There are plenty of pundits out there handicapping the movie-awards races — I got into it myself Friday on numerous morning radio shows — but one of the most engaging is Dave Karger, senior writer for Entertainment Weekly and frequent Today show contributor. Sunday, Karger hosts a SAG Awards red carpet pre-show on tnt.tv and tbs.com, starting at 6:15 ET/3:15 PT, so get your computer up and running and check him out. He’s likely to get all the big stars on the carpet because he talks to so many of them for pieces in EW. And he’s ready with questions other than the obvious, though he calls the show "the most dizzying two hours of my life."
I like listening to Dave — and reading his OscarWatch blog — because he talks about movies like real people do. Today, I learned why that is: He has made-up a character, Joe the Sound Guy, that he thinks of as he judges movies. Joe is in his 40s, a technician and an Oscar voter. And Joe is why Dave felt confident that The Departed would go all the way two years ago.
To get ready for Sunday — and all the other awards shows of the season — Karger has been seeing three to four movies a week this fall, when most of the contenders come out. "I have friends in the academy and I pick their brains," he tells me, but no one can get a representative sample of voters. So when you get down to it, Dave’s like the rest of us — he goes with his gut. And this year, he’s betting big time on Slumdog Millionaire.