.
2) There is the chance that Boyhood and Birdman might split. Even though the most likely scenario at this point is Birdman for Picture and Inarritu for director, it is not a guarantee. The BAFTA and the Globes not choosing Birdman breaks with history in a significant way, as does Birdman’s not having an editing nomination. I don’t know for a certainty that Birdman will take both top categories. What if Boyhood takes director and Birdman picture? What if Boyhood takes Picture and Birdman director? If I predict both Boyhood and Linklater I stand a better chance at getting one or the other right in a split. Of course I could just predict Birdman and Inarritu and be twice as likely to be right but honestly I’m not that invested in being “right,” especially this year when no one has been. The closest thing you get to right this year are the people who thought Boyhood was “soft” – like Tapley and Hammond and those guys.
3) Boyhood is the better film and I’m hanging on to that tiny reed of hope that the Academy realizes what the rest of the industry could not. It’s a slim chance and a long shot bet but there are enough people predicting Birdman, and I would never advise anyone playing in a contest or in an office pool to hang their hopes on such a slim possibility but hey, after 16 years of this nonsense I have to get my kicks somehow.
4) Yes, the actors rule. They topple every other branch by almost double. But why oh why didn’t they award Michael Keaton for Best Actor if they loved Birdman THAT much? That has confounded me from the beginning. Still, PGA+DGA+SAG is an unbeatable combo. Follow the math. My head says Birdman, my heart says Boyhood and I can’t reconcile the two.
5) As David Carr left in his email signature file, “Call on God but row away from the rocks.” Dwell in reality when predicting the Oscar race.
Here is the latest Gurus of Gold:
And here is the first – so you could say Glenn Whipp was the first person to call Birdman for the win:
He changed it the following week and was back to Boyhood. No one had Birdman to win. Just before Selma and American Sniper were seen, The Film Experience’s Nat Rogers had Birdman at number one. Nathaniel stuck to Birdman the next week. The following week, around Thanksgiving, no one had Birdman. Finally, by the time final ballots were sent out (last Friday) two people has put Birdman to win, Thelma Adams and Steve Pond. And by their last accounting, Timothy Grey and David Poland had added their names to the list.
The story at Gold Derby is essentially the same. Jeff Wells has been removed from the list probably because he didn’t update his predictions but if he did he would be the one and the only one predicting Birdman, his be all, end all this year from the beginning. He has claimed those bragging rights and should get credit for being the Birdman guy. I’m happy to hand credit his way for that. Or as Sheryl Crow would say, if it makes you happy it can’t be that bad.
I’ll stick with Boyhood to the bitter end, thank you very much. But if I were betting cold hard cash? I’d probably go with Birdman and Inarritu, especially after hearing those tiresome Academy members lament Boyhood’s success. So fuck ’em. Richard Linklater will live out his days as the guy who should have won and believe me, that’s far better.
Enter our contest here.