I've seen a lot of movies this year, and even though I haven't seen all the movies nominated for awards, I still think I know what the hell I'm talking about. Also, I'm been looking at hundreds of transcripts from the same two North Shore high schools and I need a goddamn break. So!
Best Supporting Actress
This is pretty obvious. Jennifer Hudson is going to win. And I'm glad because I enjoyed Dreamgirls enough to say that it was a pretty good movie, and I really enjoyed Jennifer Hudson. Plus, I love how awkward it'll be when she's the only Oscar winner who will thank God. YOU KNOW SHE WILL.
Best Supporting Actor
I'm kind of torn on this one. I really liked Little Children, but Jackie Earl Haley is not going to win. I don't even know who he is. Plus he's phenomenally unattractive in real life, and actors only win awards for pretending to be ugly. I didn't see Blood Diamond so I can't say anything about what's his face. (I suppose I could copy and paste his name from IMDb, but, eh.) Mark Wahlberg was good in The Departed, but you kind of forget he's involved in it because he doesn't do much other than say "fuck" and "cunt" and shoot one guy. It might be a close call between Eddie Murphy and Alan Arkin. Even though I wasn't a huge fan of Little Miss Sunshine, I'd rather see Alan Arkin win. Eddie Murphy's portrayal was just a longer version of James Brown's Hot Tub.
This is another obvious one: Helen Mirren is going to win. I love Helen Mirren, and I loved her portrayal of Elizabeth II. The Oscars have a habit of rewarding actors who can do really good impressions for a couple of hours, so Mirren's going to get it. But really, all of the actresses in this category did great jobs this year. Penelope Cruz proved yet again that when she doesn't have to speak English she can focus on emotional range. Meryl Streep turned a supporting, "evil" character into something with depth. Judi Dench was fucking terrifying. And Kate Winslet was great and I'm sorry that Little Children went so unnoticed.
The one nominated movie in this category that I've seen is Half Nelson, which I loved, but Forest Whitaker is going to win. Which is fine. I'm sure he's good, and his droopy eye is endearing. I honestly don't care who wins in this category as long as it isn't Will Smith.
So, four out of the five movies this year are these really dour, sad epics and it kind of reflects the attitude of the world and shit right now. You've got The Departed, wherein pretty much everyone dies. There's The Queen, which is like, ew, old people with funny accents talking about stuff. There's Letters from Iwo Jima which is long, violent, and in Japanese. And then Babel, which I haven't seen, but will assume is like Crash but not directed by a Scientologist. Bummer, dudes. It's just like the '70s, but instead of stuff we'll remember in twenty years from now, we have a bunch of movies that no one will really want to watch again. (OK, I'll give The Departed some slack, but WHO is going to buy The Queen on DVD?) Luckily, there is a comedy to break up the malaise. Unfortunately, that comedy is Little Miss Sunshine, which is like National Lampoon's Vacation for people who read The New Yorker. So basically, I don't really care about what wins Best Picture. I'll root for The Departed, I guess.
And if Little Miss Sunshine wins Best Original Screenplay, I will lose my shit. Honestly. The grandfather DIES and they STEAL HIS BODY FROM THE HOSPITAL. The younger brother finds out he's COLORBLIND at SEVENTEEN. STEVE CARRELL'S CHARACTER RUNS INTO HIS EX-BOYFRIEND AND FELLOW PROUST-SCHOLAR RIVAL IN A GAS STATION IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. (Like, surprise!) (Also, Steve Carrell's character's ex-boyfriend does NOT look like a philosophy student.) I think one of the requirements for BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY should be PLAUSIBILITY.
OK, I'm done. Happy Oscars!