Winning Oscar

Waynesboro, Pa., man picks winners in nine categories

Waynesboro, Pa., man picks winners in nine categories

March 01, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

If it were up to Anthony Billotto, "The Dark Knight" would have won best picture at the Oscars a week ago.

"I'm more into Quentin Tarantino-type movies, (and movies) like 'The Usual Suspects,' thrillers," said Billotto, 32, of Waynesboro, Pa.

But Billotto didn't go renegade with write-ins, instead sticking to his strategy of picking favorites for his entry in The Herald-Mail's sixth Oscar Picks Contest.

That strategy led him to pick nine eventual Oscar winners of the 10 categories in The Herald-Mail's Oscars contest. The luck of the draw on the tiebreaker - three other readers picked nine winners - won Billotto $50 and bragging rights for the year.

The other three contestants to finish with nine of 10 categories correctly answered are: Doris Wisler, 71, who lives east of Hagerstown; John Miller, 59, of Hagerstown; and Cindy Shank, 52, of Hagerstown.


Eighty-eight people entered the contest.

This year's Oscars nominations honored many excellent performances. Many contest entries picked Mickey Rourke to win best actor and Marisa Tomei to win best supporting actress. Both were in "The Wrestler"; neither won an Oscar.

All four of our finalists picked "Waltz with Bashir" from Israel to win best foreign language film. But "Departures" from Japan pulled off a major upset.

"That was a surprise," said Billotto, who watches a lot of award shows. He said "Waltz with Bashir" had been racking up a lot of awards heading into the Oscars.

Billotto wasn't too impressed with new Academy Awards show host Hugh Jackman, whose performance he described as "kind of lame," but liked the way the acting awards were presented.

Previous award winners "came out and said really nice things about the nominees. Instead of being about the winner, it was about everybody," Billotto said.

Billotto said he'll probably spend his $50 on gas. He has a 20-minute commute to Hagerstown Community College's Technical Innovation Center. He's the training coordinator for d'Vinci Interactive, a Web page-design program.

The Oscar winners in the categories selected for The Herald-Mail's Oscar Picks Contest were:

Picture: "Slumdog Millionaire"

Director: Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire"

Actor: Sean Penn, "Milk"

Actress: Kate Winslet, "The Reader"

Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight"

Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, "Slumdog Millionaire"

Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, "Milk"

Animated Feature Film: "WALL-E"

Foreign language film: "Departures," Japan

The Herald-Mail Articles