Is there a party going on?
In lieu of photos, might as well do some predictions, since that's what hundreds of other bloggers are doing too. According to all the TV pundits and Oscar pre-shows on TV here (and there are many), some categories (Best Picture) have no obvious front runner, whilst others (Best Actress) are a foregone conclusion. We'll see. So:
- will win - Martin Scorsese. Everyone says so; it's his turn as he hasn't won before.
- want to win - Paul Greengrass. If it was just on this year's film alone, rather than the Academy making up for its previous omissions with a career best award for Marty, I'd go for Paul Greengrass and "United 93". Stunning, moving, great film-making. At least he got the BAFTA.
- will win - Helen Mirren. Bookies stopped taking bets ages ago. She got the Golden Globe and the BAFTA and goodness knows what else. Plus she's been doing great press. The Oscar is hers.
- want to win - Judi Dench. Much as I loved Helen Mirren's performance, I thought Judi Dench's was the greater stretch. Although if Dame Helen doesn't win, I've lost a bet and therefore have to ring a certain someone and ask him out for dinner. I'm torn.
- will win - Forest Whitaker. The Academy love actors who take on real people, plus it was a great performance.
- want to win - Peter O'Toole. Another great performance, plus I'm going with the emotional vote here. If it can go that way for Best Director, why not Best Actor? Although he might just sneak away with it on the basis that he too has been doing the press circuit out here, and there is a line of thought that says better give him the Oscar now (after 7 previous nominations) before it's too late.
Best Supporting Actress:
- will win - Jennifer Hudson. That's where all the smart money has been going.
- want to win - Abigail Breslin. I confess I haven't seen "Dreamgirls", but out of the four nominees I have seen, I loved this performance - sweet and funny and moving.
Best Supporting Actor:
- will win - Eddie Murphy. Again, all bets seem to be off.
- want to win - Alan Arkin. Because he was very rude and very funny.
Best Original Screenplay:
- will win - Michael Arndt won last night at the Independent Spirit Awards but I have no idea who the Academy will go for. I'd guess either Peter Morgan for "The Queen" or Iris Yamashita for "Letters from Iwo Jima".
- want to win - Peter Morgan.
Best Adapted Screenplay:
- will win - Patrick Marber for "Notes on a Scandal" although the "Children of Men" team might be in with a shout.
- want to win - Patrick Marber.
- will win - this is the one that no-one will predict with any confidence. "Little Miss Sunshine" won at the Independent Spirit Awards last night, but is seen as too saccharine for the Academy, plus they rarely vote for comedies as Best Picture. "Babel" might get it, the same way as "Crash" got it last year, on the basis that it's an ambitious ensemble piece that "says something" about the world we live in. But audiences were split between people who thought it was pretentious tosh and people who loved it. I loved it. "The Departed" is said to be too violent for Oscar, and "The Queen" too small and parochial. Which might let "Letters from Iwo Jima" sneak in. I'm hedging my bets - it will either be "Babel" or "The Queen."
- want to win - "Babel".
And in only a few hours, we'll see just how wrong I can be!