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")? 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 InContention.com, 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.
Illustration by Ty Wilson