Well, it was not an especially great year for us predictions-wise, but not terrible either. As you may know, our final tally was 16/24. Good enough to tie Entertainment Weekly, but probably not good enough to help you win your Oscar pool. Oh well, all you can do is learn from your mistakes. This is our first year at predicting the Oscars and despite falling a little short of our own expectations, we did post a respectable score, better than many other expert sites. In this edition, we take a quick look back at the categories we missed and offer some lessons to build upon for next year.

Best Picture: Crash over Brokeback Mountain
We don’t feel too bad about this one, since most everyone picked Brokeback and it flat out deserved to win. But we should have paid closer attention to the word on the street. Interviews with Academy voters revealed a large number of people voting for Crash. We also should have picked up on the fact that Brokeback would not sit favorably with a lot of the Academy’s older members.

Best Cinematography: Memoirs of a Geisha over Brokeback Mountain

Again, this was an upset few people got. We were right that cinematography often goes to the Best Picture favorite, but we underestimated the Academy’s support for Brokeback Mountain. We should have been clued in by the fact that Brokeback got only 8 nominations, not including art direction or costume design. Besides, Memoirs of a Geisha really had amazing cinematography. It was probably the best part of the movie.

Best Documentary Short Subject: A Note of Triumph over God Sleeps in Rwanda

Very, very few people picked this stunner. In retrospect, it looks like the depressing movies (Rwanda, Death of Kevin Carter, Mushroom Club) split the vote, allowing “Triumph” to well…triumph. We’ll consider this possibility in the future more.

Best Original Score: Brokeback Mountain over Memoirs of a Geisha

This one really surprised us. Williams is well respected and the Geisha score is exotic and filled with beautiful cello music by acclaimed cellist Yo Yo Ma. But the Brokeback theme was more recognizable, and Gustavo Santaollala is an up and coming composer who has never won yet. The Academy likes to acknowledge new, talented composers in this category.

Best Original Song: “It’s Hard Out There for a Pimp” over “In the Deep”

“Pimp” was the song everyone was talking about. In a way, voters like controversy, especially in the lesser categories. The most Academy-friendly song hasn’t win this category in a long time. U2’s “The Hands that Built America,” Enya’s “May it Be,” and Josh Groban’s “Believe” all lost. We should definitely look for the underdog in this category.

Best Sound: King Kong over Walk the Line

We really should have got this one. There was a reason Kong was nominated and favored to win visual effects and sound editing. The three categories often go hand in hand. Besides, sound usually goes to either a loud, effects-driven movie, or a Best Picture contender (often a musical). Walk the Line was neither.

Best Animated Short: The Moon and the Sun over One Man Band

We should have detected the disfavor toward Pixar (One Man Band) when no Pixar picture was nominated in the Animated Feature category. Besides, Moon and Sun was the best story and the most talked about film in the category.

Best Live Action Short: Six Shooter over The Runaway

The Runaway seemed like the better film, but Six Shooter had more buzz and a major actor starring in it (Brendan Gleeson). Though the Runaway may be a more emotional story, the images in Six Shooter stay with you for a long time, an important characteristic for a good short film.