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Idol Chatter

Feeling a little puffed up over my successful predictions of the winners of last year’s Oscars, I am going to set myself up for possible ridicule again by putting myself on the line once more here at Idol Chatter, and share my thoughts and predictions for Sunday night’s Oscars. With no overwhelming favorite coming out of this season’s race for the coveted golden statue, I am feeling a little less confident about my Oscar expertise this season, but I still like my chances of having bragging rights again come Monday morning.

If my predictions help you win your office betting pool, just remember to send me a portion of your winnings, and if you want something fun to do while waiting for Sunday night’s ceremony, be sure to check out the Beliefnet Film Awards page to see who won our own movie awards.

So, without further ado, my predictions

Performance by an actor in a leading role:
The nominees are: Leonardo DiCaprio (“Blood Diamond”); Ryan Gosling ( “Half Nelson”); Peter O’Toole ( “Venus”); Will Smith (“The Pursuit of Happyness”); Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland”)

My analysis: Even though Forest Whitaker won the SAG award , I think it is a two-horse race between two other actors–Leonardo DiCaprio and Peter O’Toole. Some critics feel that Oscar has to give it to O’Toole because he has never won an Oscar (well, he received an honorary one years ago, but he didn’t win for “Lawrence of Arabia” or any other movie). I think not enough voters will take time to watch the tiny film “Venus” that O’Toole was in, leaving DiCaprio as the favorite.

Who will win: Leonardo DiCaprio, because he is a star on the rise who has given several great performances lately.

Who should win: In spite of my distaste for “The Notebook,” I am a Ryan Gosling fan and “Half Nelson” was definitely Oscar-worthy.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role:
The nominees are: Alan Arkin ( “Little Miss Sunshine”); Jackie Earle Haley (“Little Children”); Djimon Hounsou (“Blood Diamond”); Eddie Murphy ( “Dreamgirils”); Mark Wahlberg (“The Departed”)

My analysis: While there is some sentimental support for veteran actors Alan Arkin and Jackie Earle Haley, this may be the one and only time Oscar voters will have a chance to recognize Eddie Murphy for his body of work.

Who will win: Eddie Murphy will squeak out a win over Alan Arkin.

Who should win: Djimon Hounsou, who has given several amazing performances in the last few years and is always overlooked for his work.

Performance by an actress in a leading role:
The nominees are: Penélope Cruz (“Volver”); Judi Dench (“Notes on a Scandal”); Helen Mirren (“The Queen”); Meryl Streep ( “The Devil Wears Prada”); Kate Winslet ( “Little Children”)

My analysis: The Eurpoeans dominate this category, with Streep being the only American in the bunch, but it is the British actress Helen Mirren who has won every award there is this season.

Who will win: Helen Mirren will win in the only slam-dunk of the evening.

Who should win: Helen Mirren deserves a gold statue for playing one gutsy broad in some really hideous outfits.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role:
The nominees are: Adriana Barraza ( “Babel”); Cate Blanchett (“Notes on A Scandal”); Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”); Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”); Rinko Kikuchi (“Babel”)

Who will win: Jennifer Hudson

Who should win: Anyone but Abigail Breslin. Now that I have that little rant out of my system, I think it is almost impossible to root against Jennifer Hudson.

Best motion picture of the year:
The nominees are: “Babel“; “The Departed“; “Letters from Iwo Jima”; “Little Miss Sunshine”; “The Queen”

My analysis: There is some support for “Little Miss Sunshine” to be the feel-good, underdog upset, but I still believe that this is the year Oscar will finally get around to honoring Martin Scorsese with a best director award and best picture award.

Who will win: “The Departed”

Who should win: Any movie but “Little Miss Sunshine.” Oops, I ranted again. Of all of the Oscar choices, my curtsey would go to “The Queen” for its fresh, creative, and insightful storytelling.

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