I guess I should throw my hat in the ring. I feel bad about it though - this is the first year in (I don't know how long) that I haven't seen all the Best Picture contenders. In fact, I still haven't seen The Queen, Letters from Iwo Jima, or Babel... Now that I look at the nominees again, I haven't seen any of the Best Actor films, none of the Best Actress films, and only one of the Best Director films (The Departed).
I suck. I need more babysitters. I shouldn't even call myself a film blogger. Wait, I don't call myself that. But still... this is embarrassing.
I do follow the industry closely though, watching trends, paying attention to who everyone else is picking, and I gotta say... this is going to be an interesting race because for the first time since 1995 (Braveheart) or maybe 1991 (The Silence of the Lambs), there is no obvious favorite for Best Picture. Sure, there have been upsets (Crash over Brokeback Mountain, Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan), but leading up to the big night, there was always one film that seemed to have it in the bag. This year, that is absolutely not the case. As William Goldman says, "no one knows anything."
Having admitted that I now know as much (or as little) as everyone else, here are my picks for the big categories. Note that this is who I think will win, not who I necessarily want to win:
- Best Picture: Babel, but I absolutely think The Departed, Letters from Iwo Jima, and Little Miss Sunshine all have a legitimate shot at the title. For the first time I can remember, I can honestly say I have no idea what's going to happen here. As far as I can tell, Dreamgirls or United 93 might still have a shot. ;)
- Best Director: Martin Scorsese, finally... and this won't be close.
- Best Actor: Forrest Whitaker, but Peter O'Toole could easily, easily take this. It's dead even.
- Best Actress: Helen Mirren, in a blowout.
- Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy, but Alan Arkin is a huge Academy favorite, while Murphy isn't personally well-liked, and Jeff Wells has been running a campaign against him. Also, it's arguable that Mark Wahlberg had the most memorable role of all the supporting actors.
- Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson is still the favorite, so I'll go with her. The Babel women will split their votes, Cate Blanchett just won this two years ago, but don't be suprised to see something wacky happen in this category with Abigail Breslin (a la, Anna Paquin, Marisa Tomei, Whoopi Goldberg, Mira Sorvino, etc.). I mean, can an American Idol contestant really win an Oscar? They've won Grammies...
One note that just came to me... If Peter O'Toole beats Forrest Whitaker, and Alan Arkin beats Eddie Murphy, and Abigail Breslin beats Jennifer Hudson, will there be racism cries throughout the Academy? Just putting that out there as food for thought.
Oh, and Best Original Screenplay will be Little Miss Sunshine (wait, maybe The Queen), and Best Adapted Screenplay will be The Departed.
In case you're still looking, here's an Oscar ballot for you to make your picks with. Have fun at the show!!!