The Oscar Pool Doctor is In |

I need to establish at the outset that I don’t care about the Oscars, or most award shows. I was part of a team that won an Emmy, and that’s cool, but mostly because my mother knows what an Emmy is. Back when I used to watch movies religiously and two at a time, I invested a lot in the Oscar pool at work. I always knew it was mostly a political game, replete with backroom deals and swag bribes, and that’s certainly truer now than it’s ever been, but I was good at the game. 

I still like to occasionally sharpen my chops on this particular grindstone. So here are some observations from the bleacher seats in a year that is perhaps perfectly indicative of everything right and wrong with Hollywood. I won’t even ask for a cut if you win the office pool. Let’s start with the easy ones:

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, “TÁR”

Ana de Armas, “Blonde”

Andrea Riseborough, “To Leslie”

Michelle Williams, “The Fabelmans”

Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Scott’s Pick: Michelle Yeoh

“Everything Everywhere” was my favorite movie of the year (until “The Menu” came out, maybe, depending on which day you ask me), but I don’t pick based on what I like. I pick what I think will win. Yeoh’s competition is strong, but she’s basically had a yearlong campaign of genuine love for her personal story running nonstop (deservedly). If she doesn’t win, never watch this show again.

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Hong Chau, “The Whale”

Kerry Condon, “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Jamie Lee Curtis, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Stephanie Hsu, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Scott’s Pick: Angela BassettBassett’s competition couldn’t be fiercer. Curtis and Hsu turned in amazing, multifaceted performances in the same film. Condon was magnetic in “Banshees.” But Bassett is on a critical roll, having Golden Globe and SAG wins already in hand (though largely for the same reason: buoyed by the gravity of Black Panther’s success and tragedy). And look: She hasn’t been nominated for an Oscar in 30 years, and she should have won it the first time around. This may be her version of Whoopi Goldberg’s “Ghost” win, but it’s so overdue it’s criminal. 

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson, “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Brian Tyree Henry, “Causeway”

Judd Hirsch, “The Fabelmans”

Barry Keoghan, “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Scott’s Pick: Ke Huy QuanQuan will likely win, but his competition is outstanding. Hollywood will likely give it to him because his professional redemption arc is practically a movie waiting to be made.

Best Actor

Austin Butler, “Elvis”

Colin Farrell, “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Brendan Fraser, “The Whale”

Paul Mescal, “Aftersun”

Bill Nighy, “Living”

Scott’s Pick: Colin Farrell

This is a coin flip between Farrell and Fraser. Hollywood loves it when you play fat, so that’s a point for Fraser. Hollywood thinks being fat on camera is an act of bravery. But Farrell was great in Banshees, and it might be the only thing it wins. If they give it to the Elvis kid, I’d be very surprised. He’s being weird right now, with the whole not-turning-off-the-impression-in-public thing, so that may hurt his chances on top of being a relative unknown. And him being skinny.

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

“All Quiet on the Western Front”

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”


“Top Gun: Maverick”

“Women Talking”

Scott’s Pick: Don’t care, but I’m going to say “All Quiet on the Western Front”

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