Good Morning Oscar, January 21: Predicting for Profit

There’s $100K in it for you if you can predict all the Oscar winners

Are you better than Roger Ebert at guessing Oscar winners? If so, you can win a three-month subscription to MUBI.com’s streaming movie service. And if you’re better than Ebert and everybody else – if you’re the only person to correctly guess all 24 winners – then you can win a much, much bigger prize: $100,000. The Roger Ebert & MUBI Oscar contest, which was announced on Thursday, is the biggest Academy Awards contest ever, with 100 grand – or a share of it – going to anybody who guesses all the winners, and MUBI subscriptions for everybody who outguesses Ebert’s picks, which he’ll have the disadvantage of posting next Tuesday, the day the nominations are announced. The contest is two sweepstakes, requiring two separate entries – and if more than one person gets all 24 winners right, the prize money will be evenly divided between all those who do so. But I wouldn’t expect many people to do that, so there’s the chance for some significant money here … (MUBI.com)

Hilary SwankTom O’Neil offers what he insists will be “100% perfect Oscar nomination predictions.” He says this every year, of course – and the bizarre thing is that when the actual nominations come out, he never actually gets them 100 percent right. (If he did, he could look up Roger Ebert and make 100 grand.) So, I don’t know, maybe it’s a cheap ploy for attention or something. Anyway, I think he’s at least 85 percent right with his 100 percent perfect predictions, and maybe better than that – but if nothing else, that pick of Hilary Swank for a Best Actress nomination is going to bespoil his perfect record. (Awards Tracker)

An unidentified Hollywood Reporter “Oscar Brain Trust” looks at the Foreign-Language shortlist, and decides that the likeliest nominees are Mexico’s “Biutiful,” Denmark’s “In a Better World” and either Canada’s “Incendies” or South Africa’s “Life Above All,” and that the least-likely films to advance are Greece’s daring “Dogtooth,” Japan’s dark “Confessions” and Sweden’s “Simple Simon.” I agree about the first three but wouldn’t be so sure about “Dogtooth” and “Confessions” – remember, the phase-two committee that picks the nominees is closer in composition to the select executive committee than the general voters. And then Tim Appelo offers five “snubs”: France’s “Of Gods and Men” (I hear it had a very strong supporter on the exec committee but just fell short), Thailand’s “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” (never had a chance with first-round voters or with the exec committee), Germany’s “When We Leave” (reportedly brought up but quickly dismissed by the execs), Italy’s “The First Beautiful Thing” (which was thought to be loved by the general voters) and Finland’s “Steam of Life” (which was probably hurt by the fact that conservative voters have trouble accepting non-narrative films in the category). Appelo also wants to know which six films on the shortlist were chosen by general voters and which three films came from the executive committee – and while the Academy doesn’t release that information, I have absolutely no doubt that “Dogtooth” and “Confessions” were exec committee choices, and I hear the third was something unexpected. (Spain?) (The Hollywood Reporter)