Sunday, February 22, 2015

Final Prediction- Another surprise for Argentina and their "Wild Tales"

I'm writing this post on Day 11 of a Micronesian holiday, so there's not much Oscar buzz here.

This is definitely the closest race in years. Its also the first time in history with ZERO Western European nominees (Netherlands and Sweden came closest). Regretfully, I've only seen two of the five nominees- "Ida" and "Timbuktu" making predicting the winner even harder than usual.

First of all, I think ESTONIA's "Tangerines" has run out of steam. Despite warm reviews, they're a bit weaker than the other four AND they will be hurt by the new rule that you don't have to prove you've seen all five films. With such a close race, this will be the least-seen film (though Voters will get a screener copy) and id say they're out.

So which of the rest will it be? Let's take a quick look:

The Crowdpleaser Choice: "Wild Tales" (Argentina) hopes to follow in the footsteps of "Departures". The revenge-themed black comedy has gotten universally great reviews but some may see it as too lightweight. It will benefit from the "all voters voting" policy.

The Exotic Choice: "Timbuktu" (Mauritania) hopes to follow in the footsteps of "Tsotsi". "Timbuktu", about the 2010 Islamic fundamentalist takeover of the ancient city, is the first film directed by a Black African director (though Mauritania-born Sissako is a French citizen) to make the finals. It's exotic, it's relevant, it's universally relatable and probably deserves to win (it's miles better than "Ida").

The Boring Choice: Forgettable b&W "Ida" (Poland) hopes to follow forgettable Oscar winner "The Counterfeiters". She's the front-runner for so many reasons. It's won  the majority of precursors (except the most important one), it has a post-WWII theme (though the war has recently lost favor in this category)  and box-office is best in show. Most importantly, it's the most widely seen of the Five.

The Intellectual Choice: Golden Globe winner "Leviathan" (Russia) hopes to follow "No Man's Land" and "A Separation". It was the shock winner against "Ida" at the Globes, usually a strong tip to win the Oscar. The film also has a great backstory and a Cannes Screenplay win, though festival prizes aren't too important for oscar voters.

Final Predictions-

Argentina (35%)
Poland (28%)
Russia (20%)
Mauritania  (15%)
Estonia (2%)

Good luck to the unconventional nominees!

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