The only awards show I ever watch is Hollywood’s annual ego fest, the bestowing of the Oscars. For one thing, the shows are always funny even if the jokes aren’t. For another, I always bet on the results with my wife, and I always win, even though she sees four or five times as many movies as I do. The reason, I believe, is that, seeing as many films as she does, she tends to let her heart dictate her choices, whereas I base my selections strictly on the voters’ prejudices. As a result, out of 24 categories, I managed to get 15 right; she got six.
My system isn’t infallible, but it works more often than not. Of course you can’t always do anything but guess when it comes to things like animated short subjects and visual effects. But, for instance, Eddie (“Dream Girls”) Murphy was a heavy favorite to take home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, but I went with Alan Arkin. I based my guess on two things: Arkin is old and very well-liked, whereas Murphy is neither.
Although I hate to give away my secrets, when the voters like a low budget movie as much as the Academy members obviously liked “Little Miss Sunshine,” even going so far as to nominate it for Best Picture, you know that they’re not going to give it the big prize. Instead, they’ll compensate by giving it Oscars for, in this case, supporting actor and best original screenplay.
Some people felt that the closest thing to a sure thing was Helen Mirren. Seeing as how she had already copped the Golden Globe, the SAG award and England’s version of the Oscar, you could have safely bet your house that she was not going to go home a bride’s maid. But even she was a long-shot compared to “An Inconvenient Truth.” Anyone who thought that “Deliver Us From Evil,” “Iraq in Fragments,” “Jesus Camp” or “My Country, My Country,” was going to deprive Hollywood’s glitterati of the opportunity to give Al Gore a standing ovation must be the sort who believes in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.
Some folks wonder if Hollywood would have been quite as giddy about sharing space with the Veep if the news about his mansion had broken a day or two earlier. For those of you who missed it, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research released a statement declaring that, according to the Nashville Electric Service, Gore’s 20-room, eight-bathroom, mansion devoured nearly 221,000 kWh last year. In one month alone in 2006, the Gores consumed almost 23,000 kWh, burning up more electricity in August than the typical American family uses in an entire year. My friend Pat Sajak attributes most of that to the little light in Al’s refrigerator.