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[about the author]

i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish, eh?

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my oscar picks. like anyone gives a rat's ass.
as a movie buff, i have a real love/hate relationship with oscar. on one hand, i’m mesmerized. i sit, glued to my television, hoping against hope that those who have truly entertained or amazed me will be recognized [‘cause the oscars should always be about what i like. as should most other things, really. but, i digress.] on the other hand – that would be the “hate” hand – it’s kind of gross the way it’s all turned into some big prom king and queen popularity contest. with advertisements and “well, he’ll probably win, but it will be more of a recognition of his body of work rather than this particular performance.” what a load of crap that is. imagine you’re some guy like john c. reilly who did some kick-ass work and you’re lucky enough to get a nomination and then they turn around and give it to freakin’ paul newman ‘cause he’s a legend. you know he's thinking, "dude, give him a lifetime achievement award. quit cornholing me over here."

then, of course, there’s the whole glamour thing. i love seeing movie stars all dressed up and looking glamorous. on the flip side, i, along with most of america, hate joan rivers. so, there you go.

this year seems to be a pretty interesting line-up, unless, of course, you find the whole thing a bore, in which case it’s never going to be interesting to you and you should go play in the archives instead of reading this post.

if chicago doesn’t steamroll the whole thing, this year’s race could provide a few suprises. actually, i guess if chicago doesn’t steamroll the whole thing, that, in and of itself will be a surprise. at any rate, my in-depth and spot-on analysis of the major races follows. my money’s on the nominees in bold…even if my heart lies elsewhere.

best actor:
adrien brody [the pianist] followed the daniel-day-lewis-patented-i’m-so-method-i’m-insane route. i don’t really dig on that. jack nicholson [about schmidt] got lots of early buzz for giving a performance that is pretty much your typical jack nicholson performance…only it got labeled “brave” [a big trend this year] because he played a man his own age who isn’t banging a 30-year old starlet. oooo…so brave! michael caine was, apparently, really good in the quiet american. of course, no one saw that movie. therefore, michael caine, you get no oscar love. go home and rub on your hannah and her sisters oscar, okay? as for you, nicolas cage [adaptation], after con air and gone in 60 seconds, you will never receive another academy award. ever. you know how people always say, “just being nominated is an award”? yeah, well, you should practice saying that. a lot. i’m pretty sure that if the academy could actually revoke awards, they’d take back that one they gave you for leaving las vegas, just on principle. this one is a tough call between nicholson and daniel day-lewis. but, when all else fails, go with crazy. this is a principle i use not only in selecting oscar winners, but also significant others, by the way.

best actress:
salma hayek is the michael caine of this category. except she didn’t win an oscar for hannah and her sisters. or for desperado. hmmm…okay, maybe she’s a combination of michael caine and nicolas cage. but with a killer rack. i mean, seriously, have you seen the rack on this chick? anyway, long story short is that she may have been perfectly wonderful, but, really…who saw frida? and diane lane [unfaithful] also suffers from nicolas cage syndrome. see: judge dredd. i mean, i guess there’s always a chance…after all, you’ve got your kim basinger and marisa tomei…but they were supporting actresses. i think you’re screwed. and, speaking of screwed: julianne moore was the best thing about far from heaven, but she’s her own worst enemy – she's up for supporting actress for the hours, and many people will vote for her there and nobody will vote for her in both. that leaves renee zellweger [chicago] and nicole kidman [another “brave” performance. because she put on a fake nose in the hours. whatever.]. this one may be too close to call, but i give it to nicole kidman. by a nose. sorry. couldn’t resist.

best supporting actor:
my biggest complaint about this category: where is dennis quaid? and, arguably, richard gere? two names one might not normally associate with academy award nominations, but both more than worthy of a nod this year. having said that, the five guys who are nominated are all worthy, too. christopher walken [catch me if you can] and paul newman [road to perdition] are both nominated more for careers than singular performances, i think. ed harris [the hours] is good in everything he does. but, for me, this race comes down to two guys…john c. reilly [chicago] and chris cooper [adaptation]. i’d love to see either one of them win, honestly. reilly was a showstopper in chicago, and he also turned in strong performances in the hours, gangs of new york and the good girl [which i really enjoyed]. he’s awesome. but, i don’t think it’s his year…unless you can vote straight party ticket on an oscar ballot and just vote for chicago for every category with a single stroke. i’ve been a fan of chris cooper since his quietly riveting performance in john sayles’ matewan -- a story near and dear to my west virginia heart. in adaptation, i couldn’t take my eyes off of him, and i think he’ll take it this year.

best supporting actress:
kathy bates [about schmidt] is our “brave” nominee in this category. brave because she got naked and she’s not 25 and she’s not a size 4. hey, i get naked every day. big whoop. i’m brave. give me an oscar. hell, i’d settle for the oscar goodie basket, and you can keep your stupid gold naked bald guy. julianne moore [the hours]…we already discussed that one. and, queen latifah [chicago] was great when she sang that song...but, uh...that was just that one song. so, it comes down to catherine zeta-jones [chicago] and meryl streep [adaptation]. normally, who wouldn’t pick streep here? i mean, sophie’s choice versus the t-mobile spokesperson? but, there’s that whole chicago sweep thing going on, so who knows. here’s what i say: zeta-jones has come off like a total bitch in the press lately [suing some british magazine for millions because they published unauthorized photos of her that made her look “fat”…hey, catherine, standing next to renee zellweger [ aka “the human shoelace”] in next-to-nothing costumes didn’t exactly make you look svelte. maybe you oughta slap a lawsuit on her bony ass?] and most people think meryl streep is the gold standard. man, this one is a tough call. i’m gonna go with meryl streep. but i could be dead wrong on this one.

best director:
peter jackson for the two towers. no question. huh? what’s that? oh. not nominated. i see. and, what, may i ask, the fuck? okay, fine. then i’ll go with rob marshall for chicago.

best picture:
if you don’t put your $20 on chicago, then feel free to mail it directly to me.

and, as a would-be-wish-i-could-be-why-aren’t-i-already writer, let me just say throw these in:
original screenplay goes to far from heaven. even though i didn’t love it like the critics did, and even though i don't think the real achievement of the film was in the screenplay [i thought it was more about the visuals, the direction, the style, the feel of the movie as a whole] , it didn't get a ton of nominations, so they’ll throw it a win here to show mad phat respect. adapted screenplay goes to the hours i think. if you read the book, then saw the movie, i think you’ll agree that the screenplay actually improved upon a pulitzer prize winning book. a whole lot.

one last note: michael moore’s bowling for columbine should be a lock for best documentary. man…i can’t wait to hear his acceptance speech.

so, there you go. commence with the office pooling.
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