The Academy Awards are airing this Sunday, complete with jokes about Obama (“Barack Obama’s won so many contests in a row, he’s now the favorite to win Best Sound Effects Editing!”), McCain, the writers’ strike, Facebook, and every other a la moment bit of hackery the newly contracted writers can cook up. Everybody has their own system for predicting the winners. Most of them include a blindfold, a dartboard, and a bottle of scotch. I have a system that works. Patrick’s Algorithm is a complicated mathematical process that produces shockingly accurate results 35% of the time. It successfully predicted the victory of Paul Haggis’ Crash in 2006, and it guarantees some results, every time!
Patrick’s Algorithm is as follows: In the major categories, I think about which nominee is most deserving and assign that film, actor, writer, or director a numerical score of 1. I then proceed down the list of nominees in descending order of worthiness until I arrive at the film, actor, writer or director I deem least worthy of winning the award. I assign that nominee a numerical score of 5. I then look at whichever nominee has the highest score, and, sometimes, theres’ the winner. Let’s apply Patrick’s Algorithm to this year’s nominees. Best Actor? Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd. Mark it down. Best Actress? The usually stellar Cate Blanchett for Elizabeth: The Golden Years (didn’t she already win an Oscar for this movie?). As you can see, I’m swimming against the stream here.
So what will win Best Picture? My complicated system has produced…Atonement? Is that right? Let me check my math…yep, Atonement. Well, who would’ve guessed it? As for the more obscure categories, I rely on the names. For instance, Best Short Film – Animated, is there anyway that a film called Madame Tutli-Putli loses this thing? I don’t think so.
Anyway, there you have it. Patrick’s Algorithm will predict a winner. In at least one category this year. For sure.
[Disclaimer: Gambling is illegal and you shouldn't do it. If you do decide to gamble, do not use Patrick's Algorithm. In fact, if you find yourself reading blogs for the purposes of finding gambling tips, you may want to go to Bettors Anonymous.]