February 25, 2007

With just a few hours left until the show begins, my final predictions and favorites for this year's Oscars (with occasional commentary):

PICTURE: Should and will win: Little Miss Sunshine.
But isn't it wonderful to have a Best Picture race that's unpredictable for once? The only win that would truly shock me would be The Queen; the only one that would truly disappoint me would be Babel.

DIRECTOR: Should win: Greengrass; will win: Scorsese.

ACTOR: Should win: O'Toole; will win: Whitaker.
As good as Whitaker was in The Last King of Scotland, it was a supporting performance (and had be nominated there, he'd be my favorite in the category). Most inexplicable nomination of the year (in any category) is Will Smith, whose blandly competent work in The Pursuit of Happyness is outclassed by the rest of this field.

ACTRESS: Should and will win: Mirren.
When was the last time that the Best Actress field was stronger than the Best Actor field?

SUPP. ACTOR: Should win: Haley; will win: Arkin.

SUPP. ACTRESS: Should and will win: Hudson
Though I will be neither surprised nor disappointed if Breslin pulls the upset

ANIMATED FILM: Should win: Monster House; will win: Happy Feet.
Monster House is the only deserving winner; how the sluggish Cars and the muddled Happy Feet were picked over A Scanner Darkly or Over the Hedge is a mystery to me.

DOCUMENTARY: Should win: Deliver Us From Evil; will win: An Inconvenient Truth.

FOREIGN FILM: Should win: Pan's Labyrinth; will win: The Lives of Others.
It's a two-horse race, and I'll be perfectly happy with either.

SCORE: Should win: The Good German; will win: The Queen.

SONG: Should win: "Love You I Do;" will win: "Listen."
The bloated star vehicle wins over the perfectly crafted pop song.

ANIMATED SHORT: Should win: "The Danish Poet;" will win: "Maestro."
LIVE-ACTION SHORT: Should win: "The Saviour;" will win: "West Bank Story."
In both cases, they're going to go with the feel-good comedy over the more thoughtful film. An animated win for "The Little Match Girl" wouldn't surprise me too much, but I just have a hunch that it's going to be a happy happy joy joy kinda year.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Should win: Children of Men; will win: The Departed.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Should and will win: Little Miss Sunshine.

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