Some years ago, in my role as a Daily News entertainment/gossip columnist, I would join the movie critics of my paper and the Inquirer in “predicting” Oscar winners.
My batting average generally equalled those of the pros, despite the fact that I was not encumbered by actually having seen the movies.
By the way, if you think most of the 9,000+ voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have seen the nominees, you are kidding yourself. Much of Oscar voting is based on popularity, and heavy advertising in the trade magazines.
The statuettes will be handed out Sunday at the 92nd Academy Awards and what better represents Hollywood than a gold-plated neutered male?
Excluding, Harvey Weinstein, of course, who needed some neutering, per press reports.
Here is my Oscar handicap form.
FORD V FERRARI: Reminds many members of the Academy of a painful divorce action. Loser.
THE IRISHMAN: Scorcese, DeNiro, Pacino. Get outtahere. Hollywood idolizes Old School Italians. Favorite.
JOJO RABBIT: Off-beat and in Hollywood off-beat beats off.
JOKER: Wild card. A bigger killer than Frank Sheeran, it has an outside shot of dunking Irishman.
LITTLE WOMEN: Long shot in misogynist Hollywood that pays women less than men, allows the casting couch, but rails against male toxicity.
MARRIAGE STORY: If this were gay marriage, yes, but hetero, no.
1917: Hollywood is reflexively anti-war, except World War II. Dark horse.
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD: Hollywood loves movies about Hollywood. Bet this one to place.
PARASITE: Subtitles, ugh. It wins the votes of those who think this is about their agent.
Antonio Banderas in PAIN AND GLORY: Look at the competition. Demasiado, Antonio.
Leonardo DiCaprio in ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD: Not this time, pretty boy.
Adam Driver in MARRIAGE STORY: He and Oscar are not on speaking terms. Dark horse special.
Joaquin Phoenix in JOKER: Hollywood knows a good psychopath when it sees it. Lock.
Jonathan Pryce in THE TWO POPES: A Hail Mary.
Tom Hanks in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Everyone loves Tom, but he has two Oscars and Brad Pitt, who has slept with half the female members of the Academy, only shares a Best Picture.
Anthony Hopkins in THE TWO POPES: Pope, nope.
Al Pacino in THE IRISHMAN: Cancels Pesci.
Joe Pesci in THE IRISHMAN: Cancels Pacino.
Brad Pitt in ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD: Favorite. The Academy owes him.
Cynthia Erivo in HARRIET: Favorite. Good performance + white guilt vote.
Scarlett Johansson in MARRIAGE STORY: Boyfriend Colin Jost from SNL drags her down. Also ran.
Saoirse Ronan in LITTLE WOMEN: No one can pronounce her first name.
Charlize Theron in BOMBSHELL: Misfire.
Renée Zellweger in JUDY: Hollywood large gay contingent loves Judy Garland. Upset special.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kathy Bates in RICHARD JEWELL: Not this year.
Laura Dern in MARRIAGE STORY: Character actor Bruce Dern’s daughter is a legacy and thus a favorite.
Scarlett Johansson in JOJO RABBIT: What? Another nomination? They still don’t like Jost.
Florence Pugh in LITTLE WOMEN: Academy members confuse her with Saoirse Ronan.
Margot Robbie in BOMBSHELL: Upset special.
THE IRISHMAN: Martin Scorsese. Sentimental favorite.
JOKER: Todd Phillips. Dark horse.
1917: Sam Mendes. His single-shot technique could get him by Scorsese.
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD: Quentin Tarantino. This ain’t the Golden Globes, Quent.
PARASITE: Bong Joon Ho. Hollywood wants to show diversity by awarding South Korean director, but decides to go out for bulgogi instead.
Have some popcorn and enjoy the show.