Good thing HuffPo film editor Chris Rosen has a jolly sense of humor. Soon after entertainment editor Michael Hogan and I raise him up as a model of Oscar punditry for picking "Argo" early on to win Best Picture, we tear him down in this webcam chat for his wacky prophesy that Michael Haneke ("Amour") will win Best Director.
Hogan (politely) labels the Hanake call "crazy," but he declines my invitation to join me in knocking some Oscar sense into Rosen. "I'm afraid to pile on," he says. "I have visions of this happening and then Chris doing a war dance over my dead body."
But I can't hold back, so I lambast Rosen for "hanging from a shaky twig on a thin limb that's dangling over a precipice." Watch the panic on his face as Rosen scrambles to defend the indefensible.
"I don't think it has zero chance of happening!" he insists. "I know people like Steven Spielberg and he could easily win, but there hasn't really been that much juice around him and, as far I know, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama don't get to vote for the Oscars. Maybe Ang Lee is a legitimate option since that film certainly has a lot of support with 11 nominations. But it's a crazy year ... so why not Michael Hanake? Who cares?"
Weighing the possibility that Lee might win the helmer's laurels, Hogan gasps, "That would be so weird if he did that again!"
The first two times that Lee got nominated for Best Director, that category went to a film that didn't win Best Picture. When he won for "Brokeback Mountain," "Crash" pulled off a jawdropper for Best Picture. When he was nominated for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," Steven Soderbergh ("Traffic") won Best Director and "Gladiator" won Best Picture.
"Call it the Ang Lee effect!" Hogan roars.
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Read more about entry and rules here. Make your initial Oscar predictions now. Change them later as often as you wish up until Oscar Day. Below, meet our past winners of recent award prediction contests.
Oscar Nominations: New York state resident Tim Kressner (gufa54) won $1,000 for reaping the highest percentage (78%) when predicting Academy Award noms. Watch our video chat with him here and learn his strategy for making picks. See the leaderboard here. See Kressner's predix here.
Golden Globes (Film): Mario Gomez, a med studen in Mexico, won our contest with the highest percentage of correct picks (86%) and highest point score (2,693). See our video chat with him here. Two other contestants also scored 86%: lulo1989 and eastwest. Tom O'Neil reaped best Experts' score. David Schnelwar had top score among our Editors. See the leaderboard here to see if you made the top tier.
Critics Choice Nominations: Bryce H scored an impressive 83% when sizing up 20 categories. That was one percentage point ahead of our smartest Editor, Daniel Montgomery. Our top Expert was also one of our Editors, Paul Sheehan, who reaped 74%. To see how you performed, check out our leaderboard plus the score section of your account page.
Golden Globe (Film) Nominations: Jonathan was our top User, reaping a staggering 86% when forecasting the lineup of 10 categories. That put him six percentage points ahead of our best Expert -- Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood) -- and eight ahead of our leading Editor, Daniel Montogomery. Did you made the cut on the leaderboard score breakdown?
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Winners: Christian aced all rivals, scoring 82%. That was almost 20 percentage points ahead of our top Expert (Edward Douglas of ComingSoon ) and Editor (Matt Noble), both of whom earned scores of 64%. Christian foresaw that surprise screenplay win for "Before Midnight." See leaderboard.