I've seen most of the films up for Best Picture this year (the exceptions are The Artist and War Horse) so I thought I'd have a go at tipping the race. If you don't like the Oscars but you're a man of a certain age, you'll still enjoy the clip of Carla Bruni right.
2/5 The Artist: The five thousand crinklies who make up the Motion Picture Academy will feel good about themselves if they vote for a silent movie that has a dog in it.
3:1 The Descendants: Goerge Clooney is popular in Hollywood and Alexander Payne is a serious director. This could be the perfect pairing.
4:1 Hugo: I thought the plot was a bit iffy and the film on the slow side but its got everything an aging Oscar vote will like: Martin Scorsese, Paris, an homage to old films, a curious boy, and another dog. (And there's a blink and you'll miss it cameo of James Joyce and Picasso).
8:1 Midnight In Paris: I thought this was ok. Its essentially a piece of fluff and wouldn't have got a nomination were the director not Woody Allen. Again the Paris setting will appeal and although there's no dog there is a rather fetching Carla Bruni. Picasso appears in this one too.
10:1 War Horse: This seems like sentimental rubbish, but Spielberg made it and they love Spielberg and its got a French and English setting which is somehow considered classy. Many horses and a few dogs.
20:1 The Help: A dull witted heavy handed flick about race and class for the Oprah loving demo. I wouldn't have given this a hope in hell if the Academy hadn't once given Best Picture to Driving Miss Daisy (over Field of Dreams, if I recall correctly). A couple of cameo dogs.
25:1 Moneyball: A solid baseball movie with an excellent Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. I'm only rating this low on the pecking order because I don't think Academy voters will understand it. Also no Paris or dogs or horses.
30:1 The Tree Of Life: I love Terry Malick and his mad mad ways but this one was too silly for me. I think Academy voters will sleep through the preview DVD. There are a couple of cute dinosaurs which are vaguely dog like.
50:1 Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: a hipster wankfest that will appeal to no one living outside of Brooklyn Heights.