Oscars 2007! Predictions and the Like…

This year’s Oscar race has no front runner, which makes the whole shebang a rather unique affair. In past years, there’s been upsets (Crash, Shakespeare In Love) and predictable winners (Return of the King), but any of this year’s crop could take Best Picture. Babel, The Departed, The Queen, Little Miss Sunshine, or Letters From Iwo Jima all offer different types of voters different types of excuses for voting them to victory. The Sunshine crowd might feel edgy voting for an independent dark comedy. The purists will undoubtedly flock to to Letters and Departed, both films made by timeless craftsmen. But I think The Queen and Babel, both pertinent international films, will rise to the surface and determine the outcome of a rather boring Oscar year (should have nominated Children of Men to make things messy and interesting). Like most film nerds who whine and gripe about unfair tactics and unworthy films, I’ll still be watching the behemoth awards show on Sunday night. It will inevitably be par for the course, so here are both my choices and my dim view of reality.Best Picture – Should Win: Letters From Iwo Jima (Clint’s film is a cut above the rest), Will Win: BabelBest Director – Should Win: Paul Greengrass (will be remembered for years), Will Win: Martin Scorsese (yes, it’s finally his year)Best Actress – Should Win: Penelope Cruz (astounding in Volver) or Helen Mirren, Will Win: Helen MirrenBest Actor – Should Win: Ryan Gosling (a genius performance), Will Win: Forest Whitaker (cringe)Best Supporting Actress – Should Win: Rinko Kikuchi, Will Win: Jennifer HudsonBest Supporting Actor – Should Win: The Cast of The Departed, Will Win: Eddie MurphyBest Adapted Screenplay – Should Win: Children of Men, Will Win: The DepartedBest Original Screenplay – Should Win: The Queen, Will Win: Little Miss Sunshine (no!!!!!!!!)And with that I will spare you any more extensive complaints. Here are my predictions (with a few notes) for the rest of the categories.Special Effects: Pirates of the Caribbean (the worst film of the year, fitting)Art Direction: Pan’s LabyrinthEditing: BabelDocumentary: An Inconvenient Truth (many of these are worthy, including the masterful Jesus Camp)Foreign Film: Pan’s LabyrinthCostume Design: Dreamgirls (although Marie Antoinette should get something)Cinematography: Children of Men, (Lubezcki will not be ignored again, his loss last year for The New World still hurts)Animated Film: Cars (Monster House should rule the day, but this is the Oscars)Makeup: Pan’s LabyrinthOriginal Music: BabelOriginal Song: An Inconvenient TruthSound Editing: Letters from Iwo JimaSound Mixing: DreamgirlsLive Action Short: West Bank StoryBest Animation Short: The Danish PoetAnother year at the movies.Update 2/26: The Oscars had a few upsets, but not many. I did alright in my predictions, but certainly not the best I’ve done in the past. There’s always next year. Total: 16 right out of 24.- GH

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