Movie insiders considered this year’s Oscar race unusually predictable.
There were no surprises or upsets in store, they warned. The winners were obvious, and easy to guess. Readers who entered the Gazette’s Oscar contest might have a different perspective.
Not one of the approximately 300 entrants correctly guessed all nine categories, though nine people did manage to pick eight of the winners.
I, too, managed to pick eight of the winners, missing only best actress winner Meryl Streep. This made me very happy, because I don’t like it when people beat me at things. However, we still needed a winner, so I put the names of the nine people who came closest to beating me into a hat, and plucked out Cheryl Syta of Schenectady.
Like me, Syta missed only Streep, opting instead for Viola Davis of “The Help.” But she nailed everything else, and said she was delighted by the triumph of “The Artist,” which won five awards, including best picture, director and actor. “I enjoyed ‘The Artist’ a lot,” she said. “‘The Artist’ was so amazing. It was brave of them to make a silent film. I wasn’t sure what to expect.” She praised best actor winner Jean Dujardin as “so debonair and exciting. It was so nice to see him win.”
Syta, 41, said that her husband is the movie buff in the family, but that his excitement over the Oscars is contagious. The two indulged in an Oscar-themed dinner on the day of the ceremony, eating deviled eggs in honor of “The Help,” creamed spinach in honor of old Hollywood and hot dogs with a special topping in honor of “Moneyball.”
“We put the kids to bed and watched the ceremony,” said Syta, a nurse practitioner who has three children, ages 8, 5 and 2.
For the record, the nine categories in the Gazette contest were: Best Picture (“The Artist”), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”), Best Actress (Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”), Best Supporting Actor (Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”), Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer, “The Help”), Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”), Best Original Screenplay (Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”), Best Adapted Screenplay (Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, “The Descendants”) and Best Animated Film (“Rango”).
There was a discrepancy between the Gazette’s online and print ballots. The online ballots asked voters to pick the best original score, but the paper ballots did not. We’ve never included the score as part of the contest before, so we simply crossed out those answers and went with the original nine categories.
Congratulations to Cheryl, and thanks to all of the participants.