So for two years I ran a fun little contest called "Actress Psychic". It was going swimmingly with more contestants each year trying to predict the Best Actress Oscar shortlist a whole year in advance. But the hugely painstaking spreadsheets and enormous time commitment -- which compiled points throughout the year for various achievements like precursor attention, magazine covers, festival attention and box office, finally done me in on the third edition.
I biffed it this year big time just as soon as I could have possibly biffed it. Gutterball! Or whatever sports analogy you'd like for FAIL. But in a rare feat of beating a deadline I had last night, I had some time to at least pour over the original entries and "guess" about who the winners should be without those pesky actual point totals.
I highlighted the actual correct guesses in gold and highlighted the suggested nominees that I'm guessing would have accrued some points (on the basis of other films they were pushing or precursor and general media attention) in turquoise.
The Gold Medal goes to Steve B
He correctly guessed three nominees a year in advance: Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep and even Gabourey Sidibe for Precious. But here's why he wins: He didn't waste his other place holders. Both Saoirse Ronan and Penelope Cruz would certainly have both accrued some points for staying in the game in one way or another as the season progressed.
The Silver Medal goes to Pat Grat
Pat correctly guessed three nominees a year in advance: Helen Mirren, Mulligan and Streep. The other spots were wasted on Hilary Swank's Amelia and Michelle Pfeiffer's Chéri who both bombed at the box office and were no-shows all throughout the season. Those final two predictions were literally the most popular of all in our contest... which serves as a healthy (annual) reminder that "sounds good on paper" doesn't always work for the Academy once it's on the screen. So when you're making your predictions for the 2010/2011 race remember. It takes more than "sounds good on paper!"
The Bronze Medal goes to Georgie
I'm not sure the point totals would have totally born this third place finish out but he correctly guessed two nominees, and all three of the other choices would have definitely won points (Cruz nominated for a different film in another category, Mirren albeit for the wrong film and Saoirse Ronan whose Lovely Bones were probably in 6th or 7th place all told for that Oscar shortlist given how surprisingly well she did in the precursors)
Adelutza, Fabrizzio, T Nelson, and BJK predicted four actual nominated women with their five-wide guesswork. Too bad they didn't choose the right categories or the right films for the most part. But still: 4! That's way better than I did this year that far in advance. And finally, bow down to pmcat7 who only called Meryl Streep correctly BUT is the only contestant who saw Sandra Bullock coming. But cat's prescription should still be checked because the ballot says All About Steve (Razzie nominee!) rather than The Blind Side (Oscar!). But that's still a glorious reminder that no one knows anything but sometimes the answer can be found in unlikely places.
And isn't Oscar crazy? That's why we continue to love and obsess over that shiny dude 12 months out of every year.