last second predictions

i meant to give this year's oscar predictions much more time, but hey, my life has been slightly hectic recently. i think we're about 27 minutes into the telecast. christy and i are recording before the boys go to bed. we'll tune in after finishing disk 5 of season 1 of 24. talk about addictive. more news to come on that front.

anyway, here goes:

best actor
Leonardo DiCaprio in “Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.), Ryan Gosling in “Half Nelson” (THINKFilm), Peter O’Toole in “Venus” (Miramax, Filmfour and UK Film Council)
Will Smith in “The Pursuit of Happyness” (Sony Pictures Releasing),
Forest Whitaker in “The Last King of Scotland” (Fox Searchlight)

the pick: will smith. i haven't seen last king, but wouldn't be surprised if forest won. truth be known, i didn't think happyness was that great.

best supporting actor
Alan Arkin in “Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight), Jackie Earle Haley in “Little Children” (New Line), Djimon Hounsou in “Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.), Eddie Murphy in “Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount), Mark Wahlberg in “The Departed” (Warner Bros.)

the pick: eddie murphy. most deserving (of the films i've seen): alan arkin. hands down.

best actress
Penélope Cruz in “Volver” (Sony Pictures Classics), Judi Dench in “Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight), Helen Mirren in “The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada), Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” (20th Century Fox), Kate Winslet in “Little Children” (New Line)

the pick: tough one here. i've seen neither film, so it's a toss up between penelope cruz and helen mirren. heads for helen, tails for penelope. heads it is.

best supporting actress
Adriana Barraza in “Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage), Cate Blanchett in “Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight), Abigail Breslin in “Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight), Jennifer Hudson in “Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount), Rinko Kikuchi in “Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)

the pick: jennifer hudson. always the most competitve category (so they say-- but how do they know? do ballot counters at the accounting firm fight over the winner or what?), especially this year. amazing performances by adriana barraza and rinko kikuchi.

best director
“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) Alejandro González Iñárritu, “The Departed” (Warner Bros.) Martin Scorsese, “Letters from Iwo Jima” (Warner Bros.) Clint Eastwood, “The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) Stephen Frears, “United 93” (Universal and StudioCanal) Paul Greengrass

the pick: scorsese. if marty doesn't win this time i am out of oscar forever. and the departed is an amazing movie.

best picture
“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage), “The Departed” (Warner Bros.), “Letters from Iwo Jima” (Warner Bros.)A DreamWorks Pictures/Warner Bros. ), “Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight), “The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)

the pick: the departed. scorsese finally gets his due, after being ripped off over goodfellas (the second best film of the 1990s, right after pulp fiction), raging bull (thought by many to be the best film of the 1980s), among other classics, not to mention worthy movies like the aviator. but this year marty takes the gold home.