Scott Hardie | January 23, 2019
I am frustrated not to be able to start our annual contest on the first day of Oscar season for I think the first time ever. But I was up until 2am last night dealing with other priorities, and I just couldn't. It takes me a few hours to input the data and find the images. I'll get the contest launched on Friday, or possibly sooner.

Any thoughts on this year's nominees?

Erik Bates | February 22, 2019
I have seen so few of the nominees this year, in any category. This is a complete crap-shoot for me as far as guessing winners (even more so than usual).

Scott Hardie | February 24, 2019
Yeah, this is the first year of the contest that I've completely given up trying. It's mathematically impossible for me to come out ahead of the pack. The best possible outcome for me is to be in a massive tie for first, which would just be luck. I don't have it in me this year to push to do better, to wind ways to break out ahead like I usually try to do. :-(

I also haven't seen most of the nominees, so I don't much care who wins. I'm a lifelong Spike Lee fan, so I'd like to see him win Best Director, and I suppose I'm partial to Isle of Dogs. And I don't like to see someone buy an Oscar, as Netflix is trying to do with Best Picture. But otherwise, I don't especially care who wins what. Go, team apathy! A couple of years ago, the Super Bowl and Academy Awards were in some kind of sync, with each one producing a surprise outcome in the final minutes. This year, wildly unpopular teams and bad officiating led to a Super Bowl where it felt like nobody cared who won, and maybe this year's Oscars are the same.

Scott Hardie | February 24, 2019
Ok, I can't resist branching out a little. It's really just a guess. Let's see what happens in a few hours.

Samir Mehta | February 24, 2019
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Scott Hardie | February 24, 2019
Green Book won, with controversy. I had heard of Don Shirley and Victor Hugo Green's book before, but I didn't realize until recently that Tony Lip eventually became an actor on The Sopranos. I will see the movie at some point, but the mixed reviews are not exactly encouraging.

Once again, our contest has been won by an outsider. It's been eight years now since someone from the Funeratic community won. I am glad to see people discovering the site and our little contest, especially since many of the same players return every year, but I admit that I'd prefer to see Funeratic regulars win this.

That said, Rodney kicked butt! He was already in the top position going into the Best Picture category, where he bet on an upset for Green Book (one of only three people to make that prediction) and it paid off big time. This is Rodney's second year playing and I expect to see him again.

This is also the second year that I've had to clean up ghost accounts (one person entering multiple times under fake names). I don't completely ban people who do it, but I do delete the duplicate accounts and leave only the original. Sometimes I can't tell for sure if an account is a duplicate and have to make a judgment call. I don't like to run the risk of kicking someone out who hasn't done anything wrong, but worse would be a cheater winning the contest. Hopefully that hasn't happened yet and won't happen.

We have a statistical anomaly this year: Someone has scored 0 points for the first time ever. Ryan managed this by starting to make his predictions just one minute before the contest closed; he only got in Best Picture and Best Director before the site locked him out. I hope he continues to play in future years.

Thanks for making this a fun contest, everybody. I hope you enjoyed it too.

Any thoughts on the Oscar winners?

Samir Mehta | February 25, 2019
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Scott Hardie | February 25, 2019
I had not noticed that diversity in Best Director, but you're right; good point. And that's good and healthy for the industry, I think.

Part of the reason that Green Book flew under the radar for Best Picture had to be the lack of a corresponding Best Director nomination, traditionally a sign of weakness (less so in recent years but still relevant). However, Green Book's director was Peter Farrelly, who has made lowbrow entertainment that the Academy considers beneath them, and that's before taking this shit into account. He had zero chance of a nomination, but that doesn't mean that the movie didn't have support. The Academy's revulsion to letting Netflix have their big expensive win that would have changed the industry must have played into Green Book's success as well.

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