I wish I could chalk it up to my keen analytical powers, but, really, it's not rocket science. If you follow the trends throughout the pre-Oscar awards season—and who's doing the voting—it's like a giant red arrow pointing to the likeliest winners.
Take the effervescent Jean Dujardin in The Artist. In the last month alone he's won the Best Actor prize at the Golden Globes, the British BAFTA, the SAG Awards AND the Independent Spirit Awards (which usually recognize movies Oscar has barely even heard of). Not to mention his first Best Actor award at Cannes last spring. All things considered, then, his Oscar win last night is not exactly a surprise. So what if he was up against George and Brad? Follow the momentum, says I.
Sure, it's tempting to spin elaborate scenarios about How Hollywood Works, and which actor/actress/director's "turn" it is in forecasting the Oscars. I used to do this all the time, which is why I almost always lost out at our annual Oscar party pool. Now that we don't do the pool anymore, when we watch the Oscarcast for fun, not profit, I finally get a clue. D'oh!
(I just love this photo of Dujardin from Getty Images. Any minute, he'll burst into "Singin' In the Rain"...)