HE to Friendo #1: “So please tell me if Carey Mulligan has a decent chance of winning or not. I will be dismayed if Viola Davis (fatsuit, lip-synch, curious SAG acclaim) or Frances McDormand (again?) win. Mulligan is significantly ahead among Gold Derby-ites, as you know. But did Claudia Eller screw the pooch when Variety offered that groveling apology?

Variety‘s Clayton Davis has completely dismissed Mulligan — he says it’s down to McDormand vs. Davis vs. Andra Day. I would love to see Mulligan win if only to see Clayton wipe egg yolk off his face.”

Friendo #1 to HE: “[I suspect that] Clayton writes a fair amount of bullshit [much of] the time. I guarantee you he has no idea what he is talking about but claims to as if it is fact, based on a couple of conversations with publicists pushing their agenda. I don’t believe he has much outreach at all with [Academy] voters, or not as much as he claims.

“Statistically Carey and Frances would seem to have the best chance. Both are in widely seen Best Picture nominees. Viola has a decent shot but there has never been both a Best Actor (Chadwick Boseman) and a Best Actress winner from a film that wasn’t Best Picture-nominated.

“The Best Actress race remains very fluid. I am still predicting Carey, but the Variety review thing with Dennis Harvey has zero visibility among Academy voters — a non-issue.”

HE to Friendo #1: “The Variety apology thing has zero visibility? Justin Chang and the National Society Of Film Critics officially admonished Variety for this. Many stood up and defended poor Dennis Harvey. How could your rank-and-file Academy voters be completely oblivious to this?”

Friendo #1 to HE: “Rank-and-file Oscar voters barely focus on the films, much less the white noise of this or that critic.”

Friendo #2 to HE: “Carey can absolutely still win.”

Friendo #3 to HE: “Voters will be split. There will be those who want to make history to top the 2001 win of Halle Berry as the only black actress to win. Their votes will be divided between Andra Day (younger, more fully realized performance, playing a beloved icon, the second time two black actresses have been nominated and one was playing Billie Holiday) and Viola Davis (veteran, beloved, has the Denzel Washington voting bloc behind her — she’s overdue after being snubbed in 2010).

“The second split will be between those who are voting ‘on performance’ only and they will be split between McDormand (star of the Best Picture frontrunner — it is extremely rare for a Best Actress and Best Picture to match, not since 2004) and Mulligan — the star of the second most nominated (in crucial categories).

“Mulligan or McDormand should have won SAG, but Davis took it regardless. When they were all together Day won (Globes) and then Mulligan (Critics Choice, which doesn’t matter as much).”

Will you listen to these Collider guys, laughing and joking and bubbling over with excitement and pretending that 2020 and ’21 is just another wonderful Oscar year, and that none of us can wait for the big show on 4.25?

Not the faintest acknowledgement of what’s going on this year…the woke currents, the pandemic, the flatline vibes, none of it. Just another wonderful Oscar year!

Not Jeff Sneider (you can tell he’s holding himself in check) but certainly the relentlessly effusive Scott Mantz and Perri Nemiroff…these two smile so much they make my own facial muscles ache just from watching them.