It's a tough call this year. For every race that seems clear, there's one in which any of the five nominees could win, including Best Picture.
So here are my predictions. I make no guarantees, though if you use them to win an Oscar pool, I want 10%.
Also, I still haven't seen Dreamgirls, Babel or Letters From Iwo Jima. So most of the time I'm talking out of my ass.BEST PICTURE
. I really believe that the winner of this category is liable to get less than 30% of the vote. I think The Departed could win, but then again everyone is likely to vote for Scorcese for Best Director, and decide that The Departed (though a pretty good movie) isn't necessarily great enough to vote for for Best Director AND Best Picture. And since no one will vote for The Departed for Best Picture and NOT vote for Marty for Best Director, it's Best Picture where The Departed will suffer.
The Queen just feels a little small and British. Letters From Iwo Jima just never feels like it has enough enthusiastic support. Babel could win, because Crash won last year, but then again Babel might lose because Crash won last year. So I'm going to pick Little Miss Sunshine
, because even though it wasn't the Best Picture of the year, it worked, they've been giving it a good Oscar spin, and it just feels like the kind of year that it could sneak in and win.BEST DIRECTOR
. Bet on Martin Scorcese
. Because it's time, and it's better than almost giving it to him for Gangs of New York.BEST ACTOR
. The obvious choice is Forest Whitaker, but the movie never made much of a splash, and it's more of a supporting role. Still, Ryan Gosling probably won't get it, while it doesn't feel like Will Smith or Leo DiCaprio's year. Peter O'Toole could have snuck in, but Venus made less of a splash than Last King of Scotland. And Whitaker is apparently a great guy. Forest Whitaker
. It's going to be Helen Mirren
, in a walk.BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR.
If there was the sense that Eddie Murphy had turned the corner into being a serious actor, he'd probably win, but I really think Norbit is going to hurt way more than it helps; I think people will feel that his just being nominated will be enough. Mark Wahlberg isn't going to win, Djimon Hounsou and Jackie Earle Haley won't win, so Alan Arkin
can just sneak right in and take it.BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS.
This is tough, because Jennifer Hudson is getting all the buzz, but at the end of the day, she sort of seems typecast in the role, and I'm not sure anyone actually expects her to have much of an acting career in general. But the two women in Babel are unlikely to win, while Cate Blanchett has one already. I wouldn't be suprised if Abigail Breslin snuck in and won, but if I have to choose, Jennifer Hudson
will probably get it.BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY.
The other nominees (The Queen, Babel, Pan's Labyrinth, Letters From Iwo Jima) are all solid, but look for Little Miss Sunshine
to get this; out of all it's nominations, it's the one it is most likely to nail down.BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY.
Look for The Departed
to win over Borat, Children of Men, Little Children and Notes on a Scandal.BEST ANIMATED FILM.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM.
I think maybe The Lives of Others
is going to sneak in and beat Pan's Labyrinth.BEST DOCUMENTARY.
They are going to give it to An Inconvenient Truth
.BEST ART DIRECTION.
Dreamgirls could win, but my bet is Pan's Labyrinth.
Because it deserves it, and because it should get something, Children of Men
.BEST FILM EDITING.
Because it definitely deserves something, United 93
.BEST ORIGINAL SCORE.
I don't know. The Queen
, maybe.BEST ORIGINAL SONG.
, from Dreamgirls
, since it is the only one that actually got much airplay.BEST VISUAL EFFECTS.
Easy. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
It's going to be Pan's Labyrinth