One of the things I miss most about the scattering of many of my old friends is the yearly Oscar party Kelly hosted at her place. While graduation from college caused Kel and I to see each other considerably less than the almost daily we managed while in school and working at WHAL, we always knew that, come February, we'd be reunited for the annual Oscar party. As a bonus, it was the only time of year I ever saw Kelly's friend Kenny who, while no one I ever knew very well, was always a lot of fun to be around when he was. We shared a common "adopted" sister and a goofy sense of humour that drew us to our "sister" in the first place so, when he was around, we never missed a beat.
Unfortunately, time and circumstances have caused even this once yearly reunion to go by the wayside. While a Sunday commute back from Tullahoma at 1 AM was doable, a Sunday commute from San Diego at 1 AM is not, physically or financially.
So, since I can't be there and Kelly can't be here, I'm hoping I can get everyone to do their Oscar ballots by blog this year. Kelly, Kate, even Kenny if you exist anywhere in the blogosphere. It's a pretty crappy "reunion" but it's the best we have.
For my picks, I'm going to do both the one I think will win (which will count against my ballot total, Kel. No trying to cheat me) and the one I think should win. While I haven't seen nearly all the movies nominated this year, I've seen more than in any Oscar year in recent memory. We'll see if it helps me finally topple Kelly's long-standing undefeated record. I doubt it, as Kel is notorious for reading up in advance and playing the odds, whereas I pick mostly by gut and throwing a dart at a sheet.
On we go...
Best Actor in a Leading Role:
Who should win: Forest Whitaker: The Last King of Scotland. This is one of the movies I haven't seen yet but I've heard that Whitaker is superb. Since he's always superb in everything he's in, I can believe it.
Who will win: Forest Whitaker: The Last King of Scotland. DiCaprio was amazing in Blood Diamond but was also equally if not more amazing in The Departed. Two good roles will work against him. Ghost Dog gets the nod.
Actor in a Supporting Role:
Who should win: Djimon Hounsou: Blood Diamond. This was the closest category for me but Hounsou, for a virtual unknown, was outstanding in Blood Diamond, so I give him the nod.
Who will win: Alan Arkin: Little Miss Sunshine. I can't really argue with this one either. Arkin and Hounsou were neck in neck for me. Little Miss Sunshine was great and Arkin was about 75% of the reason why.
Actress in a Leading Role:
Who should win: Judi Dench: Notes on a Scandal. I've never seen any of the movies on this list so I default to Dench, who is far and away the best actress of the lot and, I'm sure, put on a good show.
Who will win: Helen Mirren: The Queen- This movie is supposedly really stellar and Mirren is no slouch so this one wouldn't bother me much. I've just got a soft spot for Dench.
Actress in a Supporting Role:
Who should win: Abigail Breslin: Little Miss Sunshine. Remember how I said Alan Arkin was 75% of the reason Little Miss Sunshine was great? Well, Breslin was the other 25%.
Who will win: Jennifer Hudson: Dreamgirls. The Babel actresses cancel each other out, Breslin's too young and starring in a comedy, and no one saw Notes on a Scandal. Hudson wins by default.
Who should win: Cars. And it's not even close...
Who will win: Cars. And it's not even close...
Who should win: Pan's Labyrinth. Absolutely beautiful movie that should win every art category out there, but won't.
Who will win: Pirates of the Carribean. The small categories are where Hollywood rewards the "big" movies. I can't cry too much. Pirates was very, very good.
Who should win: Pan's Labyrinth. See above
Who will win: The Prestige. I have no basis for this. Just a hunch.
Who should win: Curse of the Golden Flower. Haven't seen it yet but the costuming in the previews looks beautiful.
Who will win: The Queen. Another hunch.
Who should win: Martin Scorcese: The Departed. It's a crime that Scorcese hasn't won before but this isn't a sympathy vote. The Departed was the best movie this year, hands down.
Who will win: Martin Scorcese: The Departed. Even the slowpokes in Hollywood have to know that denying Scorcese another Oscar makes them looks stupid. Besides, Martin might send Joe Pesci to rub someone out if he loses again...
Best Documentary Feature:
Who should win: Jesus Camp. I haven't seen any of these but Jesus Camp is reportedly very very compelling.
Who will win: An Inconvenient Truth: Politics trumps religion.
Who should win: Who cares? It's Documentary Short....
Who will win: *throws a dart* The dart says Rehearsing a Dream...
Who should win: The Departed. It was a masterpiece of cuts.
Who will win: Children of Men. It's supposedly very good and they'll want to give it something.
Foriegn Language Film:
Who should win: Pan's Labyrinth. And it isn't even close enough to be not close.
Who will win: Pan's Labyrinth. It's a rare foriegn movie that breaks $30 million. That and it's beyond good.
Who should win: Pan's Labyrinth. Absolutely beautiful.
Who will win: Pan's Labyrinth. Mel's controversies keeps Apocolypto from winning.
Who should win: Pan's Labyrinth. Did I mention I like this movie?
Who will win: Babel. Just a hunch.
Who should win: Any of the three Dreamgirls songs nominated. From what I heard in the next theater over while waiting for Pan's Labyrinth to win, these sounded cool.
Who will win: The Dreamgirls songs cancel each other out and "Our Town" from Cars wins. I haven't heard "I need to wake up" but seriously, how good can any song from an Al Gore movie be?
Who should win: The Departed. In the end, the best movie for me this year.
Who will win: The odds-makers are betting on Babel to be the upset spoiler. I say no. Letters from Iwo Jima takes it. A war movie from the other guys' perspective is just the right movie to get votes in the current political climate.
Short film- Animated:
Who should win: No Wallace and Gromit nomination = No one cares
Who will win: The magic 8-Ball says... Maestro
Short film- Live Action:
Who should win: *yawn*
Who will win: I've heard of Binta and the Great Idea, which is more than the others, so I vote that one.
Who should win: Blood Diamond. It's a damn good movie.
Who will win: Blood Diamond. They aren't going to give it much else, so they throw it a bone.
Who should win: Who should win: Pirates of the Carribean. None of the other movies had so much going on.
Who will win: Dreamgirls. As a bone for getting shut out of the Best Song category.
Who should win: Pirates of the Carribean. Not even close.
Who will win: Pirates of the Carribean. If it's Poseidon, I will throw the remote at my TV. That movie sucked...
Who should win: The Departed. For all the reasons noted above.
Who will win: Borat. It was too much of a tempest this year to get completely shut out.
Who should win: Pan's Labyrinth. What? I liked the movie...
Who will win: Babel. This is generally where they stick the "Best Picture Runner Up" movie so it'll get an award. Babel's it, assuming my prediction of "Letters From Iwo Jima" as Best Picture holds up.
Tag, folks. You're it.