Crash stuns Brokeback; McLemore wins pool!

Chris McLemore, a fellow Notre Dame 2L who is studying in London this year, won the second annual Oscar Pool in dramatic fashion as Crash upset Brokeback Mountain for Best Picture.

If the heavily favored Brokeback had won, Vicki from NJ (Becky’s onetime USC roommate and our Trojan Hall buddy) would have won the pool. So, Notre Dame fans rejoice: finally, a Domer beats a Trojan in an upset. :)

This is the second consecutive year Vicki has been denied an Oscar Pool victory because she picked the wrong Best Picture. Last year, she was leading after 23 categories, but finished fifth because Million Dollar Baby beat out The Aviator for the top award. This year, she wound up in eighth place, behind seven people who predicted the Crash upset.

McLemore correctly picked not just Best Picture, but all of the major categories. He had 72 points out of a maximum possible total of 80, far better than anyone in last year‘s pool managed.

He got 17 of the 24 categories right, one less than Vicki and fellow NDLS 2L Chris Aemisegger, who finished second with 67 points. But all of McLemore’s mistakes came in the categories that were worth only 1 or 2 points. He got Best Picture, Best Director, and the screenplay and acting categories correct across the board.

McLemore credits the “Oscar gods” with helping him, suggesting that perhaps they appreciated of the Oscar-related post on his blog yesterday. :)

After McLemore and Aemisegger, Derek Walden finished third with 64 points. “jj” finished fourth with 63, and Ruvym Gilman, “AMC” and Kristin (I believe that’s Kristin of NDLS 1L and fellow Gonzaga fan fame) tied for fifth with 62.

Click here for the full standings.

P.S. If Capote had won, C. Bassett would have won Best Picture. If Munich had won, McLemore would have shared the pool victory with Josh Britton. If Good Night, and Good Luck had won, McLemore would still have won, though with fewer points and by a slimmer margin.

UPDATE: You can now view all the picks of the Top 8 contestants.

37 Responses to “Crash stuns Brokeback; McLemore wins pool!”

  1. Kristin says:

    The supporting actor/actress awards killed me….I had Paul Giametti and Michelle Williams to win. If I’d gotten them, I may have pulled out a win. Oh well, congratulations Chris Mc!

  2. Curious says:

    Just wondering, who got the most picks right (minus the scoring system)?

  3. texasyank says:

    There is a pattern to these IrishTrojan pools. I go for early upsets (Giamatti), lose, then when the upsets come in I’m stuck with the chalk. Oh well. Yes: nicely played, Chris.

  4. Dude says:

    If I would have entered I would have won. Believe it or not, I predicted every single award correctly.

  5. Brendan says:

    Minus the scoring system, Chris Aemisegger and Vicki from NJ tied with 18 out of 24 categories right. Andy Wendeln, Chris McLemore, Eric S., Kristin and Lisa had 17.

  6. Toni says:

    WOW I got 38 points and I have not seen ANY of the films…

    Sevant comes to mind!

  7. Brendan says:

    P.S. I added the “number of correct picks” to the results page.

  8. Alex says:

    Re: UPDATE

    I only see 7 of the top 8… where’s Waldo? (Derek Walden)

  9. Vicki from NJ says:

    damn Crash… again I lose in a brendan loy pool… you don’t like me, you really don’t like me (boohoohoo). Oh well, there’s always next year! :)

  10. Brendan says:

    Oops… thanks Alex, will fix that…

    Vicki, I was totally rooting for “Brokeback” for you! Oh well, like you said, next year. :)

  11. Brendan says:

    Okay, I added Derek to the “top 8” page… thanks again for catching that, Alex.

  12. Scott says:


    Next year?!? What, you don’t think Brendan will have a field of 65 pool next week? :-)

  13. Brendan says:

    Heh. Well yes, of course, my 11th annual men’s pool and 9th annual women’s pool will be starting up a week from now… but Vicki is a movie buff, so that’s why she would say “next year.” If I remember correctly, she almost won last year’s Oscar pool as well.

  14. Brendan says:

    (I went back and checked the archives, and the details of that “if I remember correctly” issue are now incorporated into the post.)

  15. Patrick says:

    Correction, this is NOT stunning. Crash is a phenomenally powerful film with a vastly wider appeal than Brokeback Mountain, a film rife with political propaganda to which only some Americans relate.

  16. Wow. Forst I’d like to thank God and my mom for making this all possible. I also want to thank all the little people. I want to thank everyone and anyone who made this moment possible.

    I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!

    I just hope that when I get back to America I can watch at least one of these movies that won an award.

  17. Angrier and Angrier says:

    Like Jon Stewart, I, too, am a loser.

    FYI – Crash sucks. Sorry. It won because Hollywood is self-important and Crash is a ham-handed self-important film. The only thing that held it together was Matt Dillon’s performance.

  18. Rules Committee says:

    According to the 2nd Restatement of Bloy Oscars sec. 2-904(a)(1)(ii)-

    “Foreign entries are explicitly prohibited. Winner must be a current U.S. resident, residing in the U.S.”

    Hmmm? It seems that one Chris Mc may be disqualified. Therefore the other Chris (with the long last name) is the official winner.

  19. Angrier and Angrier says:

    So how did Chris Aemisegger get more picks right but still lose because of this strange points system you have? Any dangling chads involved? Smacks of Florida 2000 to me.

  20. Jazz says:

    I haven’t seen Crash. That movie did receive the lowest Tomatometer ( score of the five nominees.

    Which makes me curious, I wonder how many other best picture winners brought up the rear with the critics? Maybe Braveheart? Gladiator?

  21. texasyank says:

    Jazz: The best example I can think of is “Rocky,” which beat the forgotten “Bound for Glory” but also beat three better-reviewed classics: “Network,” “Taxi Driver,” and “All the President’s Men.”

    There’s also the “I’ll Vote for it if I Never Have To Sit Through it Again” category. “Gandhi,” “Out of Africa,” “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

  22. Angrier and Angrier says:

    When you really think about it, some of the Best Picture winners in recent years have really sucked. Was “Chicago” really better than Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers or The Pianist? Was the predictable and more fiction-than-fact “A Beautiful Mind” that great? When was the last time someone quoted American Beauty (winner) over the Sixth Sense (loser), or popped in a DVD of Shakespeare in Love(winner) over Saving Private Ryan (loser)? And, for God’s sake, was TITANIC REALLY Best Picture over, LA Confidential, Good Will Hunting and As Good As It Gets?

  23. Angrier and Angrier says:

    Bound for Glory? David Carradine was actually in an Oscar-nominated film? IN THE 70’s?

  24. texasyank says:

    “American Beauty”: a sore point with me, as I’ll watch Kevin Spacey in anything not named “The Shipping News.” But I thought it was wildly overrated, a movie in the category of “You’d be happier if you let out your inner gay” (eg “Birdcage”). This is not to be confused with “You’d be happier if you let out your inner Jew” (“Ordinary People,” “Interiors.”)

  25. Angrier and Angrier says:

    American Beauty was another one of those self-important morality tales. It isn’t enough that a Marine is homophobic. He also has to be repressed to the point where he is homicidal when he let’s his “inner gay” out.

    In Crash, everyone is racist to the point where they are wipping out guns. To this day, I cannot understand how Ryan Phillippe’s character does a complete 180 in two minutes with little provocation. As I said, accept for the Matt Dillion character, the rest of the characters in the movie are poorly fleshed-out two dimensional characters that do complete personality flips with little or no explanation or reasoning. Crash is Crap.

  26. Angrier and Angrier says:


    Would that apply to K-Pax?

  27. Brendan says:

    Patrick, the conventional wisdom was that “Brokeback” would almost certainly win, so therefore, yes, this is, in fact, stunning. “Stunning” doesn’t mean “wrong,” it means that it’s a major upset… which it is. Just because you had a different opinion than the conventional wisdom doesn’t make it not stunning. It would sort of be like if a #16 seed beat a #1 seed in the tournament, but I’d felt all along that the #1 was overrated and the #16 underrated, and so after the win I claimed, “This is NOT stunning!” Obviously ridiculous. Or, if “L.A. Confidential” or “Good Will Hunting” had, in fact, beaten “Titanic.” A lot of us might feel they’re better movies, but it would have been one of the most stunning Oscar upsets of all-time nonetheless, if it had happened.

  28. texasyank says:

    “K-Pax” pushes it; “Pay it Forward” shoves it. But the only Spacey movie I ever stopped watching after intending to watch it through was “The Shipping News.”

  29. Angrier and Angrier says:


    So where does that put The Life of David Gale or Beyond the Sea? You gotta admit, the inner gay pretty much iced Spacey after American Beauty. He has been in a Kevin Costner-like post-Bodyguard funk since American Beauty.

  30. Roger says:

    Your Oscar post was gone as of yesterday early p.m so many readers were left out from participating. Your archives were duped. Oh, well. That’s the way things to at

  31. DrawingDead says:

    Yeah, and The Usual Suspects made me vomit in mouth just a little, it was so wretched.

  32. texasyank says:

    “David Gale”–I think the one film of his I didn’t see. I heard the final twist was absurd, so I went online, searched for it, found it and felt as though I had seen the whole movie, like that kid in “Metropolitan” who reads Lionel Trilling and considers it the same as reading Jane Austen.

    “Beyond the Sea” I thought was harmless.

  33. Hornung says:

    “Through the 2005 season, Notre Dame leads 42-30-5. USC has won the last four contests in a row.”

    You were saying something about an upset? Check your history first you Trojan … and Irish wannabe.

  34. Brendan says:

    Hornung, dude, I was engaging in a bit of harmless trash talk. I’m perfectly well aware that Notre Dame leads the all-time series. Michigan leads the all-time series against the Irish, but I don’t recall that fact stopping Domers from basking in the glory of the last two years’ wins, and talking trash to Wolverine fans… nor should it. Trash-talk is all about the here and now. You win the rivalry game, you get bragging rights for the next year, regardless of what happened 20 years ago. Someone who relies on “history” to rebut harmless trash talk is LAME. You want me to check my history? Check your sense of humor, you stick-in-the-mud Domer dumbass and amusing blog commenter wannabe.

  35. Brendan says:

    P.S. Roger, I apologize if you had trouble entering the Oscar pool. However, there was a link to the entry form in red text on the top bar of my site (where it says “Homepage,” “Brendansphere,” etc.), and another one in my sidebar. So my archives didn’t need to be working — you could have entered from literally any page on the site.

  36. Roger says:

    Gee, Brendan, how could I have missed it. I was so certain I had some good picks to get me some blog publicity rights. Anyway, there’s always next time.

  37. Brendan says:

    Roger, I’m not criticizing you, and like I said, I’m sorry you missed it. But again, it was in bright red text at the top of my homepage (and every page on the site). It said “Join my Oscar pool!” So there’s no need to be sarcastic about it. The only reason I’m pointing this out is that you seemed to be criticizing me in your original comment. (“Oh, well. That’s the way things to [sic] at”) So, not trying to critciize you, just trying to defend myself here. I don’t believe you’re correct that “many readers were left out from participating.”