2. A joint CNN/Fox/YouTube/Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream national poll will reveal that 97% of Americans correctly predicted this year’s Best Picture winner.
3. The poll will have a +3% / - 70% margin of error.
4. During the acceptance speech, 12 Years co-producer Brad Pitt will go on too long thanking the Academy, his hair stylist, and Angelina Jolie’s various adopted children.
5. Following Pitt’s speech, 12 Years director Steve McQueen will take the mic. Facing pressure from key advertisers, ABC will cue the cut-off-music just seven seconds into McQueen’s remarks.
6. Within 13 minutes, Salon.com will post an article titled, “The Academy Awards' Race Problem,” wherein Joan Walsh will spend 600 words recapping the Pitt-McQueen speech incident.
7. Her underlying points will actually be right, just for all the wrong reasons.
9. Cuarón will compliment three of his four fellow nominees—Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street), O. Russell (American Hustle), and McQueen (12 Years a Slave)—before blanking on the fourth director’s name just long enough for ABC to cut to Alexander Payne (Nebraska), who will smile uncomfortably before taking a prolonged sip of scotch.
10. During the speech, ABC will cut (unnecessarily) to Gravity star George Clooney between nine and 13 times.
12. Simultaneously, half of America will Google “What is 'Blue Jasmine?’”
13. The next presenter will ad lib a back-handed compliment like, “Still got it, Woody?” or “I guess you’re not washed up after all!” or “How much did you pay Spike Jonze for his Oscar?"
14. John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) will win for Best Adapted Screenplay
15. A non-ironic post on Entertainment Weekly will proclaim 12 Years “John Ridley’s best work since 2002’s Undercover Brother internet spinoff series.”
16. Entertainment Weekly will be right.
18. In an audio equipment mix-up, Blanchett will be overheard whispering, “Moments like these help me forget all the miserable hours I spent on The Hobbit. Peter Jackson can take this Oscar and…” [cut to commercial break]
19. A trailer for The Monuments Men—a WWII art history flick staring Blanchett and half of Hollywood’s male stars—will air three times in a row during the break.
20. In a scientific study, the Harvard Business Review will conclude that The Monuments Men is the most over-previewed movie in the history of modern cinema, with 3.4 million ad buys over two months.
21. In a footnote, the study will recognize both The Monuments Men and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty for their record-breaking use of lazy, sentimental platitudes in an effort to appear profound and/or insightful.
22. The Monuments Men will go on to flop at the box office.
23. Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) will win Best Supporting Actress.
24. During her acceptance speech, she will giggle, stutter pleasantly, and say, “At least I didn’t trip this time!”
25. America will sigh, collectively.
26. Hollywood will barf, privately.
27. Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) will win Best Lead Actor.
28. During his speech, Ejiofor will purposely mispronounce his own name in an attempt at humor.
29. The internet will lose its collective mind for 24 hours before a tweet from Ejiofor’s verified Twitter account sets the record straight.
30. A day after the Oscars, TMZ will post a “leaked" story from "inside the Academy.” It will reveal that Matthew Mickonnoheigh’s drawling, glazed-over Golden Globe speech offended “key voters,” giving Ejiofor the edge.
31. Until the day I die, I will never be able to spell “Mcconaughey” without looking it up.
32. Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) will win Best Supporting Actor
33. If I’m wrong about one of the two male acting awards, I’ll be wrong about both.
34. In fact, I see 12 Years and Dallas Buyers Club splitting the male acting awards—super close call as to which way it goes.
35. Back-up prediction: Michael Fassbender (12 Years, Supporting) and Matthew Macconohay (Dallas Buyers Club, Lead)
37. Snowmen and goofy reindeer across America will hold a celebratory after-party, sponsored by REI.
38. Not-even-nominated Pixar animators will cry themselves to sleep on bedsheets featuring Mike and Sullivan from Monsters University.
39. Drowning in champagne, Disney CEO Bob Iger will send a drunken text to Pixar’s John Lasseter saying, “get your sh*t together, john. I didn’t spend $7.4 billion on you guys for crappy sequels”
40. John will reply, “all I have to say is: lone ranger"
42. In a scheduled advertisement blast, Netflix will remind America that subscribers can stream four out of five of this year’s documentary nominees, including The Act of Killing.
43. The campaign will backfire, serving only to remind America that Netflix has precisely 3% of movies people actually want to watch, and about five times more documentaries than anyone cares about.
44. I will write a 2,000-word draft about how the Oscars needs a new award—Best Voice Narration—then decide it’s too obscure for publication and delete it.
46. Despite Her’s five nominations, this will be its sole win.
47. Entertainment sites, film blogs, and a desperate-for-something-to-write-about CNN will chalk up the win as a “make-up” award for Spike Jonze’s screenwriting loss.
48. Two minutes later, CNN will issue a public correction, explaining that the concept of a “make-up” award is absurd, given that hundreds of Academy members all vote privately, and that the full list of winners is neither reviewed nor adjusted after the fact.
49. The CNN correction will be posted hastily on Twitter, and will contain two spelling errors in the space of 135 characters.
50. William Butler’s band, Arcade Fire, will be ridiculed for 48 hours. #ArcadeDumpsterFire will trend on Twitter.
51. “Let it Go” (Frozen) will win for Best Original Song.
52. There will be approximately 247 jokes on Twitter about how Frozen has won two Oscars while Fruitvale Station has won zero.
53. A Coen Brothers fan-blog will decry “Please Mr. Kennedy’s” loss (Inside Llewyn Davis), despite the fact that it wasn’t even nominated.
54. John Williams himself will defend the Academy’s obscure rules on what counts as an “original song,” citing 80+ years of Oscar history.
55. The post will receive a total of seven comments, six of which will ask why "Please Mr. Kennedy" didn’t win.
57. Seconds after the announcement, ratings will drop 5% as all of America's Coen Brother fanatics turn off their TVs in disgust.
58. Gravity will win for Visual Effects
59. Gravity will win for Film Editing
60. Gravity will win for Sound Editing
61. Gravity will win for Sound Mixing
62. Oscar night will either affirm Gravity's incredible technical achievements or prove I have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to technical awards.
63. American Hustle will win for Costume Design
64. Roughly 5,000 American males will make jokes on Twitter about how Amy Adams' and Jennifer Lawrence's costume designers should "get a raise" or "do costume design for every 2014 movie."
65. Just under 300 of these men will be fired the next day at work.
66. The Lone Ranger will win for Makeup and Hairstyling
67. Bob Iger will text: "that's one more oscar for ranger than for monsters u"
68. John Lasseter will respond: "congrats. now you can sell the oscar statue to make back some of that $190 million the lone ranger lost"
69. The Great Gatsby will win for Production Design
70. Following the announcement, an over-his-head Tobey Maguire will spill a full glass of white wine on his tuxedo.
71. Gatsby's production designer, Catherine Martin, will make a failed attempt at humor by adding "old sport" after every sentence of her speech.
72. ABC will cut to Leonardo DiCaprio, who will smile icily and order a 4th drink, knowing the Academy, like always, sure as hell won't be awarding him an Oscar.
The Ceremony Itself
75. An overeager TV commentator will repeat a scripted joke about how Bullock "just got back from outer space" between five and ten times.
76. Over 80% of Ellen DeGeneres' jokes will involve some sort of physical comedy, like clapping, dancing, or running around stage.
77. There will be at least four Jennifer Lawrence jokes, one of which will compare Lawrence's frequently changing hair styles to a male actor's frequently changing romantic partners.
78. At the end of the night, the rankings for "Most smiling/clapping cameos" will be 1) Jennifer Lawrence - 37 cuts 2) George Clooney - 26 cuts ... 517) Tobey Maguire (0 cuts).
79. James Gandolfini will be the final featured star in the Dead Actor Montage.
80. By the final hour of the event, Matthew Macanowhay and James Franco will be neck-and-neck for the annual "most stoned" award.
81. In an astonishing, last-minute performance, Jonah Hill will beat them both.
83. At the same time, The Bleacher Report will post an article titled "Everything You Wanted to Know About Last Night's Academy Awards," with three total sentences, and a 39-page slideshow of stock photos listing the night's winners. Two million people will read it.
84. The next day, a thoughtful post on "The Oscars, Audience Age, and the Future of Movies" will be posted on a little-known film enthusiast's blog. She will incorporate hours of research, deft humor, and the passion only 25 years of careful movie-watching could bring. Less than 15 people will bother to read it.
85. Exactly 78 of these predictions will come true.
86. Just not #85.