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Make Your Friends Think You Have Secret Psychic Superpowers With Our Oscar Pool Insider Tips

A single Oscar statuette is a gold figure with an angular face and crossed arms.
If you want to win your Oscar pool, pay close attention to categories like costume design and sound. Correct selections in those categories allow for more misses in the top races.
( Lewis Joly-Pool
Getty Images)
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What’s the key to winning your Oscar pool? Not losing your Oscar pool.

It sounds glib, but it’s serious advice: No matter how well you might do in the major categories — let’s say you hit all four acting winners and best picture, too — your psychic Academy Award powers are meaningless if you miss an equal number of lesser categories. It’s like making a hole-in-one, and then totally whiffing on your next two golf shots.

There are always upsets at the Oscars (best picture winners Crash and Shakespeare in Love, for example), but there are far more heavy favorites who end up winning.

I can’t say with any confidence who’s going to go home with the best actor statuette — Elvis’ Austin Butler, The Whale’s Brendan Fraser and Colin Farrell from The Banshees of Inisherin all have a legit shot — but I’d swear on my daughter’s life that All Quiet on the Western Front will be named best international feature. (Note: I don’t have a daughter.)

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Here are some of the less-famous categories that I believe are near locks.

So trust (pray?) that I’m right, mark them down on your ballot, and see if you’ll have enough of a cushion that you don’t have to nail every top category to triumph.

International film: All Quiet on the Western Front

Cinematography: All Quiet on the Western Front

Costume Design: Elvis

Song: Naatu Naatu, RRR

Adapted screenplay: Women Talking

Visual effects: Avatar: The Way of Water

Animated feature: Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

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Supporting actor: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere all at Once

Director: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere all at Once

Animated Short: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse

Good luck, and if you win, be sure to donate at least half the proceeds at

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