The Oscar Best Picture Race Expressed Through Super Mario Kart - Image 1
Pick your player, Academy. It looked for a while like Lincoln had the star advantage, ever since Zero Dark Thirty connected with that nasty red shell John McCain launched, but Argo has recently gotten a huge turbo-boost from the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs, and even though Les Mis crashed off the course a while ago and Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Silver Linings Playbook are clearly one lap behind, it could be anybody's race. 3…2…1…

Amour = Wario

Well, it is foreign and painful. Seriously folks, Michael Haenke's masochistifest on aging wants to you suffer, but you can't help be riveted by the breathtaking artistry on display, not so unlike a certain Italian's evil nemesis with a particularly intricately crafted mustache. That said, while it's totally got another category sown up, it's probably not gonna win this one.

Argo = Princess Peach

If playing a stoicly heroic CIA agent who tries to be a good father and saves lives, damnnit, isn't Ben Affleck's way of putting on a tiara, I don't know what is. A major awards player, yet the absence of a directing nod theoretically relegates Argo's chances to the Castle Tower. But you never know. It might end up surprising us.

Beasts of the Southern Wild = Yoshi

This film is kind of a whole different species. Made by and large outside the industry proper, with a first-time feature director, non-actors, and humble surrounds, but what an accomplishment they've made! Enough of one to be leaping high enough to scale cliffs simply by being included. I bet they don't even notice they don't win. Get som'mo' shramp ahn' goombas, chere! Roule Beasts!

Django Unchained = Bowser

Oh, he knows he's bad, but what's the point of playing if you can't have some swagger, breathe some fire, and blow up your director for having a horrible Australian accent? Not a favorite of anybody's, really, but watch it steal something and Tarantino drunkenly throw his flash into the crowd while tickling Christoph Waltz's beard. That's entertainment.

Les Miserables = Donkey Kong

This is a huge film with really only one move that it uses over and over and over again until it pounds the viewer into submission. Despite the gigantic size of this guy, though, all he really wants is some gooshy, melodramatically ripe bananas. Les Mis poses no threat.

Life of Pi = Luigi

Those of us who love this guy are really fond of him. And certainly, there's no mistaking the tall order of adapting such a difficult novel nor the exciting new heights to which the film has propelled the artistic use of 3D. But the majority of people? Eh.

Lincoln = Mario

Our hero. This strapping buck has history and sentiment – and some truly prodigious facial hair – on its side. Lincoln is the kind of film the Oscars traditionally favor, and is good in its own right, but the Boss Fight still hasn't entered its final stage, and it's always a little satisfying to see the favorite lose.

Silver Linings Playbook = Daisy

It's a perfectly fine movie, very charming, but the question needs to be asked: what is it doing here? Silver Linings has excellent performances, it looks fine, but it is never wholly able to escape its utterly conventional script and movie-ending contrivance. Most of us like it, but we just don't understand why anyone would pick it.

Zero Dark Thirty = Koopa Troopa

All business, spartan and serious — this is an uncompromising, take-no-prisoners look at Intelligence Warfare in the early 21st century. It's undeniably formidable in combat, but the larger forces its serves have ultimately ensured it will probably get squashed.