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Gold Derby fends off nuclear response to our 'Inglourious Basterds' prediction

November 19, 2009 |  8:07 am

My, my, I'm going to have to cook up a huge batch of crow to serve so many of my colleagues who responded to my prediction that "Inglourious Basterds" will win the Oscar for best picture by hurling weapons of mass destruction.

Some of them not only freaked out over my "Basterds" call, they went all ballistic. Granted, many like to dismiss anything I say because of, ahem, a few bad calls in the past like "Sweeney Todd" or "Dreamgirls." OK, OK, but I've made some bold, prescient ones too. Let me remind you that I was the first pundit on the planet to declare that "Crash" could win best picture. Read my warning here, which was posted in early January 2006 prior to the Golden Globes, where "Crash" wasn't even nominated.

Oh yeah, and when 95% of my colleagues forecast Julie Christie ("Away From Her") would win best actress, wasn't I one of the few brave souls correctly forecasting Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose")? Inglorious basterds derby Today, most Oscarologists will claim that they predicted Cotillard, but that's just another case of convenient prognosticator amnesia, an epidemic disease. Look back through Envelope's Buzzmeter to see who really did so. You'll notice that nearly all of the pundits named in this blog article slamming me picked Christie over Cotillard.

Over at The Wrap, under the headline "'Basterds' a Best-Pic Winner? Nope," Steve Pond gives me a good rappin', deconstructing my prediction, then adding, "Sorry, Tom. I’m not buying this one."

Too bad, Steve. This prediction is going for a sale price right now. You'll regret this later ... when the derby outcome will cost you and your prognosticator reputation dearly.

Jeff Wells pooh-poohs the whole thing at Hollywood-Elsewhere: "Trust me -- this won't happen. We're living in anxious, racially attuned, recession-afflicted times, and that means 'Up In The Air' -- the only film by my measure that has that dignified, settled, summing-up-everyone-and-everything vibe -- or 'Invictus' will take it. Enjoyable as it is and admired in some quarters, there is no discernible echo and spiritual after-effect in 'Inglorious Basterds' …. I'm not alone in this thinking. In Contention's Kris Tapley has 'Basterds' and director-writer Quentin Tarantino ranked pretty far down."

Yes, that's true. Kris not only doesn't list "Basterds" or Tarantino in his predix, but he ranks both way down on his lists of possibilities, in the fourth tier of potential nominees, down below "Bright Star" and "The Last Station." Scott Feinberg (And The Winner Is...) is so proud of the fact that his view is the same as Kris' that he actually boasts about it in the comments section of Jeff Wells' post! Tisk, tisk, tisk.

Over in the comments section of, Guy Lodge disses me too: "Tom O’Neil has suggested 'Basterds' can win best picture, and he's probably just spinning his wheels. I’ll gladly eat my hat if that happens."

OK, so that means I should fry up an old fedora to serve Guy on the side with his crow come March 7. Gotta remember that.

Greg Ellwood will get a side order of extra-stinky Limburger for writing this about my "Basterds" predix at HitFix: "There are more holes in his theory than a slice of swiss cheese you'd get with a deli sandwich at Canters on Fairfax. This prognosticator is a big fan of "Basterds," but to say it's going to win at this point is just a nice reach for page views.  Remember 'Sweeney Todd,' Tom?"

Yes, Greg, I remember my bum "Sweeney Todd" call well. Why don't you flag some of my brilliant early calls like "Crash," eh? Once, during a chitchat we had, you claimed that someone else -- Pete Hammond, you said -- sounded the "Crash" warning in an article earlier than I did. Really? As I told you then, I don't think so. Send me the link to that or to anyone else who blasted that trumpet before me. I'd like to read it … while I crank up my stove and prepare some yummy supper for you … and our cyber comrades. Bring a good appetite to the pity party.


Oscars prediction: 'Glourious Basterds' will win best picture

Inside track on the Oscars' supporting actor race

Oscars quiz: What film ties the record for most nominations?

Inside track on the Oscars' best actor race

Inside track on the Oscars' best picture and best director races

Illustration by Ty Wilson

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The comments to this entry are closed.


I think Inglorious Basterds has a great shot at the Best Movie oscar. It's better than any of the movies that were nominated last year. It's truly a masterpiece.

I'd like to agree with Tom, but I can see why there are many dissenters.

At the same time, I'd like to think that the Academy can enter a new age in which it selects films that bring some very different and almost brazen elements into them.

Whoever said Basterds was akin to Hogans Heroes....get off it. I'm so tired of these high-and-mighty, pretentious cinephiles who think only the same bloated run-of-the-mill tripe can and should win the prize.

Will Basterds be nominated? Yes, I think so with the ten slots available. Will it win? It's a looooong shot, but not impossible.

OK. You called CRASH a likely winner (in January), but why don't you write (as well) that in the end you predicted BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN for the win? If I now say that a dark horse like Jeremy Renner will win best actor and then change my prediction before the Oscars and go with the front-runner Jeff Daniels, which one counts in the end? If you believed that much that CRASH would win, why didn't you stick with it? No, you went with the safe choice and now pretend you actually went with CRASH. Of course people switch all the time, but in the end you were on the wrong train. Sorry for my sarcasm, but your post really made me angry.

And of course, many people had Marion Cotillard as their winner. And it wasn't such a shocker that Marion won. Many predicted it given all the factors working in her favor.

And let's not forget the Felicity Huffman case.

Or Dreamgirls.

Or Sweeney Todd.

The holocaust is sacred to many of us; although we're not jewish. In my opinion, the holocaust is not fodder for fun and games!

Many a minority educator absolutely hated "Crash"!. It is a movie for liberal whites, who can congratulate themselves on recognizing it. But it is so contrived that it was an insult to reward such a film. A film that got just two stars from a prestigious east coast paper.

Read the review of the oscars by Syl Jones in "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune". He's just one minority intellectual who was insulted by the oscar for "Crash". (March 9, 2006)

I wish you had been wrong and Julie Christie had won Best Actress!

Tom: no matter who will be the 2009 BP winner - you've got one fan for life!

Must it be a fedora? I find homburgs tastier.

I like your gutsy calls, Tom, even (no, especially) when I have trouble agreeing with them. Hope you understand that my comments were made in good humour.

Wow, egocentric much?

Seems like you all are taking a guessing game too seriously. Just chill and let it all play out. It's not a competition.

Tom, just laugh off all the 'Basterds' possible Oscar win dissing and take it as a compliment. The naysayers and disbelievers just hold your opinion to a high level and although they disagree, they are still flabbergasted at why you would make such a bold prediction.

I personally hope you're right!

You talk a big game, Tom, but if Inglorious Basterds DOESN'T win Best Picture, then you should be prepared to endure the same punishments that you're gleefully cooking up for your respondents. In your own words, you better be ready when "the derby outcome will cost you and your prognosticator reputation dearly," even as you chow down on some Limburger.

Let's be clear. There is a HUGE difference between coming out in mid-November to say that Inglorious Basterds will win and predicting in January that Crash/Cotillard would win Oscars. Let's be a little bit more realistic about your record, shall we?

And I still say that you're a moron if you believe that Inglorious Basterds even has a shred of a chance of winning Best Picture.

Sorry Tom - I agree with the field on this pick. The movie is a sub-par comedy that plays the holocuast as if it were Hogan's Heroes. Haven't seen the other possible nominations - yet - but am still looking for a true contender.

It doesn't matter because Star Trek will win Best Picture. With the new tabulation system you'll have situations where 'Precious' supporters will put 'Up in the Air' at the bottom of their lists just so it won't win. Star Trek, if nominated of course, will likely rank within the top 5 of every ballot and win enough ballots after eliminations to win.

I just use Star Trek as an example, I don't really mean it but the new system will lead to some interesting wins in the future.



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