Monday, November 19, 2007

Entertainment Weekly on Handicapping the Oscars

Mark Harris has posted an insightful and pretty spot-on how-to list for predicting the Oscars. Here are my personal favorite tidbits:
Don't trust any handicapper who's beating a drum too loudly. In the last few years, bloggers have blurred the line between Oscar prediction and advocacy — something that has had no discernible effect on the nominations, but has lowered their batting average. Nine out of 10 bad calls are made because you love or hate a movie so intensely you're blind to reason. Everybody relishes making an out-on-a-limb guess that pays off, but try to keep one foot on planet Earth: If you're the only one talking up Billy Bob Thornton for Mr. Woodcock, it's not because everybody else is an idiot.

Keep Internet noise in perspective. Remember that Oscar voters don't follow every who's-up/who's-down microtwitch; they're busy seeing (or making) movies. And bear in mind that some of those bloggers tend to get chest-thumpy about a certain type of (usually male, usually violent) film: This year, a lot of bluster is already massing around No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood. They're contenders, but rhetoric doesn't equal votes.

Someone needs to show the one about beating the drum too loudly to Tom O'Neill. He's still beating the drum for Dreamgirls a year later. And I'm pretty sure Harris had Jeffrey Wells in mind when he wrote that last bit about No Country for Old Men.

Click here to read the full article.

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