That all being said, here are my Predictions. Ordinarily, I would predict the major awards, since I wouldn't have a clue on some of the categories. This year, though, I am in the unique position of not knowing diddly doo about anything. Of all the fifty-seven movies nominated, I have seen six (Ratatouille, Bourne Ultimatum, Enchanted, Transformers, Pirates 3, Golden Compass). Just over 10%. So, all of my predictions are pretty much guesses.
BEST PICTURE: Michael Clayton
I know, this isn't even on the radar right now. But here's one word for you: Crash. Just a couple years ago, nothing was really jumping out at anyone. There were some movies that were being touted as big things (Brokeback Mountain), but nothing was head and shoulders ahead as best picture. This year is the same thing. There are people who hated There Will Be Blood. Most people hated the end of No Country for Old Men. So, just like with Crash, people will go with the movie with all the actors everyone loves.
BEST ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis
Everyone loves him. The only person with a shot to upend him is Clooney. But if the voters gave George's movie the nod, they won't feel bad shafting him. Plus he won two years ago.
BEST ACTRESS: Julie Christie
No clue what the heck her movie is about. I just know everyone is talking about how great she did. There isn't enough buzz for Linney. Ellen Page is too young and cute to win (her victory was the nomination, as they say). And the voters wouldn't dare give Blanchett the award twice for playing the same person.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Javier Bardem
Two reasons. One, he is supposedly really creepy and bad guys are hip recipients lately. Two, it is to make up for his movie getting screwed over. (Or, if I am way off, it is part of the sweep for his film.) The sympathy goes to Hal Holbrook. I just think sympathy won't go far enough.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Ruby Dee
People are torn between Amy Ryan and Cate Blanchett. Which bodes well for Ruby Dee. This is a case where sympathy may go far enough, since there is not a clear front-runner. The one wild card is how many votes were cast after Heath Ledger died. If some people hadn't voted yet, they may have voted for Blanchett out of respect for Ledger. (Seriously, these clowns think that way.)
BEST DIRECTOR: Julian Schnabel
The apathy strikes again. Enough people feel weakly enough that he could sneak through like he did at the earlier awards. The nominees are not the "A-List" guys who usually rule - no Eastwood, Spielberg, Scorcese. So there is not a huge amount of emotional voting - except for the Coen brothers. I hear that everyone loves them.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - Michael Clayton
I would love to see Ratatouille win, since it should have been up for Best Picture. But that would be a huge stretch for an animated film to win. My second choice would be Juno. I mean, how often will we have a chance to have Diablo Cody (former stripper) on stage for an acceptance speech at the Oscars? I just think this is part of the apology to Clooney for him not winning.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY - There Will Be Blood
It has to win something besides Best Actor. And this would get an award for Paul Anderson.
BEST EDITING - No Country for Old Men
This will actually get the Coen brothers an award, since they are Roderick Jaynes.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - No Country for Old Men
It looks like something that would win this.
BEST ART DIRECTION - There Will Be Blood
I am entering into Guess Mode right about now.
COSTUME DESIGN - Atonement
They made a really big deal about the clothes in Atonement.
MAKEUP - Pirates 3
I just can't see anyone giving an Oscar to an Eddie Murphy comedy for anything.
VISUAL EFFECTS - Pirates 3
I watched two of these. I just can't see Michael Bay winning an Oscar, even though digitally creating 50 foot tall robots is impressive. But that maelstrom was incredible in Pirates.
SOUND - No Country for Old Men
This seriously reminds me of Crash and Brokeback Mountain. Brokeback cleaned up all the tech awards and then got nothing on the big stuff.
SOUND EDITING - No Country for Old Men
Personally, I think Bourne should win everything it is up for. But that usually doesn't happen.
ORIGINAL SCORE - The Kite Runner
Don't ask me why.
ORIGINAL SONG - "That's How You Know" from Enchanted
The movie has three songs nominated. That usually is a good sign. But, sometimes it just means getting three shafts. Ask Dreamgirls.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE - Ratatouille
If it does not win, that would be an oversight on par with Saving Private Ryan losing to Shakespeare in Love. I'm serious. That is how much superior Ratatouille was to everything else. It would be a "Top Five Greatest Snub" level mistake.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM - Mongol
I don't know. But, more importantly, I don't even care.
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE - Sicko
This could also go to No End in Sight. This is the year - you can feel it. People are itching to be very political this year. With the election and the economy. They want to have someone come up and take a huge shot at Bush and everyone. Who better than Michael Moore, especially with Castro's resignation?
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT - Sari's Mother
For this touching profile of Mrs. Tom Cruise - Katie Holmes. It uncovers the secrets behind her bizarre relationship with head whackjob Cruise. What? Oh, SARI'S Mother? Whatever.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT - Even Pigeons Go To Heaven
You have to love that name.
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT - The Tonto Women
It's about time that the Lone Ranger's sidekick got his due - even if it is about the lives of the women BEHIND the legend.
CEREMONY LENGTH - 3 hours, 51 minutes
See you for the live blog.