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Ray Routhier

Portland Press Herald staff writer Ray Routhier will try anything. Once. During 20 years at the Press Herald he’s been equally attracted to stories that are unusually quirky and seemingly mundane. He’s taken rides on garbage trucks, sought out the mother of two rock stars, dug clams, raked blueberries, and spent time with the family of bedridden man who finds strength in music. Nothing too dangerous mind you, just adventurous enough to find the stories of real Mainers doing real cool things.

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Posted: February 3, 2017

Think you can pick the Oscars? Here’s your chance: our annual Oscars contest

Written by: Ray Routhier

Some years, everyone’s an Oscar expert, and some years, not so much.

Last year, only one entrant in our annual Oscar poll – Anne Page of Bath – picked the winners in all six major categories. In 2014, we had 23 people go six for six.

So what’s it going to be this year? Will there be any real stumpers? Go to our poll online at mainetoday.com/oscar-contest, peruse the categories and pick for yourselves.

What’s at stake in our poll? Well, you can earn bragging rights among your movie buff friends. And we’ll randomly select one winner from those who guess all categories correctly. The prize: 24 movie tickets to Nickelodeon Cinemas in Portland – that’s a pair per month for a year.

As always, we ask readers to choose the winner in these categories: director, picture, actor, actress, supporting actor and supporting actress. Last year the stumper was veteran Sylvester Stallone, who had won a best supporting actor Golden Globe for playing Rocky, again, in the film “Creed.” Of 176 entrants in the poll, 76 picked Stallone. But when the Oscars were handed out little-known British actor Mark Rylance won for “Bridge of Spies” Only 21 people had guessed he would win.

So what’s this year’s line-up look like? In the best picture category, the musical “La La Land” has received critical praise, but when was the last time a musical won best picture? (“Chicago” in 2002). There’s no real blockbuster among the best picture nominees, though “Hacksaw Ridge” has a lot of action and “Manchester By The Sea” has great New England scenery. There are nine nominees in that category, making it a harder one to pick. The other categories all have five nominees.

In the actress category, Natalie Portman got raves for her portrayal of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in “Jackie,” but she’s going up against perennial Oscar nominee Meryl Streep for “Florence Foster Jenkins.” Sometimes when guessing the Oscars you have to factor in life-time achievement thinking. So that could help Streep, or Oscar voters could figure she has enough Oscars (three) and give one to somebody else.

The poll closes Feb. 25. The Oscars will be handed out Feb. 26, live on ABC beginning at 7 p.m. Tune in, then see our story March 5 to see how your fellow Mainers did in our poll.

 

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