The Complete Guide to Winning Your Oscar PoolS

Hollywood's big gay Olympics are approaching, and the annoying "film buff" in your office is probably pestering you to enter his Oscar pool, which he's convinced he's going to win. We want you to beat the ittle nerd. Here's how!

Well, ha, OK. So all of this guessing. You cannot hold us to any of these GUESSES. Enter Randy's stupid pool at your own peril! These are but one blog's mere opinions. All liability is waived or whatever. In case you want to disagree with us, full list of nominees is here.

Sound Mixing
No one, not even sound mixers, know what this category is. It has something to do with how that one thing sounded in relation to that other thing. Usually a big special FX movie wins this shit, so let's say... Avatar

Sound Editing
The fuck? There's another one? Yes, we all make Sound jokes every Oscar season, like clockwork. And then we make them again because there are two Sound categories. This one is about piecing sound together or something. Because of all the big booms, let's say The Hurt Locker takes it.

Visual Effects
Bryan Brown's favorite category, these are for all the magic CGI things that movie wizard-nerds are always cooking up in their Sun Chips-scented lairs. There's no way Avatar won't win this thing, right?

Short Film, Live Action
The Culture Vulture blog over at New York magazine did a kindly write-up about the shorts this year, and they think somethin' name'a Instead of Abracadabra is going to take this beautiful prize. We think it's going to be The Door, because that is about Chernobyl and that is sad and what Academy voter doesn't like sad?

Short Film, Animation
The Vulture kids say it's A Matter of Loaf and Death, because Adam Moss really likes puns. And we agree. Mostly because of its Wallace & Gromit pedigree.

Makeup
The nominees for this are weird. An Italian movie about Italian politics. Star Trek, a nerd fantasia about lens flares. And The Young Victoria, that movie that Diane the HR assistant saw and wouldn't shut up about for a week because it made her feel really artsy and British and different. Well, I hate to tell you this, but Diane is right. We think The Young Victoria will get this, mostly because Emily Blunt wasn't nominated and this is how the Oscars say they're sorry.

Documentary, Short
Jesus on a Thursday, who the hell knows. Because it sounds sad and topical, let's say The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant.

Documentary, Longer & Boringer
There are a few high-profile docs here — The Cove (about dolphin-killing Japaneseses and their sworn mortal enemy, Hayden Panettiere), Food, Inc (about why you are fat and/or dead), The Most Dangerous Man in America (about how America lied to you) — so it's a tough race. But because everyone likes to eat, let's go with Food, Inc.. It was good! Yes it was, Foer. You shut up.

Original Score
Why Marvin Hamlisch wasn't nominated for his didn't-know-he-was-making-fun-of-himself tunes for The Informant! is beyond us. But he wasn't, so we must press on. We like Michael Giacchino's Up score for this category. He won the Golden Globe and he makes such scary trombone music for Lost. So he deserves it.

Original Song
Well, Disney will basically hurl itself off the top of Big Thunder Mountain if something from The Frog Princess doesn't win. Which is sad, because we like Disney sort of, and they will soon be dead splat down on the asphalt, sending park guests running and screaming but still clutching their Meat-On-a-Sticks. Because "The Weary Kind" from Crazy Heart is totally taking this one.

Costume Design
In our eyes, this is between two films. The equally well-liked but awards-ignored period pieces Bright Star and The Young Victoria. Because Bright Star was about stupid dying writers and not about the royal court, its costumes weren't quite as grand. So let's go with The Young Victoria on this one. But don't be surprised if it's Bright Star. Or any of the others. We really have no idea what the hell we're doing.

Cinematography
Roger Deakins should win this category every year, because he is a genius. But he's not even nominated! So let's see. We loved the camerawork in Inglourious Basterds, but Avatar will probably sew this up for its epic computer-generated sweep.

Art Direction
Oh we're just tossing out guesses left and right here. This award is for what movie looked the prettiest. Victoria looked pretty. So did Nine. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus certainly was interesting to gaze at. Shit. Let's go Victoria, again. Who knows!

Editing
This is the award for how the film is strung together. Didja like that cut? Then you liked the editing! We think The Hurt Locker will snag this for its deft tension ratcheting.

Cartoon
Because kids love the Oscars, they've put this category in the mix for the past coupla years. This is absolutely Up's to lose.

Foreign Weirdo French Thing
Oohh where's mah wiiiine. I needz mah wiiiiiine to make le cinemaaaa. A buncha sissies from Europe or whatever made some queer little movies and then the Americans give 'em an award for it? Only in this new Apology Tour America, ladies and germs. Michael Haneke's somber The White Ribbon probably has this one in the fancyboy handbag.

Screenplay, Adapted
Though it was nice that quirky small things like In the Loop got recognized in this category, there's only ever been one possible winner. That'd be Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner's script for Up in the Air.

Screenplay, Original
It'd be nice to see Quentin walk away with this one, but we fear he won't. The Golden Globe went to the boys from Up, and we think they'll repeat at the big dance.

Su'pporting Ac'tress
If you have to ask this, you are either dumb or don't care about movie awards season (which makes you dumb by default). Hope you wear a nice dress, Mo'Nique

Supporting Actor
Hope you wear an even nicer dress, Christoph Waltz.

Actress
Ohhh a corker. Well, something of a corker. Will Merlin Streep take it for her magical work in Julie & Julia? Or will Sandra Bullock please all of Popcorn America with a win for That Darn Negro? While Bullock is riding a wave of awards momentum following wins at the Globes and the SAGs, it's still hard to imagine that stuffy Academy voters will throw their vote behind that charming, horse-tailed comedienne. It's been years since Streep has won, and she did get the Globe for comedy actress... You know what? We're probably wrong, but we're gonna say Streep takes it by a nose. Actually no. Bullock takes it. No, Streep. BULLOCK. Blargh.

Actor
For a very, very short time, it looked like it might be Colin Firth's year. But that was monnnnths and many awards shows ago, and now it's all about one DUDE. Jeffriah Bridges, come on down.

Director
Ohhh snap! Will it be big scary Ego Hurricane James Cameron or his scorned and bitter and lonely and old ex-wife, a known woman, Kathryn Bigelow? Everyone hated Cameron's speech the last time he won Hollywood's most coveted dildo, so we say Kathy Bigs gets the gold.

Picture
There were ten nominees this year! Isn't that crazytime? Well, no, actually. There really were only five nominees, the ones also nominated for Best Director, and now there are only three possible winners. The Hurt Locker has been a favorite, but it may have suffered due to a swirl of controversy that recently appeared, doom-like, over Los Angeles. There's also Avatar, which... ugh. It can't win, can it? And our favorite, Inglourious Basterds. What a fine, fun film that was. That opening scene! But... We think the Oort cloud of bad press didn't come in time and that The Hurt Locker will still explode into Oscar history as the second Best Picture in which Ralph Fiennes dies.

So that's that! We're probably entirely wrong. Or entirely right. That's the fun of the Oscars, and all unpredictable things in life. As far as any certainty goes, we'll just say this: If Mo'Nique doesn't win, we'll eat our h'ats.