Dive Into the Pool's Deep End

(M.i.a. By Frazer Harrison -- Getty Images; Jerry Lewis By Ethan Miller -- Getty Images; Hugh Jackman By Brett Ratner -- Abc Via Associated Press)
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By Dan Kois
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sure, anyone can win an Oscar pool: Go with the favorites for the big awards, pick the documentary about the Holocaust, and hope you get lucky with Best Animated Short. This year, why not liven up your Oscar party and predict the speeches, the snubs, the clothes, the blunders and the Jack Nicholson cutaways that make the Academy Awards memorable?

Producer Laurence Mark and director Bill Condon, running their first Oscar ceremony, promise surprises this year: secret presenters, short films by Judd Apatow and Bennett Miller, and even a collection of scenes from 2009's upcoming movies. With so much of the ceremony up in the air, let's also muck with tradition. We now give you the Style Oscar Pool -- Cynics' Division.

Photocopy this ballot (or print it out at washingtonpost.com) and get each of your guests to plunk down a few bucks. Then endure/enjoy the show with a jaded eye. Happy wagering! (And if you must fill out an actual Oscar ballot you can find one in today's TV Week.)

1. Which Best Picture nominee will be this year's "Munich" and fail to win a single award? (Five points.)

A. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

B. "Frost/Nixon"

C. "Milk"

D. "The Reader"

E. "Slumdog Millionaire"

F. None of the above

2. Which winner will give the shortest, classiest acceptance speech? (Five points.)

__________ __________

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