OK, it's that time again when I'll stick my neck out and come out with my predictions for the 79th Annual Academy Awards. Last year saw me walk away with a wad of $$35 as my predictions won me the annual bet, courtesy of the winning prediction of Best Original Song from Hustle and Flow. Hope I'll be spot on again this year. Here goes...
Actor in a Supporting Role
Mark Wahlberg's too uncouth, Jackie Earle Haley's too vulgar, Djimon Hounsou too whiny, and while I love Alan Arkin's role in Little Miss Sunshine, it somehow ended too prematurely.
Which leaves Eddie Murphy to bring home the trophy with his R&B and soul, coupled with some slick dance moves. Everyone loves a performer!
Actress in a Supporting Role
Adriana Barraza didn't have much to do in Babel except walk in the sun. Cate Blanchett put up an excellent performance, but she already won in the same category for The Aviator not too long ago. Which makes it a three way fight between Rinko Kikuchi, Jennifer Hudson and Abigail Breslin. Some have touted Rinko to walk away with the award, but I reckon providing full frontal nudity, and spreading pussy isn't a healthy sign to win.
My heart goes out to Abigail Breslin to win so that she can probably repeat that madcap performance in Little Miss Sunshine, but my head says Jennifer Hudson has become the darling with her lung busting singing in Dreamgirls.
Come to think of it, I would be delighted should Alan Arkin and Abigail Breslin both win the supporting role awards for Little Miss Sunshine!
Actor in a Leading Role
Venus haven't made it to our shores here, but I am quite certain Peter O'Toole won't bag it. Ryan Gosling was basically stoned, which half of Tinseltown could do with their eyes closed. Leonardo DiCaprio did a decent job in Blood Diamond, but I suspect his action role was quite generic in nature amongst action heroes.
I would support Will Smith, as I enjoyed his performance in The Pursuit of Happyness, but everyone, bow down to the winner, Forest Whitaker!
Actress in a Leading Role
Missed the chance to watch Penelope Cruz in Volver today, so I guess my judgement can't possibly include her. However, there is already a clear winner, just let me go through the motion on the others. Judi Dench is menacing in Notes on a Scandal, and so is Meryl Streep, in a classic bitch role in The Devil Wears Prada. Kate Winslet as an adulterous mother won win it as we go pro-family values.
Whatever the case, everybody hail The Queen! Helen Mirren is a shoo in for the awards.
So we'll see royalty, a king and a queen, bag the lead acting awards.
Clint Eastwood has been a regular here, so it's time he gave others an opportunity. Paul Greengrass is getting his first directing nomination, so I don't think a newbie will be given the award, not when veterans are around who had done better. Stephen Frears, the second time, so I'm sorry but you'll have to wait your turn. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu as well, a relative newbie, should we compare to the predicted winner.
Martin Scorsese, it's about time you claim the honour, after 5 previous nominations for directing. This one's yours!
The Departed at its core is an Asian movie. By honouring it, it's akin to saying Asia has better storylines. Letters From Iwo Jima is in a foreign language, so chances are slim. The Queen is nothing spectacular, save for Helen Mirren's acting.
Which leaves Little Miss Sunshine, which my heart goes out to for its quirky storyline, but my head will pick Babel to win the coveted title for Best Picture, following the footsteps of Crash, which in structure it's similar to. Until Hollywood gets tired of multiple converging narratives.
My other predictions:
Animated Feature Film - I would say Monster House is a breakthrough, and Happy Feet a bore towards the end. But who can resist the charm of Pixar with its summer offering Cars?
Art Direction - This is tough, as each category offered something unique - Dreamgirls for the musical stage, Good Shepherd for its early American looks, Pan's Labyrinth for its WWII Spain, The Prestige for its Victorian England, and Pirates for something we've already seen before. Dreamgirls to win, since it got the most nominations this year.
Cinematography - I love The Prestige, so I hope it'll walk away with this award.
Costume Design - Contemporary fashion in Prada is like a product placement endorsement. The Queen doesn't offer nothing we've not seen in her real wardrobe. Dreamgirls had its share of costume changes, but I suspect period dramas will win. So Gong Li's heaving bosoms will provide Curse of the Golden Flower the lift it needs to trounce Kirsten Dunst's in Marie Antoinette.
Documentary Feature - An Inconvenient Truth, for its message. 'Nuff said.
Documentary Short - I'll go with Rehearsing a Dream, just because filmmakers Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon were nominated twice before, and about time to win it.
Film Editing - There are 2 movies here which I have not seen, so this is tough, but I'll go for Babel, just because it weaved multiple narratives, and not because it had done it well.
Foreign Language Film - With so many folks liking a movie I hate, I'll go with the flow. Pan's Labyrinth will snag this, even though my heart will root for Water or Days of Glory.
Makeup - Pan's Labyrinth to win it, although I though none of the nominees (Click and Apocalypto) had any breakthrough.
Music (Score) - The Good German, as Thomas Newman had been nominated 7 times before, and it's about time.
Music (Song) - With Dreamgirls having 3 out of 5 nominations here, it's likely to snag one. Which one? I'd place my bets on Love You I Do.
Sound Editing - I'd go with Apocalypto.
Sound Editing - I'd go with Apocalypto too.
Visual Effects - Superman Returns, for its many CG shots compared to Pirates or Poseidon.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay) - The Departed to win, since it can't win Best Picture.
Writing (Original Screenplay) - Pan's Labyrinth, since it wasn't nominated for Best Picture.
Short Film (Animated) - No Time for Nuts. Looks like an Ice Age spin off.
Short Film (Live Action) - West Bank Story. I'm a sucker for musical comedies.