Now that the Super Bowl is over and your favorite team has won (or lost), the real game can begin — the 90th annual Academy Awards. Specifically wagering on the Academy Awards, which will be broadcast in a few short weeks.

The Oscars are just as popular as football when it comes to home and office betting pools. Or March Madness. Or death pools. I don’t know anything about those. I do, however, know a thing or two about the Oscars. Otherwise I wouldn’t be writing for this website.

Each and every year I look forward to whichever Oscar-viewing party that I’ll be attending, and I’ll be intending to win the pool hosted therein. Here are my picks, and the logical reasoning behind them, in no particular order…


Woody Harrelson — Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Sam Rockwell — Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Richard Jenkins — The Shape of Water

Willem Dafoe — The Florida Project

Christopher Plummer — All the Money in the World

Harrelson and Rockwell block each other by being in the same flick. I didn’t even know Jenkins was in The Shape of Water, so he’s out. That leaves Dafoe in one corner and Plummer in the other. As much as I’d like to see them duke it out à la Celebrity Deathmatch, the award will clearly go to Christopher Plummer for one simple reason — he’s NOT Kevin Spacey.


Mary J. Blige — Mudbound

Allison Janney — I, Tonya

Lesley Manville — Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf — Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer — The Shape of Water

How did Mary get in here? She’s a singer nominated in the Best Song category. Obviously this is a typo. Octavia can only play the same role so many times, so better luck next time. Manville is out because Phantom Thread sounds too much like Phantom Menace and mesa nosa want to be reminded of dat. Personally I’d love to see Sheldon Cooper’s mom win, but my Monopoly money is on Janney.


Timothée Chalamet — Call Me by Your Name

Daniel Day-Lewis — Phantom Thread

Daniel Kaluuya — Get Out

Denzel Washington — Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Gary Oldman — Darkest Hour

Timothy knocks himself out of the running by spelling his name Timothée. The two Daniels cancel each other out, though not The Two Daniels, which is coming soon to NBC’s Must See TV line-up (circa 1994). Where the hell did Roman J. Israel come from? That movie totally snuck up on me. Through process of elimination, I eliminate it. That leaves Gary Oldman as the obvious winner, which most bookies are predicting, though most likely not with the same algorithm that I employ. Their loss.


Sally Hawkins — The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand — Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie — I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan — Lady Bird

Meryl Streep — The Post

Five great actresses. Five great performances. In any other year, any one of them could easily nab the trophy. But in the year of the Me Too/Time’s Up movement, where women stand united and catfights are a thing of the past (except on Dynasty), there can be only one winner — all of them.

Odds are that whoever wins is going to thank the others and “share” their award with them anyway, so the Academy may as well just hand out awards to all of the actresses. This includes actresses not even nominated, as well as retired ones, deceased ones, ones still in utero. Place your bets on any of ’em and you’re bound to walk away from your house or office party with some amount of the kitty.




Call Me by Your Name

Darkest Hour


Get Out

Lady Bird

Phantom Thread

The Post

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

No one really pays attention to this category, do they? Moving on.



Jordan Peele
 — Get Out

Greta Gerwig
 — Lady Bird

Christopher Nolan — Dunkirk

Paul Thomas Anderson — Phantom Thread

Guillermo del Toro — The Shape of Water

First-time directors Peele and Gerwig should win a beginners luck trophy, not an Oscar. Anderson directed a movie that reminds me of Jar Jar Binks, so naturally he’s excluded. Del Toro will probably win, but I’m rolling the dice on Nolan. He’s British like James Bond, who gambles in casinos much like we’re gambling in Oscar pools. Logic dictates that if 007 has good luck with poker, or Macau, or  Williamhill.com, then so too would fellow Brit, Chris Nolan.


Dear Basketball

Garden Party

Negative Space

Revolting Rhymes

Based upon the ever popular only-film-I’ve-heard-of process of selection, I vote for Dear Basketball.


Call Me by Your Name — James Ivory

The Disaster Artist — Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

Logan — Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green

Molly’s Game — Aaron Sorkin

Mudbound — Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Don’t waste your bets on Disaster Artist. James Franco’s sexual misconduct allegations kick that movie out of the race. Mudbound doesn’t stand a chance because screenwriter Dee Rees sounds too much like Diddy Riese, a cookie shop in Westwood Village, and who’s gonna award an Oscar to a cookie? They’re tasty cookies, don’t get me wrong, but they’re not Oscar-worthy. Ditto (Diddy?) for Logan. I want to see Sorkin win, though on one condition — he has to deliver his speech via a walk-and-talk throughout the Dolby Theatre.


A Fantastic Woman (Chile)

On Body and Soul (Hungary)

The Insult (Lebanon)

Loveless (Russia)

The Square (Sweden)

I haven’t globetrot to Chile, Lebanon, Russia or Sweden. But I have been to Hungary, therefore Hungary will win.


Blade Runner 2049

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Kong: Skull Island

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

War for the Planet of the Apes

This one goes straight to the apes (the Caesar kind, not the Kong kind) and it has nothing to do with special effects. I haven’t seen any of the rebooted apes movies, but I have read their titles:

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Both use the word “of” twice in the same title, which is redundant. As evidenced by the universally panned Indiana Jones and THE Kingdom of THE Crystal Skull, two identical syncategorematic terms in one title are way too much.

The filmmakers could’ve played it safe and named the third film War OF the Planet OF the Apes, but instead they took a risk. They took a grammatical gamble with War FOR the Planet of the Apes and now it’s paying off with Oscar glory. My 10th grade English teacher, Mrs. Hagan, must be stoked.

OK, that’s it. There’s more categories of course, but these ought to get you thinking in regards to your own Oscar pool. Next article — death pools!

One of several ways way to get an Oscar.

If you can’t win one, steal one.


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