As the Oscars grow closer, we continue with our handy guide to winning your Oscar pool, or at least not coming in last to that tool in the accounting department. Today, a look at documentary features, visual effects and those pesky screenwriting categories.
The art geeks are pulling for Banksy, but while the reclusive one has spiced up the Oscar run-up with his signs around Los Angeles, "Exit Through the Gift Shop" is a serious longshot. Voters will go with something more topical; the only question is whether it's war or the economy. We'd bet the latter.
1) "Inside Job"
If ever there was a sure thing at the Oscars — or a moment when you could safely get up from the couch and not worry about hitting pause on your DVR — it's that the team Christopher Nolan hired for "Inception" will win this category. Sorry, the good people of "Hereafter."
The less dramatic of the two script categories — namely because Aaron Sorkin is a shoo-in. There's historically a chance of an upset in the category — last year "Precious" scribe Geoffrey Fletcher upstaged Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner — and that could fall to "True Grit," but it probably won't happen. Sorkin's Facebook tale should almost certainly earn him his first Oscar.
1) Aaron Sorkin
2) Joel and Ethan Coen
A few weeks ago it looked like a three-way race among "Inception" writer Christopher Nolan, "The Kids Are All Right" scribes Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, and David Seidler of "The King's Speech." Seidler has emerged as a front-runner, but don't count out Nolan, who did win the Writers Guild prize. Then again, "Speech" wasn't eligible for that one.
1) David Seidler
2) Christopher Nolan
— Steven Zeitchik
Photo: An array of Oscar statues. Credit: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences