A New Type of Oscar Ballot
Updated: Jun 30, 2021
The Oscars are here again, and I am teaming up Elie Thawn—creator of Symposiia and one of my best friends—to share how we celebrate this “holiday” together despite being on opposite coasts.
Full disclosure: neither of us are super happy with the Oscars this year, for a number of reasons:
The best picture nominees are good, but most aren’t of the caliber that usually comes with the Oscars. I, personally, wasn’t excited about a lot of the movies this year.
The proposed Popular Film category (which was later rescinded). This had a number of issues with it. How do you determine what is “popular”? Why are “popular” movies not considered the same quality as ‘best picture’?
Feeling like Black Panther was just thrown a bone with its best picture nomination (though we both feel this was one of the few that was actually deserved)…
...and the lack of any nominations for Crazy Rich Asians. Not even adapted screenplay or production design!? Come on. If Bohemian Rhapsody can get nominations, so can CRA.
The decision to show certain awards during commercial breaks… like cinematography and editing. Not like those are at the core of cinema or anything. Thankfully, this was also rescinded. (Elie: not to mention not showing the Best Original Song performances on air. How dare they deprive me of Lin Manuel Miranda.)
Not having a host. Most people remember the Oscars by either who won best picture or who the host was.
All of this being said, we still love celebrating Oscar Sunday, and cinema in general. We look forward to seeing how this year’s ceremony will turn out.
Unlike the traditional “pick one winner per category” ballot, Elie created a ballot where we rank the nominees. Our picks were based on a combination of what we want to win and what we think will win. We will keep a tally of our responses, and like golf, the person with the lowest score wins. We then paired these ballots with a drinking game, which is posted on the Symposiia website. Check it out here!
If you want to join in the fun, either let me know so I can get you a blank form or download it from the Symposiia site.
Edits and Updates:
I noticed I had two #3 picks for Actress in a Leading Role. I am announcing now that I pick Glenn Close as #2 and Melissa McCarthy as #3
First, the scores of our ballots! I had a total of 47 points, and Elie had a 43. Elie wins!
A quick summary of my thoughts:
The show had a decent pace without a host, even if it was a little less exciting.
I am happy with most of the wins... except Green Book for best picture. Just, no.
I do wish best actress went to Glenn Close or Yalitza Aparicio, but I'm not upset that Olivia Colman won.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's performance was... a lot.
On the red carpet: Regina King, Michelle Yeoh, and Constance Wu looking FABULOUS, a lot of pink, bucking convention - women in pants, men in more "traditionally feminine" styles - and marginally better questions being asked in interviews (one notable exception being the super cringeworthy "do a haka move" incident).