Barbara Stabiner consulted her spirit guides about the Oscars. They reported that "Amadeus," as a word, carried lots of power and that the letter s will figure heavily in winners' names. They hinted that names like Sissy Spacek are ones to watch.
Since there apparently is no way to breech the security at Price Waterhouse to get an early fix on the awards, Calendar consulted folks like Stabiner, who live by their sixth sense.
They found the psychic aura surrounding the Academy Awards as smoggy as Los Angeles itself. Predicting the Oscars, they said, was difficult since Hollywood politics--rather than film aesthetics--rule many Academy members' votes.
Stabiner, who lives on Long Island but flies to the West Coast periodically for sessions with her clients (most work in the entertainment industry), refused to issue specific predictions: "Predicting the Academy Awards is like predicting the outcome of a war."
But her "channels" (unseen spirits) had some definite opinions on Hollywood. She said they told her that "the Academy Awards are concluded on the basis of the gross at the box office. On rare occasions, a sleeper film arouses the consciousness of the mass public which is stronger than the selfish interests of sheer materialism and upsets the hierarchy of Hollywood."
(She mentioned "E.T.," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Twelve Angry Men," "To Kill a Mockingbird" and others as examples of such films.)
She added, "The honesty portrayed in these pictures is in direct contrast to the hypocrisy that dominates the Hollywood hierarchy."
Just as writers consult with their Muses, these psychics, clairvoyants, sensitives, seers or what-have-you employ a variety of methods to tap into a consciousness that enables them to interpret the past, present and future for their customers.
They construct astrological charts to interpret stars' influences. Or they meditate with unseen higher level spirits. They disdain being called psychics , claiming that the title better suits the $25 storefront palm/Tarot card readers.
Lynda Woolf, who has a call-in radio show in Lake Tahoe, is familiar with show biz--her father worked in films as a director of photography. She began working solely as a clairvoyant 12 years ago, after realizing that the "pictures" she saw in her mind could help others. Until then, she had offered free advice to patrons of her beauty shop. Now her clients span the country.
"I prefer to call myself a counselor," she said over tea in Neiman-Marcus' restaurant during a visit here to meet with clients. "It's easier for people to handle."
She was leery of predicting the Oscars, since, she said, she works better on a one-to-one basis and had no upcoming sessions with any nominees. She finally agreed, explaining that it would be "fun."
As she scanned the list of nominees, she made her observations from the "energy" emitting from the names and from the images that came into her mind's eye. She had seen only "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Places in the Heart."
"It (the ceremony) feels to me that it will be very long," she said, then repeated herself. "Woooooooooo!! Very long."
Woolf, who also is conversant in astrology, talked about a planetary configuration (Venus and Mercury in retrograde) and its impact on the ceremony: "I just find it very interesting that a communications industry has their awards when the planets ruling communication and emotions decide to go retrograde (i.e., creating lots of havoc)."
As she gave her predictions, she mentioned the trouble she encountered sensing the winners.
"The politics are getting in the way of it (her predictions)," she said. "The industry has changed so much, the awards aren't based on quality anymore, they're based on gross--it's not art, it's box office. It's really a shame to see a fine talent or a great product set aside because of politics."
She offered several examples of who she "saw" winning as opposed to who might actually win:
Original screenplay: "My gut says 'El Norte'; the money says 'Beverly Hills Cop.' "
Director: " 'Amadeus' (meaning Milos Forman) will take it."
Actor: "Something tells me (Sam) Waterston could pull it out, but my first instinct is Tom Hulce."
Supporting actor: Pat Morita or Adolph Caesar.
Actress: "I'll be really disappointed if Judy Davis doesn't get it. From the energy I get in terms of what was put out there for the project, she deserves it."
Supporting actress: Lindsay Crouse.
Foreign-language film: "Dangerous Moves."
Screenplay adaptation: "A Passage to India."
Her final comment was delivered with a laugh: "I'm gonna hate myself the morning after the Oscars for doing this!"
Woolf's 19-year-old son, Jonathan Goldner, who lives in Los Angeles, also says he is clairvoyant, with a special proficiency at determining past lives that people may have lived. Although he doesn't work professionally ("I don't want to do that; it's more just a pastime"), he, like his mother, sees "pictures in my mind."