How To Win The Office Oscar Pool (Hint: Don’t Vote For Your Favorites)

Leonardo DiCaprio and The Revenant are good pics in your Oscar pool

Leonardo DiCaprio and ‘The Revenant’ are good pics in your Oscar pool

Want to clean up in your office Oscar pool? Then remember this: Oscar likes crazies, prostitutes, unemployed women and boxers. Huh?
Yep, if you look at the metrics of past Academy Awards, each of the above are usually winners. If you want to win your Oscar pool, look to the past and don’t bet your personal choices. So today, I’m going to give you the inside track on how to win using history, and some experience to pick a winner in all the major categories.

BEST PICTURE

It’s the last award, and it’s the big kahuna. Nail Best Pic, you will likely predict the other winners, but how to choose Best Picture?
Here are some key indicators. 90 percent of the time the Best Director at the Director’s Guild Awards (DGA) wins the Oscar. This year Alejandro G. Iñárritu won for “The Revenant.”
Also, the highest grossing film of the bunch usually wins. So far “The Revenant” has grossed $154 million, “The Martian” $224 million. All the rest are under $75 million. Edge goes to “The Martian,” but since Ridley Scott was NOT nominated for best director, “The Martian’s” chances are dimmed. Only a handful of times has a Best Picture won when the director was not even nominated.
Check this out, the film with the most nominations wins nearly 85 percent of the time. “The Revenant” scored 12, more than any other film. And finally, half the of the winners have the longest running time. “The Revenant” is 2 hours 38 minutes while “The Martian” is 2 hours 15 minutes. See a trend?
Yep, it looks like it’s “The Revenant’s” year.
Remember what I said about Best Picture leading the way? Well, Best Editing has gone to Best Picture nearly very single time in the last three decades.

BEST DIRECTOR
So if “The Revenant” is your Oscar Best Picture, and the director already nabbed the DGA, Alejandro G. Iñárritu will win this one too. That was easy.

This might not be Matt Damons year

This might not be Matt Damon’s year

BEST ACTOR
Nice bunch of nominees. I liked Bryan Cranston in “Trumbo,” but don’t expect him to win. I also don’t expect Michael Fassbender to win either. Eddie Redmayne has what Oscar often looks for — an actor playing against type, or in this case, playing against gender. But it doesn’t feel like his year, does it? No, it feels more like an “epic” year. That leaves is with homeboy Matt Damon in “The Martian” or Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Revenant.” Despite it’s brutality, DiCaprio will win, not only because of the film, but for his body of work. And yes, this is sometimes a factor, as it will be this year.

BEST ACTRESS
This is “Room” star Brie Larson’s to lose. All of the buzz is how she seemingly came out of nowhere even though nowhere was a decade-plus career. Oh yeah, she’s talented and attractive. The others can be dismissed quickly Saorise Ronan is great, but too young and her role wasn’t that difficult. Cate Blanchett will be dismissed because she’s great in everything, sort of the Meryl Streep curse. Charlotte Rampling had a chance, but her recent errant mouth quashed some support. That leaves, Jennifer Lawrence for “Joy.” Alas, the film tanked and that’s all she wrote. Larsen will win.

Brie Larson is a virtual Oscar shoo-in

Brie Larson is a virtual Oscar shoo-in

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Tough one to predict here, but since Oscar tends to like pretty women 65 percent of the time, this would lead one to sense that Alicia Vikander “The Danish Girl” will win. Toss in her impressive body of work including “Ex Machina” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E,” and she should nail it. Jennifer Jason Leigh (‘Hateful 8’) could be the fly in ointment.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
While “The Revenant” will do well, it would have to do extremely well for Tom Hardy to ride its coattails into the winner’s circle. As mentioned above, Oscar likes boxing movies, and with Sylvester Stallone completing the Rocky circle in perhaps his finest acting turn, this looks to be his for “Creed.”

OK, this is what the metrics and experience are saying who should win. Remember this when filling out your ballot. Don’t pick what you like. Pick what you think those 6,000 denizens of Hollywood like. They are the ones voting, rightly or wrongly.

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– By Garen Daly
Garen Daly is the director of the forthcoming documentary on the legendary Orson Welles Cinema.

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