Attention Oscar fans: Meet one of the guys who kicked your butts last year at predicting the nominations. Dylan Tucker (better known as SxECanadianFanSxE in our world-famous Oscar forum) did so well at predicting Oscar noms last year that his current forecasts are now featured as part of Gold Derby’s Top 24 Users.
Tucker is a third-year student at the University of Toronto studying life sciences. He’s originally from Stratford, Ontario — or, as he calls it, “Land of the Biebs.” Gold Derby sat down with Tucker to find out how the heck he did so well last year and what he’s predicting to win this year. Hint: You may want to copy some of his Oscar predictions!
Spill the beans, Dylan! How did you do so well at predicting last year’s Oscar nominations?
Tucker: I think I did so well last year because I watched most of the contenders. For example, as soon as I watched “Saving Mr. Banks” — which was quite the snorefest — I knew that Emma Thompson was not going to make the Best Actress cut. Her character was way too shrewd, and the movie was not very good. Add the fact that there was a mini backlash about Walt Disney‘s anti-Semitic views in the crucial voting period, and it sealed her fate.
Was there one particular Oscar nomination prediction that you were most proud of?
Tucker: I am very proud of how I did predicting the acting nominees last year. I went 18/20, including a perfect supporting actor and lead actress pool. I also correctly predicted nominations for Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale when others were dropping both of them. I suppose I am most proud of my Jonah Hill prediction. Inexplicably, awards pundits just weren’t talking about his scene-stealing role. Trusting my own instincts regarding his perf really paid off. Oh, and I was one of the first to say that “American Hustle” would get every main actor nominated.
Looking forward, what are your major Oscar predictions for this year?
Tucker: I’m very wary predicting nominations for movies I haven’t seen, and it seems like there are more question marks this year than ever before. With that said, I think “Interstellar” is in the best position to win Best Picture.
Christopher Nolan has a ton of momentum, and the movie looks like it combines the action and excitement of “Inception” with the serenity and importance of “The Tree of Life.”
Plus, it’s been a decade since we have had a real box-office phenom take the crown. Another prediction I’m making is a surprise BP nom for “Whiplash.” I have yet to see the film, but everyone is so moved by it that I think it will have a similar trajectory to previous Sundance hit “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”
What might be some of the biggest surprises on Oscar nominations morning?
Tucker: On Oscar nominations morning, the directing category will probably produce another jaw-dropper. I remain unconvinced of Angelina Jolie‘s position in the race because the film looks so commercial and uncool. Watch out for Paul Thomas Anderson! Also, if “Foxcatcher” is as cold as people are saying it is, it may under-perform with nominations.
Do you usually listen to Oscar pundits, or go your own way?
Tucker: I usually listen to Oscar pundits for the first part of the race, but end up diverging as soon as I see the films. It’s way more fun that way!
What is your favorite film or performance so far from 2014?
Tucker: I haven’t gotten around to the really high-profile films yet, so my two favorite movies are a tad obscure. The first is “The Raid 2,” which I believe is one of the finest action movies ever made (and I don’t even like action films!). The Indonesian underdog is destined for cult-classic status as it mixes a poignant story with breathtaking choreography and outstanding character work. Arifin Putra is my pick for supporting actor of the year thus far! The second is “Wild Tales,” Argentina’s submission for the foreign language Oscar. It is a black-comedy portmanteau that examines how people react when they lose control of their life. It is a total crowd pleaser, so a nomination in FL film would not surprise me in the least. My favorite North American movies (so far) are “Boyhood” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel“, although I should give special mention to two excellent comedies — “The Lego Movie” and “22 Jump Street.”
Finally, what are your favorite Oscar wins of all time?
Tucker: Naming my favorite Oscar win is so tough. If forced to pick, I would choose Charlize Theron‘s win for “Monster” and Daniel Day Lewis‘ in “There Will Be Blood.” Seeing those two be consumed by their dreadful characters was unforgettable, and they deservedly collected the statuette for their sacrifices. “Annie Hall” taking down “Star Wars” was pretty damn cool as well!
Is Tucker onto something with that “Interstellar” prediction?
Below, use our easy drag-and-drop menu to cast your own ballot for Oscar’s Best Picture and you could be in our Top 24 next year. Your predictions determine our racetrack odds and you can keep editing them right up until the day Oscar nominations are announced. Top score wins $1,000.