2006 OSCAR NOMINEES: Predict This! Part One


Predicting Award Winners can be a tricky business. First, the whole thing looks pretty simple. Then the more you look, the more you begin to second-guess. Eventually, the whole thing looks like theoretical physics. But I can’t make excuses. I’m here to pick the winners damnit.

I know what you’re thinking: Who the hell are you? What makes you so qualified to pick winners? Well, eat this: In the past 6 years I have engaged in an Oscar pool (or two) between friends, family and co-workers. I destroy these poor souls. I am a never-before-accomplished 6 out of 7 in these pools (I came in second in 2004 because I didn’t believe the Academy would give Return of the King a win for every nomination it received that year). When I walk into a room on Oscar night, people tremble at my boots. Others stare at me with the sort of jealousy that is only brought by past defeat. I have taken money from my grandmother with the sort of relish you couldn’t imagine. I remember how I fanned out her ten dollars and smacked her clear-across the face with it just so she knew I meant business and that next year she knew I was not one to be trifled with. I let the dollars explode in the air between us as they fell down like rain and told the broad “I’m an evil man, but I don’t take money from old hags.” Yes, I have achieved the sort of status that I can now turn down my spoils. I’ve been living off my Oscar Pool money for years, grinding it out like Joey Knish, waiting, watching like my boy Laremy with those Tristan and Isolde voters (A? Really?). If that ain’t proof-positive, I don’t know what is.

So what’s my secret? It’s all very simple. Now everyone crowd around and listen to what Uncle Dre has to say…You ready? Okay, here’s the secret…

You have to play with stupid people.

Could I really have won the last 6 out of 7 pools without this secret recipe? HELL’S NO. I make sure the deck is stacked before I sit at any table. Integrity or principles doesn’t enter into the equation. Like my boy Mickey Rourke says in Sin City: “This is blood for blood and by the gallons. These are the old days, the bad days, the all-or-nothing days. They’re back!” There are some people that just pick with their heart. These are the people you must search out and destroy. But you must abide by the following steps.

  1. Get To Know The Smaller Categories. I will usually pick up an Entertainment Weekly or Premiere Magazine to see who has the most buzz in the Documentary Short Subject category or what-not. Of course you’ve never heard of these movies, but those losers who get the big bucks in those magazines sure as hell have. In fact, they may be the only people on the planet that have seen them. Now, of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean their picks are golden because most likely the people voting haven’t seen most of the nominees anyway. To help simplify, I created a list of categories that should help you once you do a little research. If any of the really smaller categories (Documentary Short Subject, Live Action Short Film, Animated Short Film) have nominees that meet the following criteria, BET THE HOUSE:
    • They are about the Holocaust
    • The title of the movie sounds funny or just plain odd
    • The nominee sounds un-watchable
    • You’ve actually heard of the nominee before. This is especially important. If you heard of any of the nominees, you can rest assured it’s going to win.
  2. Your First Instinct Is Usually Right. Don’t let past upsets torture your mind. If you think Rachel Weisz is going to win because she’s won pretty much every other award, then rid yourself of that Amy Adams talk and jot down Weisz’s name for Pete’s sake. Everybody knows Brokeback Mountain is going to win, right? That Crash business is a bunch of crap and somewhere deep down you know it.
  3. Leave Your Personal Agenda At The Door. Trust your instincts, young padawan, but be mindful of your feelings. Who you want to win has nothing to do with who will win. This is the mistake your enemies make. Mercy is for the weak and Mercy does not exist in this dojo, does it?
  4. Gather As Many Stupid People As You Can. They don’t have to be I Am Sam, stupid. In fact, they can be rocket scientists. Actually, rocket scientists are probably your best candidates. They have no time to watch movies or Entertainment Tonight. They wouldn’t know Brokeback Mountain from “Big Jake”. Family members who spend too much time at home supporting their children? Sign’em up! Have a brother or sister who is constantly wondering how you have time to see “all those damn movies”? Xerox a friggin ballot sheet. Basically, look for people who have lives, who call you “loser” and “geek” or “freak”. This is your chance to enact a revenge the likes of which Park Chan-wook would be proud. Engaging the enemy itself is an art. It has to be completely casual.

    Now, you may have to play your prey differently depending on the individual. If you are trying to trap someone who you know can’t stand anyone else being better at anything, you may want to start boasting how you’re “in this Office Pool” and are going to clean up. If you are trying to snare a family member who complains how “you don’t call or visit enough”, promote the Oscar Pool as something fun you can do as a family, something to bring everyone closer. This will most likely draw in even more suckers. There is nothing better a familial massacre. Just kidding mom and dad! But no, really there isn’t. Anyway, you get the point.

    Now, if you’re forced into doing a pool with other movie-buffs you have an extra step…

  5. Control The Buzz. If you think EW has some sound-sounding picks and that the Premiere magazine dude is smoking too much wacky tobacky, by all means hand-feed your friend the Premiere mag. “Hey man, did you check out the Premiere magazine article on the Oscar Predictions. Pretty wicked stuff!” If your friend is more than a little crafty, you may want to invite him/her over and have the article already opened up on the kitchen counter or something. When they go to take a look, quickly grab it away in a guilty fashion. After that, you should be pretty money.

Your cocoon is just about used up. You can now go out into the world with your Oscar picks. Fly, little butterfly, fly! Now if you want to see the master in action, you can see my picks for the winners here and then do something useful with them here.

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Weekend: Nov. 15, 2018, Nov. 18, 2018

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