Do we really have to talk about the Oscars already?

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The Dodgers just landed Jim Thome, who’ll give the club a pinch hitter with more career home runs than even Manny Ramirez; USC has a new freshman quarterback; and the Lakers are still enjoying their summer vacation -- but, hey, it’s already Oscar season, even though the awards don’t unfold until next March. All I can say is: Gimme a break, please!

The always frisky Vulture blog has already put up its latest Oscar predictions, even though they admit that they’ve -- sigh -- barely seen any of the actual best picture contenders. As we all know from the legions of special interest groups who criticize hot-button movies without actually having seen them, it’s apparently entirely justifiable to blather on about anything without having any firsthand information, so who am I to judge? My plan is to hang on to some of these early prediction sheets and revive them next February, when we can all see for ourselves whether anyone had a decent accuracy rate.

As for Vulture’s best picture picks, they’re going with ‘Bright Star,’ which they describe as Jane Campion’s ‘poetry-tuberculosis drama’; the Sundance acclaimed coming-of-age tale ‘An Education’; Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘The Hurt Locker’; Clint Eastwood’s Nelson Mandela biopic ‘Invictus’; Peter Jackson’s ‘The Lovely Bones’; the glitzy Rob Marshall musical ‘Nine’; the Oprah-endorsed ‘Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire’; the adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel ‘The Road’; Pixar’s ‘Up’; and the Jason Reitman-directed ‘Up in the Air.’

My advice is not to take any of this stuff too seriously, although if you really want to drive yourself crazy, you could read the Envelope’s Tom O’Neil’s breathless critique of the Vulture’s picks, even though O’Neil admits that he hasn’t seen 95% of the movies either. Or you could worry about something more pressing, like whether the Earth will be hit by a massive asteroid in 2029.