There’s no award given for Best Oscar Predictions — and if there were, I’m sure somehow Argo would figure out a way to win that, too.
But we at EW have done our best homework and legwork to try to gauge which films will triumph at Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony.
We talked to scores of voters, factored in guild wins and other pre-Oscar prizes, weighed critical assessments, checked our guts, flipped coins, threw darts at a board, prayed to St. Vitriol, patron saint of award season pundits, and watched an octopus and a gorilla repeatedly arm wrestle while they wore top hats emblazoned with the names of the two frontrunners in each category.
For those who keep the Academy Awards in proper perspective, this whole thing is a casual guessing game, mainly designed to win some swag at an Oscar party. In Hollywood (or if your job is to write about Hollywood) this is the source of much angst and teeth-gritting as careers and reputations hang on the line.
Now would be a good moment to point out — again — that for all the emotion and effort that goes into winning these trophies, only the moviegoers years and decades from now are the true arbiters of what makes a great film or a great performance. As wonderful as it must be to win, there are countless iconic movies that remain essential and timeless, even though they were passed over for Oscars in their own day. And as painful as it may be to not win, it’s worth remembering that awards are one of those paradoxical things that can only make you happy if you can also live without them.
Award season does bring us something wonderful: months of in-depth debate about the best storytelling of the year. Oscar voting officially closed last night, so it’s all over now except for the opening of the envelopes.
Here are the winners we think you’ll hear on Sunday:
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