Movie Musical Bracket

March 24, 2017

My good buddy, Mike Sheehan, and I recently recorded a podcast episode debating our favorite movie musicals since the year 2000. In celebration of March Madness, we used a bracket-style to determine the rankings, match-ups, and eventually the winner. Here is the process that went with figuring out the rankings and at the bottom is the episode. Enjoy!


This post is to explain how we came up with the movies and the rankings for our Movie Musical Bracket.

First, we needed a topic and both Mike and I love movie musicals, and statistically there weren’t too many of them to choose from. Well, that’s what we thought at first before realizing there are plenty of classic movie musicals, so to stay clear from them we decided to keep the pool of films to more recent memory. We decided to only allow movie musicals since the year 2000 to be in the bracket, but even deciding that would be a lot of work. Luckily, we found a Buzzfeed article where Louis Peitzman ranked his favorite movie musicals that were released after the year 2000.

Perfect! Until Mike realized it omitted one of his favorite movie musicals: Moulin Rouge. So we just decided to throw that film in the mix as well. So we had Moulin Rouge plus 23 of the films Mr. Peitzman had on his list as the pool of films trying so hard to make it into our bracket. Now we needed to decide how to get that list down to 8.

We decided to have an Objective Score and a Subjective Score. The Objective Score was the sum of the film’s IMDB Rating + 10% of its Rotten Tomatoes Score + the films domestic box office gross/10,000,000 (with 10 being the max score). Basically, each category’s max score would be 10, so a film’s perfect score would be 30. And we felt that the mixture of IMDB (fan voting) + Rotten Tomatoes (critic’s gauge) + Box Office (pop culture relevance) was a fair enough system.

But then we had a Subjective Score, which was our separate rankings of our favorite 8 films from the pool. We ranked them 1 through 8 and used a point system: 15 points to the 1st ranked film, 13 points to the 2nd ranked film, 11 points to the 3rd ranked film, etc. Again, the max score for any film would be 30 points.

After combining all of the scores, we had our rankings. But then we discussed our main problem: what if we disagreed with a match-up? What would the tie-breaking mechanism be? We can’t just flip a coin or have the higher seed win. So we decided that since we’re the ones debating, our rankings should matter as the tie-break. Whenever we have a tie, we would look only at the Subjective Totals and the film with the higher Subjective Score would win. If that also resulted in a tie, then the higher seed won.

And there you have it! Here are how the rankings ended up and the first round match-ups:

1. La La Land (47.7 points)
2. Les Miserables (44.5 points)
3. Once (38.6 points)
4. Moulin Rouge (35.9 points)
5. Tangled (33.7 points)
6. Chicago (30.8 points)
7. Sweeney Todd (30.2 points)
8. Sing Street (28.9 points)

1. La La Land vs. 8. Sing Street
2. Les Miserables vs. 7. Sweeney Todd
3. Once vs. 6. Chicago
4. Moulin Rouge vs. 5. Tangled

Enjoy Episode 25 of Popcorn and Pop Culture Podcast:


The Golden Globes

December 14, 2007

The Golden Globes
Sunday – January 13, 2008

The nominees for the 65th Golden Globes were announced earlier today.  Before I list the nominations, let me say a few things about this award ceremony in case you’re unfamiliar with it.  Usually about a month prior to the Oscars, the Golden Globes is a dinner ceremony that awards outstanding accomplishments to television and movies.  Run by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), some consider this award ceremony as one of the biggest guides to figuring out who are the frontrunners for the Oscars.  On the other hand, others suggest that the Golden Globes is a star-studded popularity contest.  Nonetheless, here are the nominations:


Picture, Drama: “American Gangster,” “Atonement,” “Eastern Promises,” “The Great Debaters,” “Michael Clayton,” “No Country for Old Men,” “There Will Be Blood.”

Actress, Drama: Cate Blanchett, “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”; Julie Christie, “Away From Her”; Jodie Foster, “The Brave One”; Angelina Jolie, “A Mighty Heart”; Kiera Knightley, “Atonement.”

Actor, Drama: George Clooney, “Michael Clayton”; Daniel Day-Lewis, “There Will Be Blood”; James McAvoy, “Atonement”; Viggo Mortensen, “Eastern Promises”; Denzel Washington, “American Gangster.”

Picture, Musical or Comedy: “Across the Universe,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “Hairspray,” “Juno,” “Sweeney Todd.”

Actress, Musical or Comedy: Amy Adams, “Enchanted”; Nikki Blonsky, “Hairspray”; Helena Bonham Carter, “Sweeney Todd”; Marion Cotillard, “La Vie En Rose”; Ellen Page, “Juno.”

Actor, Musical or Comedy: Johnny Depp, “Sweeney Todd”; Ryan Gosling, “Lars and the Real Girl”; Tom Hanks, “Charlie Wilson’s War”; Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Savages”; John C. Reilly, “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.”

Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, “I’m Not There”; Julia Roberts, “Charlie Wilson’s War”; Saoirse Ronan, “Atonement”; Amy Ryan, “Gone Baby Gone”; Tilda Swinton, “Michael Clayton.”

Supporting Actor: Casey Affleck, “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”; Javier Bardem, “No Country for Old Men”; Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Charlie Wilson’s War”; John Travolta, “Hairspray”; Tom Wilkinson, “Michael Clayton.”

Director: Tim Burton, “Sweeney Todd”; Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, “No Country for Old Men”; Julian Schnabel, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”; Ridley Scott, “American Gangster”; Joe Wright, “Atonement.”

Screenplay: Diablo Cody, “Juno”; Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, “No Country for Old Men”; Christopher Hampton, “Atonement”; Ronald Harwood, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”; Aaron Sorkin, “Charlie Wilson’s War.”

Foreign Language: “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” Romania; “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” France and U.S.; “The Kite Runner,” U.S.; “Lust, Caution,” Taiwan; “Persepolis,” France.

Animated Film: “Bee Movie,” “Ratatouille,” “The Simpsons Movie.”

Original Score: Michael Brook, Kaki King, Eddie Edder, “Into the Wild”; Clint Eastwood, “Grace Is Gone”; Alberto Iglesias, “The Kite Runner”; Dario Marianelli, “Atonement”; Howard Shore, “Eastern Promises.”

Original Song: “Despedida” from “Love in the Time of Cholera”; “Grace Is Gone” from “Grace Is Gone”; “Guaranteed” from “Into the Wild”; “That’s How You Know” from “Enchanted”; “Walk Hard” from “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.”


Series, Drama: “Big Love,” HBO; “Damages,” FX Networks; “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC; “House,” Fox; “Mad Men,” AMC; “The Tudors,” Showtime.

Actress, Drama: Patricia Arquette, “Medium”; Glenn Close, “Damages”; Minnie Driver, “The Riches”; Edie Falco, “The Sopranos”; Sally Field, “Brothers & Sisters”; Holly Hunter, “Saving Grace”; Kyra Sedgwick, “The Closer.”

Actor, Drama: Michael C. Hall, “Dexter”; Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”; Hugh Laurie, “House”; Jonathan Rhys Meyers, “The Tudors”; Bill Paxton, “Big Love.”

Series, Musical or Comedy: “30 Rock,” NBC; “Californication,” Showtime; “Entourage,” HBO; “Extras,” HBO; “Pushing Daisies,” ABC.

Actress, Musical or Comedy: Christina Applegate, “Samantha Who?”; America Ferrera, “Ugly Betty”; Tina Fey, “30 Rock”; Anna Friel, “Pushing Daisies”; Mary-Louise Parker, “Weeds.”

Actor, Musical or Comedy: Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”; Steve Carell, “The Office”; David Duchovny, “Californication”; Ricky Gervais, “Extras”; Lee Pace, “Pushing Daisies.”

Miniseries or Movie: “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,” HBO; “The Company,” TNT; “Five Days,” HBO; “Longford,” HBO; “The State Within,” BBC America.

Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Bryce Dallas Howard, “As You Like It”; Debra Messing, “The Starter Wife”; Queen Latifah, “Life Support”; Sissy Spacek, “Pictures of Hollis Woods”; Ruth Wilson, “Jane Eyre (Masterpiece Theatre).”

Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Adam Beach, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”; Ernest Borgnine, “A Grandpa for Christmas”; Jim Broadbent, “Longford”; Jason Isaacs, “The State Within”; James Nesbitt, “Jekyll.”

Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Rose Byrne, “Damages”; Rachel Griffiths, “Brothers & Sisters”; Katherine Heigl, “Grey’s Anatomy”; Samantha Morton, “Longford”; Anna Paquin, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”; Jaime Pressly, “My Name Is Earl.”

Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Ted Danson, “Damages”; Kevin Dillon, “Entourage”; Jeremy Piven, “Entourage”; Andy Serkis, “Longford”; William Shatner, “Boston Legal”; Donald Sutherland, “Dirty Sexy Money.”

Analysis:  (Because films kick television’s behind, I will only give my thoughts on the half of the Golden Globes that really matter)

Like usual, there were the definite shoe-ins and there were snubs for the best picture races.  The Golden Globes separate the best picture into two different categories, Drama (in which 7 nominations are presented instead of the 5 for the Oscars) and Musical/Comedy.  So with a total of 12 best picture nominations, can anything be determined from the Golden Globes that will lead up to the Oscars.  I don’t think so.

Best Picture, Drama – The two clear frontrunners thus far in the Oscar race (Atonement and No Country for Old Men) are properly listed in the Best Picture Drama race, along with highly predicted There Will Be Blood, Michael Clayton, and American Gangster.  The surprise of the race goes to Eastern Promises, which I thought was a great film with strong performances but with flaws in the script, and The Great Debaters. 
Snubs:  I cannot believe that Sean Penn’s Into the Wild didn’t make the cut.  This is evidence how the box office can prevent an independent film with lots of buzz and raving reviews from making a real impact.
Early Prediction:  In my mind, there is no better movie than No Country for Old Men, but does it have enough star-power to swing the votes their way?  Atonement with Keira Knightley and Jamez McAvoy seems more TV-friendly, along with American Gangster’s all-star cast. 

Best Picture, Musical/Comedy – The surprise of the race goes to Across the Universe.  With mixed reviews, I really didn’t think this 2-hour Beatles music video would appeal highly to the HFPA, but apparently it did.  The other 4 nominees were expected to make the cut.
Snubs:  The only film that I thought would’ve been in the top 5 instead of Across the Universe was Enchanted.  I’m still a bit surprised that it’s not there, but I’ll live.  Also, I was hoping that Apatow’s Knocked Up would make its way on the list.
Early Prediction:  This is quite a race.  Since Dreamgirls won this category last year (over Little Miss Sunshine) I have a feeling Juno and Charlie Wilson’s War are out.  I really doubt Across the Universe will win, so my guess goes to Sweeney Todd (I doubt it’ll get better reviews than Hairspray, but it’ll gross more in the box office and who would you rather see:  Johnny Depp and Tim Burton or Nikki who and Travolta without a fat suit?)

The lead acting categories are also broken down into drama and musical/comedy. 

Lead Actor, Drama – To me, there weren’t any big surprises here.  The one slightly, yet pleasant, surprise in this category was Viggo Mortensen’s nomination.  I’m very glad that Viggo got in this group of great actors instead of John Cusack.  Bravo to the HFPA.
Snubs:  There were a number of actors who could’ve made the list of nominees such as Frank Langella, John Cusack, Russell Crowe, or Josh Brolin.  But the one actor who I am a bit sad who didn’t get nominated was Emile Hirsch for his outstanding performance in Into the Wild.
Early Prediction:  George Clooney and Denzel Washington are the two big guns shooting for the award, although I feel that Daniel-Day Lewis will be able to outlast the popularity of these two and win.

Lead Actress, Drama – There was only one surprise in this category, Jodie Foster’s nomination for The Brave One. 
Snubs:  Some feel that Anamaria Marinca deserved the nomination over Jodie Foster.  Heck, Halle Berry and Ashley Judd probably deserved to be in the top five more than Foster.
Early Prediction:  Julie Christie.  Her performance in Away From Her was heartbreaking.  I cannot see her losing this award… but maybe with the right amount of buzz, Keira Knightley could steal it. 

Lead Actor, Musical/Comedy – The surprise nominee was John C. Reily’s for his hilarious portrayal of Dewey Cox in Walk Hard.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Reily, but there are a number of actors who deserved this more than him.
Snubs:  Glen Hansard in Once is a pure shocker to me.  Does this serve as more evidence how the Golden Globes don’t award the small, unattractive films? 
Early Prediction:  We have two heavyweights battling it out in this category… Tom Hanks vs. Johnny Depp.  Sure, Gosling’s an excellent actor, and so is Philip Seymour Hoffman, but this is a big boy’s race.  This is clearly an early early prediction for me, since neither movie has hit the theaters yet, but from the buzz I’ve been hearing, Charlie Wilson’s War is appreciated by a selective audience.  And I assume Sweeney Todd will more than double the gross of Charlie Wilson’s War… therefore, Johnny Depp will win.

Lead Actress, Musical/Comedy – Again, there was only one surprise nominee in the group… Helena Bonham Carter in Sweeney Todd. 
Snubs:  I would’ve predicted Laura Linney, Keri Russell, and possibly even Nicole Kidman over Carter.  But hey, now four of the five nominees sang.  Unless Ellen Page sings in Juno… hmm… I haven’t seen it yet.
Early Prediction:  With all the musical fans ganging up on each other, I expect this race to be tight, but with the young Ellen Page to take home the statue.

Supporting Actor – I’m quite content with the nominees in this category.  Some might’ve been surprised by Hoffman’s nod for his role in Charlie Wilson’s War, while others might’ve been pushing for a repeat for Sacha Baren Cohen.
Snubs:  Nope… they got it right.
Early Prediction:  As memorable as John Travolta’s speech would probably be, Javier Bardem will win for his chilling role as serial killer Anton Chigurh.

Supporting Actress – Well… I feel that this category is a bit weak.  I’m happy that Saorise Ronan got a nomination.  I’m also glad Julia Robert’s first role in three years scored her a nomination as well.
Snubs:  None.
Early Prediction:  This should be a two-way race between Cate Blanchett and Amy Ryan.  As well as Amy Ryan’s doing thus far in award season, I think Cate Blanchett will win for her outstanding performance as Bob Dylan.

Director – Now here’s a category that always seems to stem off of the best picture category, except with the Golden Globes, the directing award isn’t split.  All five nominees are definitely Best Director caliber, but the surprise, to me, was Ridley Scott’s nomination for American Gangster.  The movie was fun, action packed, and entertaining as hell, but it seems as though its box office success is leading this film to these nominations rather than the execution.
Snubs:  Sean Penn’s Into the Wild, again, gets robbed of a nomination.  I guess the fact of the matter is that no one saw this great movie.  Another snub is Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood.  I was a bit surprised that Tim Burton got a nod over Anderson, but I guess they couldn’t have all drama-film directors, right?
Early Prediction:  This is the year for the Coen Brothers.  Nothing else matters.  The Coen Brothers should win this award… hopefully the HFPA feel the same way.

Screenplay – All of these nominees are solid.  Of course there are a number of great screenplays and to narrow it down to just 5 is too hard for me to pick.
Snubs:  Michael Clayton, There Will Be Blood, and Away from Her.
Early Prediction:  Is there enough buzz around Diablo Cody for her Juno script?  I say, the buzz rides all the way to the Golden Globes and this first time writer will win this award.

Foreign Language Film – I haven’t seen any of the nominees, nor do I plan on watching them until the DVDs are released… unless The Kite Runner conveniently runs wherever I am.  So on a totally buzz-listening aspect, these five films were the expected five nominations.
Snubs:  None.
Early Prediction:  The Kite Runner is the most popular from the best selling novel, but The Diving Bell and the Butterfly will take this one… unless again the Globes show off why it’s known as a popularity contest.

Animated Film – Bee Movie.  Ratatouille.  The Simpsons Movie.  Were there any other animated films?  Ah, Beowulf.  Glad that didn’t make the cut.
Early Prediction:  Hands down… Ratatouille.  This shouldn’t even be close.

Original Score – I don’t know much about music in movies… but I can’t believe Once isn’t nominated.

Original Song – I don’t know much about music in movies… but I can’t believe Once isn’t nominated.

So there you have it.  Atonement led all movies with 7 nominations, while Charlie Wilson’s War had 5.  Let’s see if No Country for Old Men continue their dominance during awards season. 

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