There was this recent newspaper story about famous local author Bill Kennedy
Oscar? He's an old friend of this author, in which "Kennedy uses his love of movies to help choose Academy Award nominees and vote for winner". It occurred to me - again - that the process of voting is not directly related to the quality of the film, but many other factors. So, I'm going to make picks, based not on who I want to win, or who OUGHT to win (given the holes in what I've seen, I really can't do that), but who I think will win.
* indicates the sparse number of performances I actually saw - all in the movie theater, BTW, as opposed to on DVD or video, which I contend changes the viewing experience
Leonardo DiCaprio-Blood Diamond. If he'd been nominated for The Departed, i think he'd have had a better chance.
Ryan Gosling-Half Nelson. Well-received. No one saw it.
Peter O'Toole-Venus. The man's been up, what seven, eight times before. Where's the love?
*Will Smith-The Pursuit Of Happyness. Good, but isn't going to win.
Forest Whitaker-The Last King Of Scotland. Not only as an actor, but as a producer and director. You know how Hollywood loves the hypenates: Robert Redford, Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, pre-meltdown. He wins.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Jackie Earle Haley-Little Children. Won some of the minor awards; wouldn't totally shock me.
Djimon Hounsou-Blood Diamond. Wish I'd seen this. In the commercials, he seems to be in a constant state of rage. Anyway, I'm not hearing the buzz from the early awards.
*Eddie Murphy-Dreamgirls. The odds-on favorite, won lots of the early awards. But Norbit ads are not helping the cause. And he isn't Hollywood friendly.
Mark Wahlberg-The Departed. Ptractically every pre-Oscar prognosticator had Jack in this slot, so I think it mitigates against Wahlberg.
*Alan Arkin-Little Miss Sunshine. Been around, likable film. I'm going against the wave and picking the salty grandad. (If I pick all the obvious choices, what's the fun in that?)
*Penélope Cruz-Volver. It's in Spanish, with subtitles. No.
*Judi Dench-Notes On A Scandal. She's better than the film. Probably my second pick, and if there's an upset in the category, she'll win.
*Meryl Streep-The Devil Wears Prada. She's already gotten her Oscar gold.
Kate Winslet-Little Children. Someday this woman, who's been nominated more than anyone else at her age, will get one. Not this year.
*Helen Mirren-The Queen. Who I am to argue with EVERY major award-giving organization?
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Adriana Barraza-Babel. Might win, but will be cancelled out by Rinko Kikuchi.
*Cate Blanchett-Notes On A Scandal. Won two years ago.
*Abigail Breslin-Little Miss Sunshine. Anna Paquin notwithstanding, they ain't gonna give it to a kid.
Rinko Kikuchi-Babel. Might win, but will be cancelled out by Adriana Barraza.
*Jennifer Hudson-Dreamgirls. People applauded in the theater when Ms. 7th Place on American Idol sang. The "slight" that Dreamgirls not getting Best Picture may actually enhance her Hudson's chances. My one concern is whether Dreamgirls plays as well on DVD as it does in the theater.
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-Babel. Heard it was a bit of a mess.
Clint Eastwood-Letters from Iwo Jima. With two well-regarded films, and that hyphenate thing going, Eastwood should have a chance. But the film is in Japanese, and I don't see the older voters actually watching it. Moreover, he's won recently; are people sick of him winning?
*Stephen Frears-The Queen. Nice little film, which I saw. Don't think it'll win.
Paul Greengrass-United 93. By all accounts, a respectful retelling. I'm guessing that some of those screening DVDs will stay in the shrink wrap. (Do screening DVDs COME in shrink wrap?)
Martin Scorsese-The Departed. Finally. When the speculation came up with him on his last two nominated films, it felt forced. But this movie was well-reviewed. It's time.
I could make a case for any of them.
Babel-For those who like the convoluted style of Traffic or Crash.
The Departed-For those who want to show Marty and the cast the love.
Letters from Iwo Jima-Since it's ineligible for Best Foreign Language Film by the Academy, let's show our love for Clint here, without slighting Marty.
*The Queen-All the other films split the vote, and the monarch reigns.
*Little Miss Sunshine-The Screen Actors Guild Best Assemble film is dark enough that a comedy finally wins for Best Picture. Maybe it's the fact that I REALLY LIKED THIS FILM, but I'm going to pick Sunshine. Or Babel. Or The Departed. Maybe Iwo Jima. The Queen? OK, Sunshine, even though it wasn't even nominated for Best Director. (But if it doesn't, it'll probably win the Screenplay award.)
So, who do you think will win, and why? If you have a blog/web page and have already commented on this, please leave your link.
If I were to run out tomorrow night to see one more film before Oscar night, I would tend to look for the one that will give me the most major nominees for the buck, such as Babel or Little Children, but don't know if I'll have time.
Revenge of the Space Pandas, by David Mamet
8 hours ago