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Oscar Scorecard 2008

February 27th, 2008

So how did you do at your office Oscar pool? If you followed Cinemoose’s picks you would have gotten 11 out of 18 right (not including the shorts and foreign film categories).

To recap my previous post for handicapping the Oscars, based on historical trends and the regulations of the Academy, the following formula provides you with a list of pretty accurate Oscar predictions.


  • Best Director = DGA award winner
  • Best Picture – match with DGA award winner
  • Best Editing – same as Best Picture
  • Best Original Screenplay/Best Adapted Screenplay – go with WGA winner
  • Acting categories – go with SAG award winners unless they’re for a comedy, go with stars over character actors
  • Best Documentaries: most popular or the one with dead Jews
  • For the rest of the categories – pick the flashiest movie

So by following this formula this year, you would have picked.

Best Picture

Cinemoose pick: No Country For Old Men
Actual winner: No Country For Old Men

No Country For Old Men

Joel and Ethan Coen won the DGA award, so the formula dictates No Country For Old Men and it was right.

Best Director

Cinemoose pick: Ethan and Joel Coen
Actual winner: Ethan and Joel Coen

Joel and Ethan Coen

Ethan and Joel Coen won the DGA award. The Oscar was inevitable.


Best Original Screenplay/ Adapted Screenplay

Cinemoose: Juno by Diablo Cody/ No Country For Old Men by Ethan and Joel Coen
Actual: Juno by Diablo Cody/ No Country For Old Men by Ethan and Joel Coen

Juno No Country For Old Men

Once again, the Guild winners predicted correctly the real winners.

Best Actor/ Actress

Cinemoose picks: Daniel Day-Lewis/ Julie Christie
Actual winners: Daniel Day-Lewis/ Marion Cotillard

Daniel Day Lewis Marion Cotillard

The first major award the formula did not predict correctly. Julie Christie won the SAG award for Best Actress but lost to French ingenue Marion Cotillard.

Best Supporting Actor/ Supporting Actress



Cinemoose picks: Javier Bardem/ Ruby Dee
Actual winners: Javier Bardem/ Tilda Swinton

Javier Bardem Tilda Swinton

Ruby Dee won the SAG award but could not muster up enough votes to claim the Oscar. So far for all the major categories, the formula has picked all but two of the winners, missing both of the actress categories.

Best Editing

Cinemoose pick: Ethan and Joel Coen for No Country For Old Men
Actual Winner: Christopher Rouse for The Bourne Ultimatum

The formula fails us again as the flashier The Bourne Ultimatum beats out Best Picture winner No Country For Old Men.

Best Cinematography

Cinemoose pick: Robert Elswit for There Will Be Blood
Actual winner: Robert Elswit for There Will Be Blood

Our formula tells us to go with the movie with the flashiest cinematography. In this category, that boils down to There Will Be Blood and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. While they are both showy, There Will Be Blood has more nominations and the edge.

Best Art Direction

Cinemoose pick: Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo for Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Actual winner: Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo for Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

While both The Golden Compass and Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street have showy sets, the Academy prefers real sets and the amount of visual effects in the former makes it difficult for many art decorators to distinguish what is real and what is not.

Best Costume Design

Cinemoose pick: Alexandra Byrne for Elizabeth – The Golden Age
Actual winner: Alexandra Byrne for Elizabeth – The Golden Age

What can be flashier than the numerous period Victorian costumes in Elizabeth – The Golden Age?

Best Makeup

Cinemoose pick: Rick Baker, Kazuhiro Tsuji for Norbit
Actual winner: Didier Lavergne, Jan Archibald for La Vie En Rose

The Academy has rewarded Rick Baker before and Norbit is the flashiest nominee. Still, our formula misses a step as La Vie En Rose takes the prize in this category for getting Marion Cotillard to look like Edith Piaf.

Best Sound/ Sound Editing

Cinemoose pick: Transformers/Transformers
Actual winner: The Bourne Ultimatum/The Bourne Ultimatum

The Cinemoose formula has been right in the past with picking the loudest movie, but here this year it fails us as the 2nd loudest movie wins the prize.

Best Visual Effects

Cinemoose pick: The Golden Compass
Actual winner: The Golden Compass

Both The Golden Compass and Transformers can make a case for the flashiest visual effects but the explosions and F/X in Transformers is a little more run of the mill compared to the character animation in The Golden Compass.

Best Animated Feature

Cinemoose pick: Ratatouille
Actual winner: Ratatouille

In categories like this, it’s either the flashiest movie or the movie that everyone would have wanted to work on. In this case, it’s a little $200 million movie that topped many best films of the year lists.

Best Foreign Language Film

Cinemoose pick: N/A
Actual winner: Die Fälscher (Austria)

The Moose has no idea what foreign films to pick, so you were on oyur own in this category.

Best Documentary Feature/ Documentary Short

Cinemoose picks: Sicko, N/A
Actual winners: Taxi To The Dark Side, Freeheld

Michael Moore’s misguided healthcare documentary Sicko was the biggest box officer earner of these docs so the formula would pick this film and be wrong. In the Moose’s defense, the WGA awards included a best documentary screenplay category which Taxi To The Dark Side won. The formula will have to be revised to include this category for next year.

Best Short Film, Animated/ Short Film, Live Action

Cinemoose picks: N/A
Actual winners: Peter & The Wolf/ Le Mozart des pickpockets

You’re on your own with these categories as usually no one but a handful of people in the Academy ever watches of any these shorts.

There you have it. 11 out of 22 awards without having to watch any of the films. That’s 50%. Not great, but not bad. Be sure to read the next post on Friday on the real winners and losers of the Oscars.

Buy the Moose a cup of coffee.