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Nic’s Flicks

TIPS TO WIN AN OSCAR BET

By Nicolas Macotto, Staff Writer

The Academy Awards are coming and so are the parties. Some years ago, a friend of mine described to me what an Academy Award party was like and she summarized the event in three words: food, drinks, bets. With regard to the bets portion, she stated that people bet on who they think will win. Even Jack Black publicly said he bets on Pixar every time it is nominated for Best Animated Feature.

As someone who has been paying attention to the Oscars for the past five years, has noticed trends and has done research in terms of knowing who won in particular categories in certain years, here are some tips to win some Oscar bets, or easy money in this case, if attending an Oscar party.

Let’s start with Best Visual Effects, as it is the last category when listed alphabetically. If one of the nominees is nominated for Best Picture, it will win. That has happened from the 81st ceremony to the 86th ceremony.

81st – “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

82nd – “Avatar”

83rd – “Inception”

84th – “Hug”o

85th – “Life of Pi”

86th – “Gravity

For the 87th however, it went to “Interstellar”, which did not receive a Best Picture nomination. One could guess whichever film received the most acclaim in that category will win, but it was up against other films that received more praise. It is also imperative to consider the filmmaker’s reputation. Either one of those two aspects should be put into consideration. To find out a film’s critical acclaim, check its score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Next: Best Makeup & Hairstyling. The same method for deducing the winner for Visual Effects can be applied here. This year boasts some very impressive nominees for their work. Simply look at Rotten Tomatoes again to see which nominated film was lauded more. However, this trend is not as evident as Best Visual Effects. This category is harder to figure out, so go with your gut if in doubt. Also, look at pictures from the film, especially before/after ones regarding the actors, and make your decision then.

For Best Original Song, my research helped me notice that as long as all the nominated songs are performed, whichever is performed last at the ceremony will win. Placing a bet this time is harder since no one knows the order of the performances beforehand, but if you can make a bet while the last song is being played – there are five of them – you’ll be all set.

Now, for Animated Feature, always go with Disney. Last year, “Zootopia” won against “Kubo and the Two Strings”, a movie that was also nominated for Best Visual Effects while “Zootopia” was nominated only for Animated Feature. If you go with Pixar, it’s the same as going for Disney.

As for the acting categories, I hear it’s a safe bet to look at who won at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) ceremony. Research from media outlets states they mostly win the Oscar in that category. On the contrary, sometimes they are wrong. Last year, for instance, Denzel Washington won the SAG for Best Actor while Casey Affleck won the Oscar in that same category.

Lastly, the smartest way to determine who wins Best Picture is to take a look at which feature won at the Golden Globes. This year, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” won Motion Picture – Drama while “Lady Bird” won Motion Picture – Comedy. This narrows it down to two films who are neck-in-neck with each other. Even though anything can happen, this is a good way to approach it.

Graphic by Mary Jane DeCarlo