Oscar guessing: Odds or dumb luck?
BY DENNIS KING
I have a friend who prides himself on correctly guessing Oscar winners every year – despite the fact that he rarely ever sees any of the nominated movies. With a cold eye, he scans the nominees, figures the odds and picks the winners like a seasoned racetrack tout. And he has a slew of office Oscar pool wins and radio contest prizes to prove his prowess.
I, on the other hand, invariably see almost every nominated film and performance, get all sentimental and emotional about my favorites, and usually pick the long shots and dark horses to win – with predictably dubious results.
The lesson? When it comes to Oscar guessing, don’t play your favorites, play the odds. (Of course, all of this must come with the bracing caution that, with some 5,700 qualified Oscar voters, a rigorously secret ballot, a roiling atmosphere of monumental egos, behind-the scenes politicking and boardroom alliances, the Academy Awards are virtually unpredictable. There are always upsets and surprising wins.)
So with that in mind, this year I’ll (mostly) play the odds and humbly offer this bookmaker’s roster of supposedly predictable winners.
Best Supporting Actor:
Kenneth Branagh of “My Week With Marilyn” is the odds-on favorite. He’s a great actor who’s due. (Any upset – which often happens in this category – could come from one of two film titans: Christopher Plummer of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” or Max von Sydow of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”
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