Oscars Handicap 2.0 – by Kamran Jawaid


Oscars: Sure bet? I Wouldn’t Bet On It!

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

It’s a good thing we believe in handicapping, because things have changed a little since we submitted our Oscar Predictions for the presses this Monday. Oscars are our thing – for film critics who get published all-year-long, how can it not be?

However, and this we stress on, the forecast game is anything but consistent. Like any group consensus, individuals have their own reasoning when voting. A prominent best picture contestant may lose out (not saying that it WILL) when their marketing teams hampers the voters with too many “gifts”. Pushing people only makes thing worse; especially more so in an industry where everyone has a bred-in tendency to hate the other’s success (ego’s or general nastiness, you decide).

It won’t make a spec of a difference this late, but voter opinions have a trend to be a tad more audible a weekend before the Oscars.


Argo is still a shoe-in for Best Picture, but Lincoln is surprisingly a powerful pusher. And now Emmanuelle Riva is a definite for Amour; actually make that almost-definite, because – like makers of Red often say – no matter the spec, “everything is subject to change”.

What I See Happening Now:

Ang Lee will seriously head-butt Steven Spielberg. A few days ago, I tweeted that Mr. Lee may win the Oscar for Best Director (the tweet was part of a recurring gut feeling I had since the Award season began; so much was this fascination that I ended up dreaming it). I think an upset in imminent (see this chart from gold derby http://www.goldderby.com/stats/experts/oscars-2012/best-director.html)

Ms. Riva will beat Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain. Her tide is too strong now – and besides, it’s her birthday (we’re hoping she doesn’t).

No matter how much I love Phillip Seymour Hoffman (or how much people push for Robert De Niro, we counted him as a Longshot), I still see Tommy Lee Jones winning here.

Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty are suddenly neck to neck for Original Screenplay. Our bet vs. our preferences are still on the money (the upset by Michael Haneke is still a Longshot).

Melena Ryzik of the New York Times (who shares our style of ballot predicting) is saying that Chris Terrio will win Adapted Screenplay (our handicap). Even with the WGA win, Tony Kushner still has a shot here (crossed my fingers just now). The drift is certainly inimical to what we said (Re: http://www.goldderby.com/stats/experts/oscars-2012/best-adapted-screenplay.html).

Frankenweenie, Farheen and I liked. Ralph will win, if Pixar’s Brave doesn’t turn-up for the books.

Anne Hathaway and Daniel-Day Lewis are banks. So is Adele’s Skyfall.

The technical are always shifty, so it makes no sense to ponder over them in this post – and besides, the winners are less likely to deviate (would love it if Roger Deakins finally wins this year).

When we predicted, the Costume Designers Guild Awards – the CDGA – were still to happen. Their result, which shortlists suspicion (and little else because of their classification), went to Skyfall; our bet stands with Anna Karenina (also one of the winners there). The Production Design is still messed up (Re: http://www.goldderby.com/stats/experts/oscars-2012/best-production-design.html), and so are our predictions.

With one day to go, I am feeling a shaky growl in my stomach. The indigestion is one day ahead of schedule. Oh why, oh why can’t it be more like PIA?!


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