The reviews are in: This year's Oscars broadcast, hosted by Anne Hathaway and James Franco, was the worst in recent memory. I myself didn't think it was awful, but then again I can't really remember any high points. Can you? I did enjoy the opening Inception-based movie, but that's about it. The reviewers didn't blame Franco and Hathaway for the sub-standard show -- they blamed the writers. Weak, predictable jokes, and many failed attempts to make the show appeal to younger viewers.
The King's Speech won the top honors (Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Original Screenplay), but those were only four of the 12 it was nominated for. Inception also won four (Cinematography, Visual Effects, and the two Sound awards). The Social Network won three, and True Grit -- while it looked to be a favorite early on -- went home empty-handed: It won none of the eleven awards it was nominated for.
So how did we do?
It was a fairly sedate race this year, with no come-from-behind excitement. After six categories, Ryan was in the lead; three categories later, Donna, Gary, and John had caught him in a four-way tie. Two envelopes later, Gary enjoyed a brief lead (thanks for the early, but premature, congratulatory call, Hagtidakis'!), but by the 14th envelope, two-time winner John pulled out ahead and for the rest of the night only saw us in his rear-view mirror.
With that same envelope, Tristen took the lead in the 17-and-under group, and she too -- like Speedy Gonzales -- proved impossible to catch.
Grandma, while never taking the lead, kept pace with the front-runners all night, and with the last envelope finished in 2nd place all alone. Third place was a three-way tie: Donna, Gary, and Ryan. The Most Improved Performance award has to go to Ryan: In his last Oscar race he finished eight or nine places out, and on this year's ballot he wrote: "Given my schedule, I have not watched ANY of these movies. Well, I guess I watched How to Train Your Dragon but that doesn't count. Good luck to all the contestants. I will not be in the top 3 this year!" Not so, Sparky! Only three envelopes separated you from the winner!
Meanwhile, Tristen is keeping the Metcalf streak alive. Congratulations to her for her first-ever win! For the second consecutive year, the Oscar statuette will split its time between the Metcalf house and the Hatgidakis house.
Best performance in the top categories belongs to Donna: Of the six big awards, she picked five of them (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Supporting Actress).
Another great Oscar race. Thanks to everybody who played along this year. See you next year!
(Number of correct picks out of 24 categories) 15 John 13 Grandma 12 Donna 12 Gary 12 Ryan 11 Marsha 9 Samantha 8 Karen 8 Tristen 7 Amanda 7 Anna 7 Emily 5 Erika 3 Teghan
And totalling all the results of the past fourteen years, here are the standings, in order of percentage of correct picks:
54% Gary 170 right out of 315 53% John 168 right out of 315 50% Marsha 156 right out of 315 49% Donna 155 right out of 315 45% Grandma 142 right out of 315 41% Amanda 129 right out of 315 42% Zachary 36 right out of 86 38% Samantha 120 right out of 315 38% Lori 56 right out of 148 37% Paul 82 right out of 220 36% Karen 113 right out of 315 35% Anna 88 right out of 253 36% Ryan 89 right out of 244 34% Lindsey 90 right out of 267 32% Emily 100 right out of 315 30% Brent 28 right out of 95 24% Erika 73 right out of 300 25% Olivia 47 right out of 190 25% Sean 12 right out of 48 22% Tristen 52 right out of 237 19% Teghan 23 right out of 120