Oscar Pool Picks

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Before you tune into the 84th annual Academy Awards Sunday night, visit the ATM and nearest bookie — you never know. You might also end up a winner.

Hollywood’s glamour and glitz once again roll out the red carpet, and this year’s menu will leave you confused, disoriented and clueless to who will end up with the naked, Golden statuette.

Check out these Las Vegas guides to beating the odds.

When it comes to best picture many say it is easiest when you get the, uh, big picture. The following 12 films are up for up for the almighty Oscar, and have been receiving buzz for weeks.

2012 Oscars – Odds to Win Best Picture

The Artist 1/12
The Descendants 10/1
The Help 12/1
Hugo 20/1
War Horse 40/1
Moneyball 40/1
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 75/1
Midnight in Paris 75/1
The Tree of Life 75/1

Our pick goes to “The Artist.” Many would wonder how a picture with absolutely no speaking rolls could be up for such an award. The absence of voice doesn’t hinder tremendous acting, harkening back to the early days of the “pictures,” from the 1920s until the advent of sound in film. Those periods produced ageless classics like “Battleship Potemkin,” “Metropolis,” and Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator.” What’s remarkable for this French and American co-production is producing an iconic 1920s moving still in an era inundated in buckets of apps.

Often thought of as the ultimate popularity contest, winning best actor really shows what kind of leverage an Oscar can have for anyone in showbiz. It’s sometimes used as a ticket to greater fame — check out Tom Hanks and Nicholas Cage. Once one receives the award, they now get the title throughout their acting career. With fame comes fortune.

2012 Oscars – Odds to Win Best Actor

Jean Dujardin (The Artist) 5/7
George Clooney (The Descendants) 6/5
Brad Pitt (Moneyball) 15/1
Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) 25/1
Demian Bichir (A Better Life) 50/1

In a surprising roll reversal, George Clooney steps out of his typecast “womanizing hot shot” and steps into the conservative lifestyle of a father and recent widower. Seeing him in a new light really shows his depth and makes him, for the first time, seem like a person.

It wouldn’t have been right to let DiMaggio retire without winning an MVP, or allow Frank Sinatra to fade into the recesses of scratched CDs without acknowledging his gentleman swag. Letting Clooney die without winning the best actor would be a long-term sin, and affront, to the American (POP) culture.

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By George, we choose you!

Like the Best Actor, each leading lady gets a shot to show who’s “H.B.I.C”. This may not be taken so lightly when it comes to this line of up rock star talent. We have a long list of seasoned actresses that have an act or two hidden up one sleeve, as well as new screen beauties that, by Halle Berry, can actually act!

2012 Oscars – Odds to Win Best Actress

Viola Davis (The Help) 5/8
Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) 5/4
Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn) 15/1
Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) 40/1
Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) 50/1

Academy award favorite Meryl Streep has proven her self again and again. Streep’s recent roll in “The Iron Lady”, where she played England’s first female prime minister, the vicious and ballsy Margaret Thatcher, really got to the core of what phenomenal acting is supposed to be. But big-screen newcomer Rooney Mara really left an impression with her roll in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” While a remake of the original Danish produced trilogy released in 2009, Mara breathed life into her character and made the anti-hero the hero. It’s breakout talent like hers that keep seasoned, and genius actors like Streep, riding the waves of a decades long, losing streak.

Animated films have come a long way from your 80s Saturday morning cartoons. Age and gender have no business telling you that you are too old to enjoy cartoons. Inside all of us is our inner child letting us know that it is still OK to pretend.

2012 Oscars – Odds to Win Best Animated Feature Film

Rango 1/10
Chico and Rita 15/2
A Cat In Paris 12/1
Puss in Boots 15/1
Kung Fu Panda 2 25/1

Rango, not to be mistaken for the name of the famous Beatle, has all the moves to steal the Oscar title from the field. What makes this film so special are not only the lovable characters, but how the film went about the creation of each one. The detailed animation is ridiculous and for once, the animated characters really are the actors thanks to Computer-Generated Imagery.

Now that you are one step ahead of everyone else, it is time to make way for this fabulous night. Be sure to be red carpet ready, this glitzy Oscar event is filled with surprises around every corner and when you are heading to the bank, you can thank us later.


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