In “Moneyball,” considered a long shot for the best picture Oscar, the Oakland A’s take a new way of looking at baseball and use that system to win games. There are fewer statistics to study when it comes to Oscar picks, though. That’s why we decided to consult four ancient fortune-telling devices (OK, three and a Magic 8 Ball) to shed some light on who’ll take home trophies on Sunday.
Device: Magic 8 Ball
The Magic 8 Ball can answer only yes-or-no questions, so we asked, “Will front-runner ‘The Artist’ win best picture?” The answer: “Yes, definitely.”
Device: Runes, a collection of stones Vikings used to tell the future.
We did a three-stone reading for past, present and future. The “future” stone was “fehu,” which, according to the little book that came with the stones, literally means “cattle” but today usually signifies “wealth.” The associations with this stone are success, abundance, increased income, possession, happiness and financial gain. Out of all the characters in the nominated category, this best fits Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Margaret Thatcher.
Device: “The Psychic Tarot,” a version of tarot cards (and the cheapest option on Amazon).
Our first three-card reading gave us cards signifying a shadowy past, prosperity beginning in the present, and a future trapped in fear. After deciding that wasn’t clear enough to distinguish between Jean Dujardin’s fading silent-movie actor in “The Artist” and George Clooney’s cuckolded husband in “The Descendants,” we did another reading that gave us disruption in the past; heartache and loss in the present; and the “crown chakra” for the future, meaning a connection with the universe. We called it for Clooney, but even the cards seem to think it could go either way.
Device: The I Ching, an ancient Chinese system that uses coins.
After throwing coins and drawing pictures (called “hexagrams”) and looking everything up in the accompanying book, we realized this was really hard and we should have just used a Ouija board. But we finally arrived at this quote: “The empowered person sees how small springs carve out valleys and become great rivers, and learns lessons about patience, time and opportunity.” This suggests “The Artist” director Michel Hazanavicius, who waited for years to make his silent masterpiece.