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Take The Super Bowl, Give Me The Oscars!

February 9, 2020

This is the Sunday night event I look forward to each year, along with the Tony Awards.

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There are many reasons to be excited about films this year and as many reasons to second guess any of your predictions.

One of the things that makes statistical analysis of the Oscars, and especially the best picture race, so difficult is that they completely changed the best picture field beginning with the awards handed out in 2010, doubling the number of nominees from five to ten. Two years later, they changed it again, so there would be between five and ten nominees, depending on nomination voting. While the purpose of the expanded field was originally understood to be a desire to recognize high-quality “popular” films and maybe boost TV ratings for the ceremony (The Dark Knight was the spurned film most often mentioned as a potential beneficiary), what’s happened certainly seems to be that smaller films have wiggled their way in. (That may be why there was a recent attempt to create a separate “best popular film” category — an idea that was quickly dumped.)

I am not backing away from betting on 1917 to make headlines tonight.  That is taking nothing away from Parasite, but the talk, mood, and movement are making the World War I film the one to reckon with tonight.

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