That flush of nausea and dull aching in your joints isn't the flu, but rather early signs of a much more debilitating disease: Oscar fever. Can you feel it?! Well, you will, and soon, because the Oscars broadcast–like 0American Idol contestants, Mariah Carey's palpable ridiculousness, and news about Britney Spears and how we should really leave her alone–is more unavoidable and virulent than an airborne virus. You'll watch it. And even if by some blessed miracle you are stricken with temporary blindness on Sunday night, you'll hear so much about the show and the winners and the losers in the following days that you'll feel as if you did watch it. Oscar fever is inescapable.
And this year, it's even worse, because after tousling with the WGA and questioning their own inevitability, but ultimately emerging victorious, the Oscars have proven their invincibility. They cannot be stopped. It would be easier to mathematically calculate the precise degree of soulfulness in Ryan Gosling's eyes (they're sooo soulful, y'all), than to cancel the Oscars.
Sixty years from now, while your grandkids are assembling their laser presentations about Halle Berry for the annual, nationally-mandated Academy Awards History Week, you'll tell them about The Year The Oscars Almost Didn't Happen, and they'll look at you with the same bored indifference as when you launch into your whole, "Back in my day, Jessica Simpson was a singer/terrible actress with a line of wigs, not Gatorade's Texas Governor Of The Year" diatribe. The Oscars will always happen–so Oscar fever is actually more like Oscar staph infection superbug.
So rather than give predictions of the winners and the losers, which, besides containing inevitable inaccuracies, is always very boring to read, I've decided (once again) to give Oscars predictions that are actually useful–and that will hopefully help you prepare for the three-and-a-half-hour-plus (Actually, who knows? Maybe the Academy will be feeling so powerful and unshakeable, they'll stretch the broadcast to a full six hours just because they can.) test of endurance that looms before you.
Extremely Accurate Oscars Predictions:
—Vanessa Williams will attend, for some reason, probably wearing ruffles.
—So will Jamie Foxx.
—Shots of George Clooney in the audience demonstrating he's just so incredibly jovial and has such a great sense of humor: at least seven.
—Johnny Depp's look will either be "Edwardian goth resort wear," "formal, 1930s casino owner goes to France" or some combination of the two. In all likelihood, it will include a hat or a medallion, possibly both.
—Jon Stewart's strike-related to non-strike-related joke ratio will be 4.5 to 1.
—The white glow emanating from Cate Blanchett's near-translucent skin will be so bright you'll be forced to squint until she's off-camera, and your retinas are safe.
—The following exchange will probably take place, almost verbatim:
Guiliana DePandi: Javier Bardem! No Country For Old Men! Gosh, you were so scary! It was just amazing. I was so scared.
Javier Bardem: Yes. [unintelligible, but pleasant-sounding, rumblings]
Guiliana DePandi: I mean, did you know you were so scary? Were you scared of yourself cause of all the scariness you brought to the role? Scary.
Javier Bardem: No. [unintelligible, but pleasant-sounding, rumblings]
—Shots of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt holding hands, gently caressing each others' shoulders, looking into each others' eyes, or otherwise sketching a picture of the definition of 'canoodling' with their actions: 9.
—Throughout the course of the evening, you will hear the same snippet of that "You Can't Stop The Beat" song from Hairspray at least 3 times, and each time it will feel like someone is driving a thin metal wire deeper and deeper into your temples.
—During E!'s day-long, red-carpet coverage, Debbie Matenopoulos's TV pen will misidentify the precise location of the "gorgeous" on Marion Cotillard.
—Montages about how movies have depicted the American Dream, or illuminated our collective hopes, or single-handedly saved the whales, or rescued that baby from that fire that time, or whatever other "significance of film" topic the Academy can cobble together with pretension: at least 4.