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Winning The Oscar Pool In Three Easy Steps

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 25, 2005 5:01PM

Unlike the Grammys, people seem to really “care” about the Oscars. 2005_02_25_oscar.jpgTubthumping pub-dwellers insist both shows “only recognize crap and not real art” but with respect to the Oscars, it’s not entirely true. Not that it matters as the ratings for the Oscars rise and fall on the box office success of the nominated films. And even those who haven’t seen any of the best picture nominees have an interest in the Oscars—even if they’re just tuning in to see if somebody wears a bird as a dress.

So if you’re one of those on Swan Watch, here are a few tips and resources for picking the winners at your Sunday night Oscar party:

Step 1: Do your research is your best source for who’s won what. While everyone else will be focused on who won the near-pointless Golden Globes, you’ll be checking out the various Guild awards and marking your ballot accordingly.

Step 2: Know your history
The Holocaust Rule and The Old Guy Rule for Oscar picks are well-known but this article on Roger Ebert's site covers the Oscar bait topics of love, death and over-acting that serve as your trump cards on the big night. But if you’re planning on playing the odds then this article will help you seal the deal.

Step 3: Mind the stepchildren
This year’s top 5 (picture, actor, actress and the supporting categories) all seem like easy picks. So barring an upset, "the categories no one cares about” are this year’s key to winning. With best song, stick with cartoons. For costumes and special effects, go with the flashiest and the coolest. For the rest, your best bet here is to go to and click on the links for each individual nominee. You’ll get some brief facts on each one including whether or not they’ve been nominated before. Pick the nominee with the most previous nominations/wins or the nominee associated with the film most likely to win Best Picture and you’re golden.

Finally, if it looks like you’re going to 0 for 24, console yourself with snark and join us here for some live blogging starting Sunday night at 7 PM. We’ve never done this before so it could be pure genius or an unmitigated disaster (whether or not we finish creating the Chicagoist Oscar Night Drinking Game will probably play a role in determining which way things go).

Image: Sesame Workshop