36 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY MARCH 7-13, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com MOVIES The 2024 Academy Awards are ready to roll on Sunday, March 10, offering an event that’s kind of like the Super Bowl for movie nerds. Yet while that comparison is apt in some ways, there’s one area where we lag behind our sports-loving counterparts: the “prop bet.” For those unfamiliar, a “prop bet” puts action on the likelihood of an event outside of the primary results of a game—e.g., how many yards a specific player will gain, who will score the first points, even who wins the coin toss. For the Oscars, lots of folks participate in “pick the winners” pools for who will take home the awards in the individual categories. But what if we made it a little interesting, and found things to predict (for entertainment purposes only, of course) beyond the gold statuettes themselves? Here’s just a sampling of some options for Oscars prop bets. Over/under for Oppenheimer: +/- 7.5 total wins The epic historical drama about the creation of the atomic bomb is overwhelmingly favored to win in several major categories, including Best Picture, Best Director for Christopher Nolan, Best Supporting Actor for Robert Downey, Jr. and Best Original Score for Ludwig Göransson. However, the film has been nominated for a total of 13 awards. How many of the others will it take? Will Cillian Murphy’s performance in the title role win Best Actor, or is Paul Giamatti still favored there? What about Sound, where The Zone of Interest is a major contender? Tricky stuff. Acting parlay for Downey, Giamatti, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Emma Stone I’m not in the business of laying odds, but I’m wondering what a Vegas casino would give for the four presumed favorites all winning. Lily Gladstone and Emma Stone feel like they’re in the tightest race for the Best Actress award, and Stone is a previous winner. OK fine, let’s say 15-1 for that foursome. Who’s in? Over/under for number of “Barbenheimer” jokes by host Jimmy Kimmel: +/- 4.5 Never let it be said that the opening monologue for the Academy Awards avoids obvious targets. As the phenomenon that drove the summer box office, in addition to featuring two of the most nominated films, the combination of Barbie and Oppenheimer will definitely be the subject of Kimmel’s barbs. Will four be too many? Three too few? Whatever the spread, it feels like you should take the “over.” First and/or last person shown for the “In Memoriam” montage The Academy Awards broadcast always takes time to recognize those in the movie industry who died during the preceding 12 months. Historically, the most famous or awards-decorated individuals get the prime spots leading off and ending the showcase of photos. Ryan O’Neal seems likely to be in one of those slots. But it could also be director Norman Jewison, a multitime Oscar nominee, or Shaft’s Richard Roundtree. Perhaps even Matthew Perry, despite his primary renown coming in television. Personally, I wouldn’t mind a Rocky two-fer of Burt Young and Carl Weathers. Over/under for number of acceptance speeches that will mention the 2023 Hollywood strikes: +/- 1.5 It’s possible that the winners will choose not to focus on last year’s lengthy strikes by the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild; there’s only so much time to thank everyone, and perhaps Kimmel will make enough jokes about them that it would feel like overkill. Still, there might be a desire to remind folks that creators have had to fight not to be left behind by their industry. Definitely a tough call. Anyone at your awards party sweeping the three short film categories You definitely separate the pros from the amateurs when it comes to predicting Best Animated Short, Best Live Action Short and Best Documentary short—categories where most average viewers haven’t even heard of the nominees, let alone seen them. It seems like there should be a special something in store for hitting the trifecta. Over/under for broadcast length: +/- 215 minutes The Oscars broadcast is starting an hour earlier this year (4pm Pacific Time), in an effort to keep people in the eastern time zones watching when the show creeps past the three-hour mark. Will this year tighten things up from last year’s 3 hours, 37 minutes? If you can nail when Jimmy Kimmel says “Good night,” maybe there should be a trophy for you, too. Watch and Win Ways to mix up your 2024 Academy Award predictions with some good ol’ football-style betting. By Scott Renshaw Christopher Nolan, second from left, is favored to win for Best Director, and Oppenheimer is a top contender for Best Picture. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS POPPY Meet sweet Poppy! This 7-year-old is a people cat through and through who sadly lost her beloved person recently. Poppy is quiet and easygoing. She loves to be brushed and enjoys feather toys and spring toys. 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