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We Have a Winner! One Winner!

This is the latest edition of the Movies Fantasy League newsletter. The 2023-2024 season has ended, but you can sign up below to get a reminder for next year’s league.

The 96th Academy Awards are in the books, coming in under the allotted run time and resulting in seven awards — including Best Picture, Director, and Actor — to Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. The movie’s largely expected haulcapped off not only a huge year for cinema but also a grand adventure in the Movies Fantasy League.

The seven wins added up to a critical 475 points:
Best Picture: +100
Best Director: +75
Best Actor: +75
Best Supporting Actor: +75
Best Cinematography: +50
Best Film Editing: +50
Best Original Score: +50

That ended up being enough to flip the standings at the last possible minute, as a wave of rosters rode the Oppenheimer wave to victory. And now, we have our winner. After weeks upon weeks of an immovable seven-way tie at the top of the standings, Oppenheimer helped our lone champion, team Ben Chung, claim victory.

Ben Chung’s roster included five Oscar winners: Oppenheimer, Barbie (which took Best Original Song for 50 points), American Fiction (Best Adapted Screenplay for +75), 20 Days in Mariupol (Best Documentary for +75), and Poor Things. Yorgos Lanthimos’s film, which was present on virtually every roster at the top of the standings, won four awards on the night, including Best Actress for Emma Stone (+75), Best Costume Design (+50), Best Production Design (+50), and Best Makeup (+50), for a total of 225 points.

Lurking only 28 points behind the champ was a pair of teams who tied for second place with 6,086 points: richard feynmans bongos and Kitty Oppenheimers Drinking Partner. Their identical rosters shared Oppenheimer, Poor Things, American Fiction, and 20 Days in Mariupol with Ben Chung, plus got points for The Boy and the Heron winning Best Animated Feature and Anatomy of a Fall winning Best Original Screenplay. If Sandra Hüller had taken Best Actress, it would have been a whole new ball game.

A tie for second meant we needed to go to the tiebreakers to decide the difference. Tiebreaker No. 1 was total mentions of the word “Barbie” in the entire ceremony. There were 19 in total. richard feynmans bongos guessed four, while Kitty Oppenheimers Drinking Partner guessed 32, which means Kitty Oppenheimers Drinking Partner takes it by a hair.

The top 12 places get prizes in the league. The top three will divvy up these three items:

Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Products: Retailers

➼ Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Headphones
➼ A 65-Inch 5-Series TCL Roku TV

Fourth through eighth get Criterion subscriptions, and ninth through 12th get Vulture-branded swag. Congratulations to the following dozen MFLers; we’ll be in touch with you later today:

Graphic: Vulture

Meanwhile, a solemn tip of the cap to the Gang of Seven, the group of teams with identical rosters that held the lead with an iron fist for several months. They all finished an agonizing TWO points outside the prize tier. Incredibly suspenseful season, folks! The rest of you can check your final standings on the MFL landing page, here.

We’ll be back later this week with a more in-depth breakdown of the final scores and film tallies. For now, take a deep post-Oscars breath while we double- and triple-check our point totals. And in the meantime …

The Queen of Podcasts

Congratulations are due to the great Katey Rich of the Little Gold Men podcast for her first-place finish in the Podcasters League! Her team Rustin Bones and All boasted a roster of Oscar winners in Oppenheimer, Poor Things, Barbie, and American Fiction, in addition to big money-earner Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour and a few whimsical fliers on 80 for Brady and Dicks: The Musical. Little Gold Men also attracted the second-largest mini-league in the FML, the Little Goldies, so it’s only appropriate that Katey took the podcaster prize.

The Podcasters League top five rounded out with yours truly (team The Owls of GaHuller) in second place, Blank Check’s David Sims (team David Is Afraid) in third, Cows in the Field’s Justin Khoo in fourth, and Little Gold Men’s Richard Lawson in fifth.

Over in the Vulture staff league, the season-long dominance of Rebecca Alter’s Here we go mama team was nipped at the last possible second, falling to third place behind (sigh) me (I’m sorry) in first place (my dress broke!) and Nick Quah’s Boppenheimer squad in second place. Once again, Oppenheimer proved to be the difference-maker for late-game surges. Nate Jones (team 80 for Natey) finished in fourth place, and Alison Willmore (team ACW) placed in fifth.

Won’t You Cinematrix Once Again?

How could we not have a Christopher Nolan–themed game on the Monday after the Oppenheimer Oscars? Give today’s Cinematrix a shot, and if you like it, sign up for the alert to get notified when new games publish each weekday morning.

Questions? Feedback? Can’t find your team or mini-league on the leaderboard? Drop us a line at [email protected].

Joe Reid , 2024-03-11 22:00:48

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