How to Win Your Oscar Pool

We haven’t even peeked Paul Thomas Anderson’s much anticipated There Will Be Blood (in theaters December 26) or Mike Nichols’s star-studded Charlie Wilson’s War (December 25), but Oscar speculating has already begun. To give you a leg up in your Oscar pool, Entertainment Weekly has a “handicapping tip sheet” to make your guesses as educated as possible. For pros, some of their advice will seem pretty obvious. For instance, that the arty movies you wish would be nominated for Best Picture (ie, Into the Wild, Rescue Dawn) could well show up in the screenwriting category, since screenwriters have more “adventuresome spirits” than the Academy folks doing the big category judging. Or that there’s a schmaltz factor in choosing the Best Actor and Actress. However, EW’s background on who does what voting is insightful and smart, and their trust no-one—especially bloggers—attitude is, well, refreshing. “Some of those [movie] bloggers tend to get chest-thumpy about a certain type of (usually male, usually violent) film: This year, a lot of bluster is already massing around No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood. They’re contenders, but rhetoric doesn’t equal votes.” True that—but we’re still betting Mr. Anderson and his star, Daniel-Day Lewis, will come out somewhere near the top.