i’m mr. liberal…and it’s friday, too!

Um, sorry about the whole not posting thing. It’s terribly unbecoming of me.



Ladies and gentlemen, here are my 2005 Oscar picks.

Click here for the list of nominees.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE



C’mon. We all know that Jamie Foxx is going to win. I still haven’t seen Ray but am looking forward to watching it tomorrow.



ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE



Thomas Haden Church was absolutely wonderful in Sideways but the Golden Globes usually never lie so I think Clive Owen will take home Oscar gold.



ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE



I’d like to see Catalina Sandina Moreno take the award and I applaud the Academy for daring to step outside the box with her nomination. Kate Winslet was breathtaking in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Swank’s getting buzz also. Formality wins out. It’ll go to Bening and I’ll curse under my breath. But this could go either way.



ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE



I’ve heard Sophie Okonedo is heart-wrenching in Hotel Rwanda and I’d like to see Natalie Portman pick this up. But I think Virginia Madsen’s sweet-tempered, wine-loving waitress in Sideways will win this one.



ANIMATED FEATURE FILM



Are you kidding me? The Incredibles by a long shot. It was masterful and a million times better than alot of this year’s live action offerings. If it loses, I will personally bitchslap each and every Academy member.



ART DIRECTION



Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and its lavish, fantasy-laden opticals could garner favor here. Jeunet’s also got an eye for the visual. But I think that The Phantom of the Opera will win purely because of its lavish and ornate sets and their designs. Plus it was not nominated for COSTUME DESIGN which I find odd, so the award will go to them.



COSTUME DESIGN



As stated above, Phantom is shut out here. While Ray and Troy, from what I’ve seen, accurately reflect the eras of their respective stories, Sandy Powell’s recreation of the golden era of Hollywood glitz will capture Oscar gold of its own. Damn I sound like a flack from E! but so be it.



DIRECTING



If Clint Eastwood wins this, I’ll kick the TV screen in. One word: Marty. Scorsese’s been nominated far too long to be snubbed again and if those aging flywheels (thanks Ebert for the word) at the Academy give it to a workman like Hackford or Eastwood as I mentioned, it’ll be a ton of bullshit.



DOCUMENTARY FEATURE



I’ve heard great things of the Laura Lazin-produced and directed Tupac: Resurrection and nothing of the others. Super Size Me lit the great fire of the fast food debate and was a water cooler movie for the nation late last summer. I want to see director Morgan Spurlock on stage and I predict we will.



DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT



MIGHTY TIMES: THE CHILDREN’S MARCH



EDITING

While Collateral made a DV film prove it can look great, Scorsese’s long-time editor Thelma Schoonmaker will get the nod for piecing together The Aviator. And if she doesn’t,…well, you get the drill..or the Academy will…



FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM



It’s curious not to see Walter Salles’s Robert Redford-produced The Motorcycle Diaries not nominated here. I’m interested in Downfall, about Hitler’s final days. The Chorus seems like a pleasant movie, although Ebert has said something to the effect of it being “maudlin” and that the boys sound too good to be a child’s chorus in a rundown orphanage. Once again, the Golden Globes are the precursor and The Sea Inside will pick the Oscar up and Alejandro Amenabar deserves it.



MAKEUP



Lemony Snicket. Purely because the Academy will want to snub Passion.



MUSIC



Finding Neverland. Just because. Unless they want to throw a bone to Passion, which would be a shame.



MUSIC (SONG)



Phantom of the Opera. C’mon, it’s so obvious.



BEST PICTURE



While I’d love to see Sideways walk away with it, it’s going to be a toss-up between Million Dollar Baby and The Aviator. I think the faction will be widely contentious and if Eastwood wins this, I’ll be just as pissed as I was when the overrated hobbit-a-thon won last year. I’m going to say The Aviator and hope with all of my might it does extremely well on Oscar night.



SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)



Bill Plympton’s Guard Dog



SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)



Gary McKendry’s Everything In This Country Must, but 7:35 In The Morning sounds very intriguing.



SOUND EDITING



The Incredibles. Are you crazy? Did you hear this thing in theatres? And the score should have been nominated, dammit!



SOUND MIXING



Ditto. See above.



VISUAL EFFECTS



Our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man 2. John Dykstra and his crew redefined the effects from the first and produced an amazing array of cinema magic. Pretentious-sounding, isn’t it?



WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)



In a perfect cinematic world, the lyrical valentine that is Before Sunset would win. But, alas, it’s not to be. If Paul Haggis wins, see comments under DIRECTING. But I truly believe the brilliant screenplay by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor for Sideways will win here.



WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)



Charlie Kaufman deserves it, no question but so does The Incredibles. Mark my words, John Logan will pick up the Oscar for The Aviator.



Remember the Academy Awards will air Sunday, February 27th at 8PM ET on ABC.

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