Like many similarly unqualified bloggers, I hereby offer my own predictions for the Academy Awards. As always, these predictions are for amusement only. Any money wagered and lost based on the following is solely the responsibility of the reader.
Edited after the awards to show the results. I went a disappointing 14-10, not nearly enough to win any respectable Oscar pool. But I nailed all of the Big 8, which I don't think I've ever done before.
The prohibitive favorite.
It takes a lot for the Best Picture winner to not also win this category.
He was better than Mickey Rourke, but I'd much rather watch Mickey Rourke give a speech.
Not her best work, but it's her turn. It's a shame, because Anne Hathaway was fantastic.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
I hate when awards are given for sympathy, but in this case Ledger is the strongest in a very weak crop of nominees.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
This was the hardest one to pick. I would not be surprised at all if Viola Davis or Marisa Tomei win.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
My favorite movie of the year, Wall-E, has a shot.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
My second favorite movie of the year, Frost/Nixon, gets shut out.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
This category is like Mike Tyson beating up third-graders.
Personally I'd pick The Dark Knight, but this is still a worthy winner.
BEST ART DIRECTION
The Dark Knight
Sometimes Best Picture snubs clean up in the minor categories. Sometimes they even deserve it, like this one.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Always go with the period epic. I would vote for Revolutionary Road, however.
BEST FILM EDITING
The Dark Knight
The Best Picture winner usually has an advantage here, but I feel that the Academy really wants to recognize this movie.
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
A lot of the transformation was via visual effects instead of makeup, but that won't matter.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Three guys with multiple nominations and wins. Also, it was the best. And my friend Susan worked on the visual effects crew, so I want it to win.
There are some heavy hitters in this category, but Hollywood has a current infatuation with Bollywood. Call this pick a hunch.
"Down To Earth" from Wall-E
The two Slumdog songs will cancel each other out. And Springsteen's snub helps.
BEST SOUND EDITING
Christopher Boyes is a multiple winner. That makes the difference for me in a wide open category.
BEST SOUND MIXING
Ben Burtt is also a multiple winner. So why didn't I pick Wall-E for Sound Editing? Beats me.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Man On Wire is the one everybody has heard of, but The Garden has local appeal to Angelenos.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
The Conscience Of Nhem En
Bereft of a nominee about the Holocaust this year, it was difficult to choose a winner in this category.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
The short film categories are always just educated guesses. Pixar made this film, which is all the education I needed.
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
The Holocaust Corollary makes the choice for me.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Waltz With Bashir
It's doing great business at the box office, which is important in this category.