Screenwriter William Goldman ( Butch Cassidy, Princess Bride ) once summed up the movie business with the phrase "nobody knows anything." Talent, money, marketing --
Screenwriter William Goldman (Butch Cassidy, Princess Bride) once summed up the movie business with the phrase "nobody knows anything." Talent, money, marketing -- these ingredients are nice, but in the end movie success is largely a crap shoot. Roll your dice and move your mice.
Oscar watchers, a group of which I am a proud member, have adopted Goldman's line as their mantra (the terrific site Awards Daily used it as their motto at one time). As the nomination announcement grows closer, we tend to amend the quote: "Nobody knows anything -- except, of course, everyone knows that..."
This is followed by a list of supposed certainties, lead pipe cinches and the dreaded 'locks,' those nominees that couldn't possibly be snubbed by the Academy. For me, the word 'lock' is a jinx. It's like the play-by-play guy telling us that the field goal kicker never misses from inside the 30.
Still, if you know your awards history and trivia, you can improve your prognosticating skills. For example, diligent Oscar watchers have had Slumdog Millionaire cemented into the Best Picture category for what seems like ages now. Why? Because Slumdog won the National Board of Review's Best Film award, and since 2000, every single Best Film winner went on to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Stop. Check, please. Slumdog is in. It's loc...dammit, you almost got me.
This is our mania. We devour bits of information like that. It's really all we have to go on. We're not industry insiders; we're film fans who follow the Oscars like sports fans follow March Madness. And like any seasoned bracketologist, we feel have this whole Oscar nonsense down to an exact science.
Naturally, Oscar Nomination Morning dawns (this Thursday at 5:30am, check your local listings) and with it brings surprises and snubs, much to the delight and frustration of Oscar fans -- delighted that the nominations weren't obvious and boring, and frustrated that our calculations were all wrong and, once again, Mr. Goldman was right.
My predictions for the major awards after the jump...