Sunday, February 25, 2007

Oscar Bets

I've never actually written down my Oscar predictions before, but there's always a first time. Here are my guesses for the Big Six, plus animated film, since I've seen more of them than most people who are not actually parents.

Category: Actor in a Leading Role

Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson
Peter O'Toole in Venus
Will Smith in Happyness
Forest Whittaker in The Last King of Scotland

This is one that really isn't difficult--Forest Whittaker has won everything else, and there is no reason to suspect that will change. Plus, how can you not give the Oscar to an actor portraying a charismatic, schizophrenic, foreign lunatic tyrant.

Category: Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children
Djimon Hounsou in Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls
Mark Wahlberg in The Departed

This is not such an obvious choice as Leading Actor, so this is a real guess. I'd have picked Eddie Murphy, as he has that one scene in Dreamgirls where he goes from enthusiastic happiness about his future, to crumbling inside and turning to drugs and death, without saying a word. That's the kind of scene that earns an Oscar. But, sadly, his next movie--Norbit--is an embarassment, and it got released before the Awards, so he's not going to win. I'm going to go with Djimon Hounsou.

Category: Actress in a Leading Role
Penelope Cruz in Volver
Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren in The Queen
Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet in Little Children

Again, this is a "gimmie"--Helen Mirren.

Category: Actress in a Supporting Role

Adriana Barraza in Babel
Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi in Babel

There is no way Jennifer Hudson isn't winning this one.

Category: Directing
The Departed
Letters From Iwo Jima
The Queen
United 93

This is not an easy one either, but there are really only a couple of real contenders. Martin Scorsese has made a number of films that should have won--this may be his year with The Departed. Clint Eastwood is a Hollywood favorite, but I'm thinking that Iwo Jima doesn't speak to the current political reality in the same way that United 93 does. I'm going to go with the name, and pick Martin Scorsese.
Category: Best Picture

The Departed
Letters From Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

I'm going to stick with The Departed in this category. I think Little Miss Sunshine and The Queen are too small of films--no great issues, no operatic emotions. Iwo Jima is out of step with the politics of our time, and Babel is this year's Crash, and Crash already won. So, Martin Scorsese wins my prediction.

Category: Animated Feature Film

Happy Feet
Monster House

I didn't see Monster House, as it was too creepy for my kids so we didn't go see it. I'm confident that it wasn't a bit hit either and won't win. Happy Feet was rather inchoherent, so I'm choosing Cars. It was not a great movie, but it was charming and consistent, beautifully animated, and so it should win.

I'm posting this at 2:45 so I'm going to have to be honest about it once the Awards are actually given out. I am so good at "forgetting" what my predictions were. What are your predictions for the Oscars tonight?

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