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Oscar Mania! Recap and Running Commentary

February 23, 2015

Clarky (@clarky71990), a good friend from college, asked me if I wanted to do an Oscar draft. So it wouldn’t be just the two of us, I roped in my wife Mary. We selected films like you would players in a fantasy football draft. Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel had the most nominations, and therefore could potentially earn the most points.  Here is the scoring system we used:

Best Picture = 7 points

All acting, writing and directing categories = 5 points each

Other “best film” categories (animated, foreign, shorts, etc.)  = 3 points each

All remaining categories (sound/tech) = 2 points each

Read on to see how the game went and follow our running commentary on Hollywood’s biggest night.


Clarky: Let’s do this.

Tony: I have prepared extensive draft materials.
Clarky: Terrific! I’ve come up with prop bets
Tony: Let’s hear them.
Clarky: Higher number: Sabres goals tonight vs. Nashville or Oscar wins for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Tony: Interesting. Sabres aren’t looking so great so I’d probably go with Budapest
Clarky: 10 college/pro teams with bird nicknames will use social media to parody or reference Birdman
Clarky: Over/Under 10 minutes of acceptance speech time combined for the four acting winners.
Clarky: Yes/No – Before the end of the year Richard Linklater will announce he will make Boyhood sequels called Young Adulthood, Manhood, Midlife Crisishood and Seniorhood
Tony: The Boyhood one seems like a long shot… Maybe one of them?
Mary: Midlife Crisishood sounds like the director’s story of making Boyhood.
Clarky: 1-0 Sabres
Tony: Here we go…
Clarky: Draft time?
(7:45 p.m.)
(8:19 p.m.) DRAFT ANALYSIS 

Tony: Butter Lamp is a great title

Clarky: I’m going to see if it has a definition on Urban Dictionary…
Clarky: “Butter Lamp” is not on urban dictionary.
Tony: Yet…
Clark: Sabres 1-0 with 6 minutes to go. Looking good for the Budapest prop.
Tony: I’ve got Budapest going for 3 or 4 tonight
Clarky: I wanted to pick them but it could win 4 or zero so I played it safe.
Tony: As long as it was strategic, I respect it.
Tony: Any Oscar trivia I need to know about right now before the show starts?
Clarky: There hasn’t been a best picture winner released in December since Million Dollar Baby.
Tony: Yeah, it seems like the top favorites came out fairly early in the year. When did Birdman come out again?
Clarky: October
Tony: By the way, seeing J.K. Simmons up there just now reminds me that by taking Birdman over Whiplash, I deviated from my pre-draft rankings.
Clarky: You picked the wrong drum movie.
Tony: Is Birdman a drum movie because of the musical score?
Clarky: Pretty much, yeah.
(8:30 p.m.) MAIN EVENT 
Tony: It’s the Oscars!
Clarky: They need to reboot The Muppet Show just so J.K. Simmons can criticize animal’s drumming.
Tony: YES
Tony: What’s the over/under for NPH musical numbers?
Clarky: At least three. This one didn’t even take 30 seconds. I’m glad he got the chance to host since he’s done a bunch of other shows.
Tony: Was that Lupita’s brother sitting next to Jack Black?
Clarky: I believe so.
Tony: Pretty good song. Interesting how they honored a lot of movies that never won any Oscars.
Clarky: Big award already
(8:42 p.m.) WINNER: J.K. Simmons for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Clarky: Give me five!
Tony: You’re on the board in a big way!
Clarky: The yellow M&M is now an Oscar winner.
Clarky: They should present the best picture nominees separately. the Grand Budapest Hotel and American Sniper couldn’t be more different.
Tony: Agreed. It makes each one feel a little less special. The price we pay for having 8 nominees?
Clarky: I miss having five nominees.
Tony: It seemed like a good idea at the time when they expanded, but they could go back. BTW Adam Levine was in a movie last year? Missed that one.
Apparently he dumps Keira Knightley in it.
Tony: Well how about that?
(8:54 p.m.) 
Tony: Did you catch the big band arrangement of “Power of Love” right before the commercial?
Clarky: Yes LOL
Tony: Did Back to the Future win any oscars?
Clarky: Looks like for sound effects editing.
Tony: I may have to retract my statement about that opening song honoring non-Oscar films, just found out that Raiders won 4 back in the 1982 show…
Clarky: It’s all good
Tony: Sentimental costume pick is Inherent Vice, but my predictions and fantasy roster say Bu-Da, Bu-Da!
(8:58) WINNER: The Grand Budapest Hotel for Achievement in Costume Design
Tony: I’m on the board
Clarky: There you go. Tied the Sabres.
Tony: Did you make predictions? I’m 2 for 2 so far but there were some brutal categories this year
Clarky: I’m also 2/2.
PICTURE: Birdman
DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater
ACTOR: Eddie Redmayne
ACTRESS: Julianne Moore
ANIMATED FILM: The Boxtrolls
COSTUME DESIGN: The Grand Budapest Hotel
DOCUMENTARY SHORT: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: The Grand Budapest Hotel
SCORE: The Grand Budapest Hotel
SONG: Selma
PRODUCTION DESIGN: The Grand Budapest Hotel
VISUAL EFFECTS: Interstellar
Tony: My disagreements:
Original Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Adapted Screenplay: Whiplash
Animated Feature: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Foreign: Ida
Animated Short: Dam Keeper
Short Film: Phone Call
Sound Editing: American Sniper
Score: Theory of Everything
Clarky: One of the hardest years to pick.
Tony: How’s the weather up there? We’re getting ice tomorrow so local districts have already announced 2-hour delays.
Clarky: Cold and snow. Not as bad as Buffalo but bad for Wellsville standards. Going to Bonas next weekend.
Tony: For a game?
Clarky: Alumni Weekend.
Tony: Jealous!
Clarky: A community bank three-point tee for you!
Tony: Yesss.
(9:12) WINNER: IDA for Best Foreign Language Film
Clarky: Is Ida an Ida Blankenship bio pic?
Tony: I think Ms. Blankenship was too old at the time.
Clarky: Boyhood/The Theory of Everything/Birdman. Too random a grouping.
The stepdad in Boyhood looks like Rex Ryan and Pete Carroll’s love child.
Clarky: They should make a Birdman-like parody of Michael Jordan on the Wizards. Or T.O. on the Bills.
Tony: I want to buy a ticket for that right now!
Tony: Lonely Island? WHAT?!
Clarky: They are in this song, yes LOL. The LEGO Movie was completely robbed.
Tony: Agreed but, first things first. Does Samberg get an Oscar if this song wins?
Clarky: LOL, yes he helped write the song.
Tony: Give LEGO the Oscars. Give LEGO all the Oscars!
Seriously, LEGO was a billion times better than Frozen and it doesn’t even get nominated for Best Animated?!
Clarky: I’ve had it with Frozen.
Tony: LEGO was the only animated film I saw last year. Doesn’t that count for something?
Clarky: The kids I work with don’t seem to understand there are other Disney movies.
Tony: Quick – favorite Disney movies – GO!
Clarky: Just animated Disney movies?
Tony: Interpret it however you like.
Clarky: Animated – Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, The Emperor’s New Grove and Robin Hood.
Tony: Lovely
(9:26) WINNER: The Phone Call for Best Live Action Short Film
Clarky: You’re on a roll.
Tony: Shout out to Mark Harris for this one. I refer to his column when I don’t know anything about the noms.
(9:28) WINNER: Crisis Hotline for Best Documentary Short Subject
Tony: Mary’s on the board.
Clarky: Good good.
Tony: Nothing will give the acceptance speech music guy a crisis of conscience like trying to play someone off while they’re talking about suicide.
Clarky: The music is just stupid. it’s not like people are going to talk for 10 minutes
it’s not the pro football hall of fame induction where people speak for 40 minutes
Tony: When I worked at the TV station, our meteorologist would always go over by 5-10 seconds. The producer would always freak out, and the meteo would always say, “it’s not like I’m going 30 seconds over.” Every time…
Clarky: Harry Belafonte was in arguably the best muppet show moment: 
Tony: More Muppets please.
Clarky: It seems maybe they are cutting back on montages this year.
Tony: I’m a sucker for good movie montages.
Clarky: I’d like if they did montages of movies from like five, 10, 15, 20, etc. years ago.
Clarky: Awesome way to spoof Birdman and Whiplash.
Tony: That was great! Have you been watching the new season of Always Sunny? They did a whole episode like that where Charlie was running around the bar trying to clean things up for a health inspector.
Clarky: I haven’t seen it but that sounds awesome.
Tony: I had Whiplash and Boyhood getting the most points this year.
Clarky: 10-7-5 is the score now (Tony, Clarky, Mary respectively).
Tony: Consider me excited.
Clarky: Burkes are about to be tied.
Tony: Is Leto always in an audition to play Jesus?
Clarky: maybe his joker will have long hair
Tony: Suicide Squad will be something
(9:53) WINNER: Patricia Arquette for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Clarky: Little Nicky’s girlfriend is now an Oscar winner.
Tony: What’s the line from that movie about Popeye’s chicken?
Clarky: That Boyhood kid looks so disinterested.
Tony: I thought he might have been tearing up, but maybe not.
Clarky: We’ll know for sure if it wins best picture.
Tony: Mary does not approve of the glove choice by this singer. Thoughts?
Clarky: they remind me of this.
Tony: Well done
Clarky: LOL Neil seemed like he was ready for that to be over.
(10:04) WINNER: Interstellar for Achievement in Visual Effects
Clarky: boo-yah
Tony: Shout out to Kip Thorne
Clarky: Kevin Hart should have been nominated for Scary Movie 3
Tony: Or 40 Year Old Virgin
(10:07) WINNER: Feast for Best Animated Short
Tony: I think this was my first missed prediction. There goes the perfect game.
Clarky: Maybe The Rock will be in the next Guardians of the Galaxy
(10:11) WINNER: Big Hero 6 for Best Animated Feature
Tony: Did anyone draft Big Hero 6?
Clarky: No
Tony: 2 Oscars for the Mouse House.
Clarky: I’m trying to save a picture of a custom Sanchez Bills jersey and calling it Big Hero 6. That will be his nickname if he comes here and plays decent or they might call him Big Hero Pick 6.”
Tony: That could be more likely. Think Sanchez lands in Buffalo?
Clarky: It makes sense but I think they will try to get Sam Bradford.
Tony: What’s your ranking of preference?
Clarky: Bradford, College QB TBA, Sanchez, Manuel, McCown. I’m somewhat concerned that Rex is going to try to show people that we can win by Running and having EJ Manuel manage the game.
Tony: Praying for the best.
Clarky: He wore a Thurman Thomas jersey to the combine the other day.
Tony: Rex?
Clarky: Yes.
(10:23) WINNER: Grand Budapest Hotel for Achievement in Production Design
Tony: Classy. Don’t look now, but Budapest just won its third Oscar of the night.
Clarky: I would be really happy it pulled the upset. Wes was very unlucky Fantastic Mr. Fox came out the same year as Up.
Tony: Agreed, Fox was really good, but Up was a juggernaut. Wasn’t Up up for best picture overall?
Clarky: Yes, in the first year of the expanded field.
Tony: There’s no competing with that
Clarky: Beauty and the Beast is the only movie to do it when there were just five nominees. I want an Up sequel called Down.
Tony: Did they leave Hoffman off the In Memoriam?
Clarky: He died before last year’s Oscars so he was in it last year.
Tony: OK I only remembered it was right before the Super Bowl.
Clarky: These curved TVs are freaking sweet.
Tony: Not convinced yet that curved screens are a great idea. I get it in theory but I’ve seen some models on display and I just don’t know…
Clarky: I was impressed.
Tony: It seems to me like it would make the screen look smaller. Does the curved screen add to the depth, what’s the benefit?
Clarky: I just want one that fits into the wall.
Tony: Haha that’s the real problem.
(10:44) WINNER: Whiplash for Achievement in Editing
Clarky: Big two-point pickup.
Tony: What’s going on with Terrence Howard right now?
Clarky: Yeah, pull yourself together man! Someone just tweeted that they needed to out Don Cheadle in there.
Tony: Nice shout out to the snubbing of Aniston and Oyelowo.
Mary: Not a fan of the CitizenFour woman’s glove choice either.
Clarky: I like Neil’s jokes tonight.
Mary: I do too!
WINNER: CitizenFour for Best Documentary Feature
Clarky: More likely to happen: Edward Snowden comes back to America or Steve Bartman goes back to Wrigley Field?
Tony: Poor Bartman, I hope he can go back but I may have to choose Snowden.
Clarky: I agree. Bartman gets too much blame for what happened that night. Dusty was just as responsible as he was, if not more so.
Tony: Weren’t Prior and Wood on that team?
Clarky: Yes. I think they would have beaten the Yankees that year.
Tony: Those guys were nasty
Clarky: Maybe that Selma sleeper pick will pay off for you.
Tony: It was a good value pick, Legend and Common are getting me pumped to pick up a few easy points!
Clarky: I just have a feeling an upset is going down before the show is over
Tony: I would be surprised if I’m not surprised
Tony: I’m glad the Travolta-Menzel pairing happened
Clarky: that was funny and creepy at the same time
(11:06) WINNER: Selma for Original Song
Tony: Buckets don’t lie. This was a nice moment for Selma. I think Legend overcompensated a little in his speech, but I can’t blame him because I don’t think Selma will get another chance tonight.
Clarky: Yes, it should have had more chances though.
Clarky: Gaga is going to sing Sound of Music songs isn’t she?
Tony: I guess? Is Tony Bennett here?
Clarky: I guess we’ll see. Pretty good way to one-up Katy Perry’s halftime show.
Tony: I like Gaga. She sounded great. Glad Julie Andrews was in the building for that.
Dear Lady Gaga.
(11:23) WINNER: Grand Budapest Hotel for Original Score
Clarky: Four, oh boy.
Tony: Watch out!
Clarky: If it wins for screenplay, I think Birdman might be in trouble.
Tony: I picked it for screenplay but not score so maybe this is the beginning of an avalanche…
Clarky: You might have this thing locked up.
(11:35) WINNER: The Imitation Game for Original  Screenplay
Tony: Not so fast.
Clarky: Big save for me. We’ve reached the final four.
Tony: Big ups for suicide awareness tonight!
Clarky: pretty ironic that Ben Affleck is presenting the best director Oscar.
Tony: The man does have 2 Oscars.
Clarky: I just didn’t understand that Argo won best picture and he wasn’t even nominated for best director.
Tony: The two categories are pretty strongly linked. Usually, it’s like an excuse to give 2 different awards for the same reason.
(11:42) WINNER: Birdman for Best Directing
Clarky: Linklater is going to be gloomier than Doug Marrone.
Tony: That’s two in a row for Mexican directors after Cuaron last year.
(11:53) WINNER: Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor
Clarky: Good for Eddie.
Tony: McConaughey looks like Leto
Clarky: LOL yes. So if Boyhood wins, it would only have two awards all night.
(11:57) WINNER: Julianne Moore for Best Actress
Clarky: Another Oscar winner for the Hunger Games franchise.
Tony: Boyhood winning 2 or less is something of a surprise in and of itself. I think Moore’s speech put the over/under on actor speeches comfortably over 10 minutes.
Clarky: Yes it was close though.
(12:03 a.m.)
Clarky: Oh boy, Penn gives me vibes that Boyhood might win.
(12:04) WINNER: Birdman for Best Picture
Clarky: These Oscars are for the birds.
Tony: Is Penn buddies with Inarritu? If not, what do we make of that green card comment?
Clarky: He must be or I’d be pretty angry.
Clarky: I’m at peace with these winners.
Tony: Did you enjoy the show?
Clarky: I did. Went a tad long but not nearly as long as the show used to be.
Clarky: Neil deserves to host again.
Tony: Agreed. NPH was solid. Only one song though. He could have gone for more.
Clarky: I am somewhat stunned Boyhood lost its lead after looking like a juggernaut all year.
Tony: Agreed, it was basically an afterthought tonight.
Tony: Unofficially, I went 17 for 24, worse than last year by one***
Clarky: I got six wrong but you smoked us all in Fantasy Oscars.
Tony: I think that’s a good note to end on.
Final Standings:
Tony: 43
Clarky: 25
Mary: 13
***I miscounted, and ended up only missing six predictions. That means 18/24 two years in row. I’ll take it.

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