Former game show champion Jim Jividen handicaps the Academy Awards.
If you’ve followed my investment advice in this space since August, more likely than not I’ve made you some money.
If you’ve followed my investment advice on the last two major opportunities, the BCS title game and the Super Bowl, more likely than not I’ve lost you some money.
I teach entirely online now; one of my duties is giving fairly long webinar presentations – something that I’ll do to reward students who stay with me for the duration of a discussion of organizational behavior is give away some quiz answers, but you have to stick it out.
At the end of my mistaken Super Bowl prediction was a little bonus.
I gave you Argo, then even money, to win Best Picture. I was really confident in that advice.
Argo is now -800.
Here is the balance of my selections.
Picture – Argo
-Too late now to make this investment, so you should stay away. I’ve seen four of the nine nominated films, and Argo would be my choice. Curiously, given the lack of nomination – I’d suggest the direction is the best thing about the movie. Moonrise Kingdom is, I think, my favorite film of the year.
Director – David O Russell (+2000)
-Affleck’s lack of nomination makes this an action category headed into the awards. Spielberg’s favored, but Lincoln’s factual inaccuracies have been the dominant Oscar story since the torture propaganda in Zero Dark Thirty made its way out of the news cycle. Other than Zeitlin, anyone could win this. Why I’m picking Russell is enormous value, he’s +2000. That means he’s not likely to win – voters who backed away from Spielberg are more likely to go to Lee or Haneke – but I don’t see a good way to distinguish between them (Lee’s highly regarded but has been rewarded, Amour is maybe making a late charge) but there is a Russell path (he’s made really good movies, he’s never won, and Silver Linings is maybe a “one of these things is not like the other” favorite for those with war movie fatigue). Gun to my head, I don’t pick Russell – but at +2000 in a category where there is no prohibitive favorite, where the presumptive winner’s movie is taking on water – that is an investment worth making. Russell wasn’t nominated for a DGA – and winning in that circumstance hasn’t happened in more than six decades, meaning when Nate Silver’s model comes out, Russell won’t be the selection. But for value, you have to do it. At least a little bit.
Actor – DDL
-There’s no opportunity here. Daniel Day Lewis wins his third Best Actor Oscar.
Actress – Emmanuel Riva (+250)
-I wasn’t going to write this piece until I saw that Riva was still +250. Do that. Lawrence has been the presumptive winner, and she’s fine, but there’s a Taylor Swift element here. Why does Taylor Swift, with only marginal talent, open the Grammys – why will her album get a bunch of nominations next year? Because she moves units and units don’t get moved anymore. She’s Singing John Cena. If John Cena cuts a rhyming promo on the Rock next Monday which vaguely alludes to never getting back together with Kendra Lust (“like, ever”) you heard it here first. There would be a desire to crown Lawrence (“crown” has multiple meanings here) and she’s still favored – but Amour is the late mover, and if you can get hundred year old Riva + the points, you do that.
Supp Actor – Robert DeNiro (+1000)
-I’m bonkers about the odds here. My Russell pick is mainly a shot in the dark; this one though….Robert DeNiro hasn’t won an Oscar since Raging Bull. Noodle that for a moment. He was the best thing (to my eyes) about Silver Linings Playbook, a highly regarded film that got acting nominations in all four categories, but, in this forecast, isn’t going to win the award it was thought to receive. There isn’t a real favorite in this category. DeNiro’s been campaigning. And he’s +1000.
To me, that’s a hell of an investment. Alan Arkin can’t win; I don’t think there’s real enthusiasm to award either The Master or Django. That leaves Tommy Lee Jones, who is the favorite.
But +1000. +1000? For Robert Freaking DeNiro – who hasn’t won an Oscar in more than 30 years?
Yeah, that sounds good to me.
Supp Actress – Anne Hathaway
– No chance she loses, no investment.
And the rest…
Original – Michael Haneke
Adapted – Chris Terrio
Animated – Wreck it Ralph
Foreign – Amour
Doc – Searching for Sugar Man
Score – Life of Pi
Song – Adele
Edit – Argo
Cinema – Life of Pi
Design – Anna Karenina
Costume – Anna Karenina
Makeup – Hobbit
Sound Mixing – Les Mis
Sound Edit – Zero Dark Thirty
Visual – Life of Pi
Makeup – Les Mis
Live Action Short – Curfew
Animated Short – Paperman
Doc Short – Open Heart