Beat the Recession with Our Handy Guide to Winning Your Extremely Lucrative Oscar Pool

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01/22/2009 4:17 PM |

Because I spent most of this morning crying over the Academy’s snubbing of the beautiful three-hour-plus Armenian film The Sobbing Orchid and cursing the ignorant tastes of the American moviegoing public, I decided that I should probably not do an Oscars post. Instead, I asked Craig Rowin to present the L’s guide to the Oscar nominations. His words follow.

Why should the glory of Oscar night belong solely to Hollywood hunks and divas? Just because they appeared in a movie this year, and acted their hearts out, doesn’t mean that we, the viewers, shouldn’t be able to share some of that sweet sweet Academy Award action. The nominations just came out, so it’s too late to get nominated (unless you have a time machine and some acting chops), so your only chance to win is dominating your Oscar betting pool. Predicting the winners is tough, so below are some surefire tips that will help you be a true winner on Oscar night.

Best Adapted Screenplay – All of these screenplays are based on another piece of work. Talk to the die-hard fans of the source material. Whether it is based on a book, short story or foreign film, all fans of the original piece of work will find huge problems with the Hollywood version. Pick the film whose fan base was least offended. This will not be easy.

Best Original Screenplay – The only way for the Academy to pick the winner is to read all the screenplays, and reading all those wordy scripts is too of a big time investment. Since Wall-E has the least dialogue, you can bet on it being the only script the Academy reads and, in turn, the winner.

Best Foreign Language Film – The Academy does not like to embarrass Oscar presenters. It is a known secret that to avoid mispronunciation, the Foreign Film with the simplest title always wins. Bet on The Class or Departures. Depending on who is presenting, there still may be a flub.

Best Supporting Actress – Marisa Tomei won this category sixteen years ago for her role in My Cousin Vinny. Remember her hair and dress in that movie? That was awesome. It is understood that she actually deserved two Oscars for that role. This year she will win for The Wrestler to make up for it.

Best Actress
– There has been a noteworthy trend in the 2000s for Best Actress. More often than not, the winner has portrayed a woman who has actually existed. Notables include Nicole Kidman in The Hours, Charlize Theron in Monster, and Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose. This year, Angelina Jolie is the only actress to fit this criterion, for her role as Christine Collins, in Changeling. Go with your gut…the trend will be broken.

Best Original Song – Three 6 Mafia was not featured on a soundtrack this year, but they will somehow win.

Best Supporting Actor – This year it is obvious that one actor put his heart, soul, anxieties and fears into a masterful performance. Though he wore a great deal of makeup for the role, it could not hide the profound heaviness of such a character. This is the role he will always be remembered for. Bet on Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder.

Best Actor – The last three years have taught us that best acting means best affected voice. Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote, Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin, and Daniel Day Lewis as Daniel Plainview — all winners. Unfortunately this year is uncertain, because Clint Eastwood, who would have won hands down for imitating his own gritty voice in Gran Torino, was not nominated.

Achievement in Makeup
– The makeup category is impossible to predict. Everyone is still baffled over the fact that Norbit did not win last year.

Best Documentary Feature – The lineup for this category is impressive. But put your money on Encounters at the End of the World. If Werner Herzog wins, he will give an outrageously eccentric acceptance speech that will be viewed on youtube a billion times the next day. And we all know that the Academy is searching for a viral hit.

Best Visual Effects – Benjamin Button hands down. The effects were just good enough to make viewers forget it was a rewrite of Forrest Gump.

Achievement in Directing – Ron Howard already won Best Director for 2001’s A Beautiful Mind, but he may have just enough pull to make it happen again. And then his big plan, having his directing career overshadow his role on Happy Days, will reach its final stage.

Best Picture
– All of the nominations for Best Picture have great potential for pun headlines, except for The Reader. Check it out: Slumdog‘s Underdog Win. Milk Does the Oscars Good. Benjamin Pushes all the Right Buttons. Frost/Burns it Up. The Reader… um… The Reader… It’s impossible. If you love chaos, bet on The Reader because it will stump the newspaper industry.