Ever wonder how someone gets a 20 out of 24 score on Oscar predictions? We here at Awards Daily do. This year’s winner, Brandon Jones, tells us the secrets of his success:

AwardsDaily: What made you choose both Cotillard and Swinton?
BJ: Swinton, I think, gave one of the best performances of the past few years. She is also an actress that is consistently good (and one of my favorites.) I picked her because I had convinced my little brain that they wouldn’t let Michael Clayton go home empty handed. It was such a good film, (I loved it) and it was critically well received.  Unfortunately, the film was always nominated in categories with heavy, heavy favorites. Supp. Actress was the only category that had a window of opportunity. And when she won the BAFTA, that sealed the deal.

I picked Cotillard because of Tilda Swinton. She also gave an INSANELY amazing performance. I had a strong hunch that the Oscars were going to mirror the BAFTAs in most ways (except for Picture.) I think Marion‚Äôs reaction at the BAFTAs was too cute to pass up in the USA. Also ‚Äî for some oddball reason, I always think the Academy loves to have a ‚Äútheme‚Äù for its voting. I could be wrong ‚Äî and have no true substantial evidence — but having 4 foreigners win seemed likely this year. (I know Christie is a Brit but she lost to Marion at the BAFTAs and was also a previous winner.)

Do I sound crazy??
[AD: Are you kidding? Not in a mil]

AD: How did you go about making your choices? Were they based on hunches or what?
BJ: I usually make my choices based on the Guild & Critic Award wins. Also, based on hunches. The Globes only come into play in my mind when it’s a tie breaker. Other categories are based on a general consensus from critics. I have no idea what differentiates a movie with great sound editing vs. a movie with good sound editing.

AD: Are you always a good Oscar predictor?
BJ: I generally fair pretty well. Better than my friends ‚Äî but that‚Äôs simply because I am obsessed. It‚Äôs kind of embarrassing…ha ha. Awards Daily is really a source for a lot of my predicting material. (It‚Äôs my secret weapon for Oscar Pools.) This year, however, I did win the movies.com Oscar contest as well. And a few years ago finished in a close 2nd on that contest, too.

AD: Is this your best record?
BJ: This ties my best record. The year of Million Dollar Baby, I got 20/24 but missed Best Pic and Best Director (I went with Aviator/Martin S.) . But I consider this my best. I generally score between 14-17, though.

AD: Have you entered our contest before?
BJ: Yes. It is usually the first contest I enter during the year. so my scores have never been too good. But I have to say it is my favorite contest to enter.

That’s what we like to hear! You can take a gander at Brandon’s picks after the cut.

picture = No Country for Old Men
actor = Daniel Day Lewis
actress = Marion Cotillard
supp_actor = Javier Bardem
supp_actress = Tilda Swinton
director = The Coens
adapted = No Country
original = Juno
animated = Ratatouille
foreign = Counterfeiters
documentary = No End in Sight
score = Atonement
song = Falling Slowly
cinematography = Elswit
costume = Atonement
art = There Will Be Blood
makeup = La Vie En Rose
sound = Bourne Ultimatum
editing = Rouse
sound_editing = Bourne Ultimatum
doc_short = Freeheld
action_short = Mozart of Pickpockets
visual_effects = Transformers
animated_short = Peter & the Wolf
Biggest snub of the year = Parker Posey for BROKEN ENGLISH

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  • daveylow

    I do wonder now if the Golden Globes not being televised affected the outcome of the Oscars this year.

    But I do think the Bafta-Oscar repeat winners in the acting categories were fluke this year. I bet it won’t happen again for a while.

  • DBibby

    That was really interesting. Great idea Sasha, and thanks for sharing Brandon!

  • bebe

    What a smart cookie! Every year I enter the whole predictions carnival knowing I’m bad at it, then start to think I might know what’s going to win as it gets closer, only to realize on the night-of how abysmal I am at predicting! At least I got picture/screenplay/best actor/best supporting actor. That’s better than I usually do. Congrats Brandon! Great work!

  • Have you actually considered placing bets for the Oscars Brandon? You’d probably win a ridiculous amount of money. I’m usually right about 50% of the time which is nothing to shout about. How you predicted the amazing Tilda Swinton for the win I’ll never know because she was the absolute last person I would have thought of and I pretty much crossed her off my list. Good job Brandon!

  • dave

    I picked Swinton based off the same reasoning.. woohoo… not to mention in my eyes she was the only good thing about Michael Clayton… won my office poll at least… I don’t’ know how you get all those documentary & short action slots right though… that’s where I always loose out. I do only about 14 categories right each year.

  • Nicestag

    Brandon Jones, good on ya. I am impressed and no, you do not sound crazy. I actually understand you even with only 17 out of 24. Congratulations!

  • Brandon’s not the only one to predict Tilda. She was my choice, too, because “Michael Clayton” was the only pic to receive more than one acting nom, and it received THREE ACTING NOMS! At least one of ’em had to get it, and only the supporting actress category was somewhat up for grabs.

    Yay for the White Witch!

  • daveylow

    But Brokeback Mountain had three acting nominations and got no acting awards. But I guess there was stiffer competition that year.

  • I like nothing better than to be publicly humbled and shamed by people who are smarter than me, so thanks Brandon for being that guy this year.

    You sir, are the man.

  • Bobby C

    It’s amazing how you still got 20 out of 24 in 2005 when you missed Best Picture and Best Director! Great job then and this year! Thanks for sharing your predix rationale! I hope to do better next time! I only got 14/24 this year.

  • Mimi Rogers

    Congratulations Brandon.

    So tell me. Which film will win Best Picture Oscar in 2009?

    I’m thinking Australia, the Baz Luhrmann epic.
    Baz is overdue for an Oscar.

  • Congrats B. You make us all look ultra lame. Good for you though! 🙂

  • John

    I picked Swinton for his exact reason.

    And I picked Cotillard because the Academy likes to surprise sometimes. And Helen Mirren just won last year. AND, Cotillard won BAFTA (over Christie!!). There lotsa British voters in the Academy. AND, Cotillard was, arguably, the best performance of the females anyway.

    Thanks to those 2 picks, I won the pool I was entered in.

  • I won a free dvd, but I didn’t pick Swinton. I was screwed over by the lack of Transformers love.

  • glimmer

    wow brandon…beyond impressive !!! 🙂

  • Wow what a beautiful story. I have read your blog for a long time and have never posted a comment…It is no wonder that you often don’t open up comments with all the wack jobs out in this world.

  • beth will be watching the daytime emmys on fri and she hopes brandon wins

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