On last night's show, Mo'Nique drilled guests Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson about being nominated for Oscars, the purpose of campaigning, and how to properly show that you are pissed off when you don't win. Video at left. [NYMag]
According to Academy voting rules, a voter is only required to screen nominated films before voting in the categories of Sound & Sound Editing. This means that for everything else —Picture, Director, Supporting Actress, Art Direction, Animated Short, etc.— voters can pick names out of hats if they're so inclined. Oscar voting is essentially like take taking a multiple choice test you haven't studied for. (I learned this from a casting director & Academy voter under whom I served a two year internship.)
But really it means that the winner will almost always come down to which studio launched the most ubiquitous ad campaign. Precious is perhaps the most hyped contender of the season. Mo'Nique's campaigning already been done for her.