Having already committed my Oscar predictions to print (they
will appear in next Thursday's "Phoenix"), I feel
a sickening surge of anxiety reading this article about Heidi, the cross-eyed
opossum, in the Leipzig Zoo. Like her late colleague Paul
the Psychic Octopus from
the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre, who picked Spain to win the World Cup last
year, Heidi is also reputed to have a talent for predicting the outcome of
contests, in this case the Academy Awards.
The surprise Director's Guild Award for Tom Hooper and the awards from the Screen Actors Guild -- Best Actor for Colin Firth and Best Ensemble Cast -- pretty
much guarantee an Oscar sweep for "The King's Speech," the lush period biopic
about King George VI, who, with the help of a non-elitist therapist managed
to shake off a debilitating stutter, a toffee-nosed dissolute, Nazi-leaning elder brother,
and a paralyzing father complex, and, apparently, go on to win World War II
After you've attended the Boston Society of Film Critics Annual Awards ceremony, the Oscars might seem anticlimactic. Among
those expected at this year's extravaganza is Jeff Malmberg, winner of the
society's Best Documentary and Best Newcomer awards for his brilliant, sui generis film Marwencol, which will
screen after the event.
This year I feel less embarrassed than I normally do after
the Oscar nominations announcements, getting
fewer prognostications wrong
- four - than my usual six or more misfires. On the other hand, those I got
wrong were really the ones that would have taken any genuine acumen to figure
out. So as it stands I got 31 out of 35, around 88%, or a B+ average.