Editor’s Note, 2/26/07: The winners have been announced. See our listing of the winners and discussion.
The Oscar nominations are in, and so are the results for the Oscar Nominations Game. User “jkjuice” placed first, correctly guessing 23 of the 26 selected nominees. But the top player whose account had been activated with our prize code was “trip,” who placed fourth overall and correctly guessed 22 out of 26 nominations. Congratulations to both of you!
My initial thoughts on the nominations follow.
The big shocker was the absence of Dreamgirls in the Best Picture and (less so) Director line-ups, although it still managed to pull off the most overall nominations of any film, thanks largely to securing three of the five Best Song nominations. Many people were predicting Dreamgirls to win Best Picture, so for it not to make the slate of nominees is a bit of a shock. It opened the door for Letters of Iwo Jima to slip in. Curiously, Dreamgirls and Letters were considered the two most likely frontrunners a year ago.
A number of people without Oscar wins added to growing collections of nominations. Kate Winslet received her fifth nomination. Peter O’Toole received his eighth in his first leading performance in twenty years. But it’s two of the three guys sharing Apocalypto’s Best Sound Mixing nomination with the impressive track records. One is Greg P. Russell, with his tenth nomination without a win. The other is Kevin O’Connell, with his eighteenth nomination without a win.
One very striking thing is how the technical awards don’t line up with the Best Picture nominees very well. Usually the five Picture nominees filter through and dominate the technical categories. But there are no Best Picture nominees at all in Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Song, Best Sound Mixing, or Best Makeup. Best Costume Design and Best Sound Editing only have one each. The very telling category is Best Editing. No film has won Best Picture without a Best Editing nomination in 26 years. The only two Best Picture nominees also nominated for Best Editing? Babel and The Departed. But that’s just one stat of many that all point toward different ends.
On a personal note, I guessed 21 correctly, and I’m kicking myself for one miss in particular. I got unnerved by the number of people predicting Sacha Baron Cohen for a Best Actor nomination, so I swapped out Ryan Gosling for him at the last minute. Should have stuck to my guns.
The game for predicting the winners will open shortly. We’ll have prizes for that game as well, but we’ll wait to announce them until Episode 18, so keep listening.