An embarrassed Alexa sits out this year’s Oscar predictions

Predicting Oscar winners is a daunting task for the most experienced humans among us, but at least we keep trying. Alexa, Amazon’s silken-voiced robo-assistant, gave up after predicting last year that the Spanish-language movie “Roma” would win Best Picture and Glenn Close (“The Wife”) would win Best Actress.

“Roma” lost to “Green Book” and Close lost to Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”), and Alexa doesn’t want to talk about it. I missed the same ones, but here I am a year later and she’s hiding behind her search engine.

“Alexa, who’s going to win Best Picture?” I asked, and she answered with a hedge and a promo for the show. She said “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “1917” are the front-runners. Her answers for the other categories name front-runners, too: Sam Mendes for Best Director, and Joaquin Phoenix, Brad Pitt, Renee Zellweger and Laura Dern to take the acting prizes.

Frances, the talking mule, could have told us that.

It’s safer to name front-runners and I suppose five picks out of six — or even one out of six — will give her bragging rights over Siri and the anonymous voice of Google, both of whom have no apparent interest in the show. Ask either one to predict winners and they’ll send you to links where you can find somebody else’s opinion.

This is distressing. I’m really having trouble deciding whether the Best Picture winner will be “1917” or “Parasite” and she mentions “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”? Didn’t she see the SAG Awards or the BAFTAs?

Also, where is her sense of humor. Last year, she gave us this gem about the Best Picture race: “I wish I could say ‘Wakanda forever,’ but I think ‘Roma’ is going to take the Oscar homa.”

Just for the heck of it, I asked Alexa if she could at least tell me a good Oscar joke and here she is in her own voice:

“How many Academy Award winners does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, but they couldn’t do it without the support of their manager, their agent, the academy and, of course, mom and dad.”

Be sure to make your Oscar winner predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before the ceremony on February 9. And join in the thrilling debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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