Every year we think we all have it figured out. Even before the votes have been cast we figure to know where the waters have shifted and must sit back idly waiting for the inevitable to occur. Those on the Oscar beat writing about it day-in and day-out find ways to invent stories and controversies. Some even suck up to powerful studio heads and jump on the bandwagon of an underdog despite evidence that they are doing nothing but printing the ramblings of a one-man hype machine. Shame on them and may they all lose their Oscar pool to the Grim Reaper.
There are locks though and then there are LOCKS. And this year looks more than ever to be full of the latter. We probably said the same thing last year too while we see-sawed on Mickey Rourke over Sean Penn or bought into the suggestion that Viola Davis was going to steal the award in a now Winslet-less category. We don't know in what order the non-surprises will be revealed on Sunday, so we might as well just go down the list in order of confidence. Of my own prognostication prowess that is. But we will finish with Best Picture anyway, even if such confidence would rank it much higher on this particular inventory.