Oscars Gambling


I went 1 for 2 at this year’s Oscars. Kate Winslet won as expected but Mickey Rourke let me down (beaten by Sean Penn). Rourke firmed heavily before the show and Penn eased out to a peak of $3.50 so Penn’s win must have been a surprise to many other punters as well.


To quickly review my performance…

$400 on Kate Winslet to win best actress which returned $788.

$400 on Mickey Rourke to win best actor which returned $0.


So for $800 worth of bets, I got $788 back. That’s a loss of $12. I won $265 on the Golden Globes. So in the end, I wind up with a profit of $253 for this award season. Let’s now add that to the cumulative leaderboard…


1996 – profit of $750 – won on Susan Saranadon

1997 – profit of $300 (cumulative profit $1,050) – won on Frances McDormand

1998 – loss of $250 (cumulative profit $800)

1999 – loss of $250 (cumulative profit $550)

2000 – profit of $620 (cumulative profit $1,170) – won on Kevin Spacey and Michael Caine

2001 – loss of $190 (cumulative profit $980) – won on director Steven Soderbergh

2002 – profit of $480 (cumulative profit $1,460) – won on Halle Berry

2003 – profit of $275 (cumulative profit $1,735) – won on Catherine Zeta-Jones and Adrian Brody

2004 – profit of $150 (cumulative profit $1,875) – won on Sean Penn

2005 – profit of $214 (cumulative profit $2,089) – won on Hilary Swank

2006 – profit of $350 (cumulative profit $2,439) – won on Reese Witherspoon

2007 – profit of $1,463 (cumulative profit $3,912) – won on Eddie Murphy at Globes, Alan Arkin & West Bank Story at Oscars

2008 – profit of $268 (cumulative profit of $4,280) – won on Tilda Swinton and the Coen brothers

2009 – profit of $253 (cumulative profit of $4,533) – won on Mickey Rourke & Kate Winslet at Globes, Kate Winslet at Oscars


That takes my winning streak to 8 years on trot. I’m disappointed not to win a little more this year but hey, that’s gambling. I’ll use my winnings to help kick start the economy. K-Rudd will be happy.


Oscars Competition


And now to my annual competition. I gave you all a gimme this year by including best supporting actor as part of the 5 categories. I was going to do best actor but I copied and pasted the wrong bit. Lucky for some.


Now, we had a tie this year with 2 entrants getting 4 out of 5 – Solo Fogg and Gareth Hunter. It came down to the tie-breaker question with Gareth the closest to guessing the age of the best picture presenter. It was Steven Spielberg, aged 62. Well done Gareth!


If you were keeping score at home, here were the winners of those in the quiz…

Best Supporting Actor – Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)

Best Supporting Actress – Penelope Cruz (Vicky Christina Barcelona)

Best Original Screenplay – Milk

Best Costume Design – The Duchess

Best Foreign Language Film – Departures


Not a single entrant got the best foreign language film category. It was a tricky one this year with Departures getting home from Japan.


Thanks to everyone who entered and make sure you try again next year.




There’s no question that the big winner of the night was Slumdog Millionaire. It dominated most categories and won 8 Oscars in total. That’s pretty staggering. It’s most significant wins were for best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay.


Also deserving a pat on the back was Milk which won best actor (Sean Penn) and best original screenplay. It’s a great film (better than Slumdog) and I’m glad it got some attention.


Even though I lost the cash, I can’t feel bad that Penn won. Hell, it’s a great performance and his speech was the best of the night. Penn is a class act.


Kate Winslet finally broke her Oscars hoodoo with her first win from 6 nominations. It was The Reader’s only win of the night. Well done Kate.


In the supporting categories, the two favourites saluted – Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight and Penelope Cruz for Vicky Christina Barcelona.


One of the nice wins of the evening for me was that of Man on Wire for best documentary. I’ve been talking it up since I saw it late last year.


There were very few upsets during the ceremony but perhaps the biggest would be the win of Departures, the Japanese film, in the best foreign language film category.


The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button won three awards in total – all in technical categories.


The Show Itself


They tried to reinvigorate the Oscars this year and I think they’ve done a great job. I loved the way they awarding the acting prizes – by getting 5 previous winners in the category to introduce each of the nominees. It was beautifully done and I think it was a better way of recognizing the actors rather than showing clips.


I think Hugh Jackman was terrific as host. We didn’t see a lot of him but his two main musical numbers gave the show some life.


There were some cool presenters too. Steve Martin and Tina Fey were great early on. I’m still hopeful that Martin will get to host the Oscars again one day. He’s just too funny. Seth Rogen and James Franco were also terrific in their clip. I heard someone suggest that they should host the Oscars next year and I have to admit, you could do a lot worse.

The stage set up also deserves praise. There was a cool little inner-circle where you could see all the big name stars and it made for some innovative new camera angles. I hope they keep it in years to come.


The Full List


If you’re interested in a full list of winners, here they are…


Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director: Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)
Best Actor: Sean Penn (Milk)
Best Actress: Kate Winslet (The Reader)
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz (Vicky Christina Barcelona)

Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black (Milk)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire)

Best Animated Feature: WALL-E
Best Foreign Language Film: Departures (Japan)

Best Documentary Feature: Man On Wire
Best Documentary Short: Smile Pinki

Best Animated Short: La Maison en Petits Cubes
Best Live Action Short: Spielzeugland

Best Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Film Editing: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Score: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Song: “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire
Best Sound Mixing: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Sound Editing: The Dark Knight
Best Art Direction: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Best Visual Effects: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Best Costume Design: The Duchess

Best Makeup: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button


For those who followed my form guide, I finished with 17 out of 24. It was a fairly predictable year.


Please Close The Book


I’ve been covering the Oscars for 13 years now and this would to be the most boring list of winners and nominees. I’m glad the year is over to be honest and we can move forward.


I don’t want to begrudge Slumdog Millionaire, but there are some truly amazing films which have come along in recent years and have not even come close to winning 8 Oscars. 1994 always comes to mind with the 5 best picture nominees being Four Weddings & A Funeral, Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Quiz Show and The Shawshank Redemption.


Let’s hope 2009 is a lot better.


That’s it from me. To all, a good night. And don’t forget, we’ll do it all again in 12 months time.