According to the Academy Award pundits and even the Nate Silver-style numbers crunchers, Jennifer Lawrence will win the Best Actress Oscar on Sunday, but don't start engraving her name just yet. Along with the recent surge — at least in publicity — for Emmanuelle Riva, another group of in-the-know moviegoers is predicting that Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain will bring home the little gold man: New York City taxi riders.
If you've never ridden in a NYC cab, the taxis here are equipped with passenger-compartment video monitors that attempt to amuse riders with local news casts, a taxi-edition of the TV game show Jeopardy that is geared for idiots, and over the last few weeks, an Oscar survey that covers the Best Film, Director, Actor, Actress and Animated Film categories.
In addition to casting their votes for Chastain, New Yorkers also aren't buying into the Argo surge. They're predicting a Lincoln sweep with the film, its director, Steven Spielberg and star, Daniel Day-Lewis, bringing home statuettes. Brave is also predicted to bring home the Best Animated Feature Oscar.
Sunday will tell whether New Yorkers were ahead of the curve, but, I suspect that their choice of Chastain for Best Actress has a lot to do with wishful thinking. Her "I'm-the-motherfucker-that-found-this-place" attitude and doggedness in Zero Dark Thirty is very New York. That's how we take care of business in this town.
By the way, I've asked the TLC to provide me with an idea of how many riders took the survey. I'll update when I get them.
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