Let us, as we used to do on the debate team, state one of our theses straight-up so that it might be accepted for the remainder of the discussion: The Oscars are a pretty silly idea. Any kind of award in art is silly, really; I always imagine a set of scales out back of the old Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, where films are placed in the balancing pans and, yes, Dances with Wolves is empirically determined to be better thanGoodfellas.

So The Oscars are an imperfect system, but while an imperfect system can't offer real insight into art and entertainment, it can still offer a look into itself.  The fact of the matter is that the Oscar votes are pretty easy to game, if you bear the facts in mind, and the fact is simple: When making your Oscar picks, just ask yourself: What Would Ernest Borgnine Do? 

The W.W.E.B.D.? theory is built around a blunt statement of reality: The Academy Awards are, by and large, determined by the voting preferences of people who are not only older, richer and more male than the population at large; they also are awarded by people who may very well have spent their whole lives in show business. Use a few basic ballistic principles, correct for a slightly rarefied atmosphere, and you can predict which films the Academy's thoughts will rest upon. ...

(Predictions and the Virtual Borgnine® after the jump. ...)
tags drama