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And I Hope the Winner Is…

Image: NeoPet Usul
Wouldn't you be bored standing around all day?

With the Oscars less than a week away, once again I've turned into a drooling, slobbering idiot (as opposed to the drooling, slobbering genius I usually present to the world). Yes, I've been ranting -- mostly to my Rasta Bear, because he's the only one who'll listen. Correction... he's the only one who will listen and not call me a loser.

Anyway, as usual, I made predictions for this year's major awards. I doubt you care who wins best cinematography any more than I do. Even if it will be Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

My predictions? I predict that Joan and Melissa Rivers will once again wear the most hideous thing they can buy off the rack and rave about how everyone looks so wonderful. Meanwhile, in their overmedicated worlds, everyone dresses horribly, and only they stand out as true fashion icons. And then their heads explode.

Sigh. I like my dreams.

OK, now the real predictions. Sheesh...

Best Supporting Actress

Judi Dench (Chocolat)
Marcia Gay Harden (Pollock)
Kate Hudson (Almost Famous)
Frances McDormand (Almost Famous)
Julie Walters (Billy Elliot)

First off, I think Julie Walters should win. Why? Because Billy Elliot qualifies as my favorite movie of the last year, and it really cheeses me off that won't win anything. Having said that, aside from Marcia Gay Harden, who starred in a movie that only five people saw, consider anybody in this category a safe bet.

Oh, and Mrs. Dench, I love your work and respect you as an actress. But this thing where you show up for one day's work on a movie and end up getting nominated for an Oscar -- how do you do that? 'Cause if you're giving lessons, I'm all ears.

Best Supporting Actor

Jeff Bridges (The Contender)
Willem Dafoe (Shadow of the Vampire)
Benicio del Toro (Traffic)
Albert Finney (Erin Brockovich)
Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator)

Man, I love this category. I like everybody in this category. You have no idea how much I like Benicio. I would give my left kidney for Willem to win. I want to know what's in the Phoenix family genes that keeps producing these adorable hotties. (Although Joaquin was cuter in Quills. Especially after he went nuts.)

Albert Finney's just cool. You need to be to stand out in a movie against Julia and her Wonderbra®. And how is it that all of the presidents we've been getting out of Hollywood lately are so much cooler than the schmoe we ended up with? I had to love Jeff Bridges in The Contender. The guy ordered a shark sandwich from the White House chef just because he could. Tell me you would not do that.

But, if I must pick anybody, I say Benicio will win. But I want Willem to with an unholy passion.

Best Actress

Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich)
And... um... I don't know, some other actresses...

I kid. I do know the other actresses nominated in this category. But I'm the only one. And it doesn't matter anyway, because a blind, deaf, one-legged Capuchin monkey could tell you Julia will win. And she gets to go home with Benjamin Bratt. And she's rich. Life's no fair.

Best Actor

Javier Bardem (Before Night Falls)
Russell Crowe (Gladiator)
Tom Hanks (Cast Away)
Ed Harris (Pollock)
Geoffrey Rush (Quills)

Only two people in this category have any chance of winning -- Russell and Tom. Sorry, Javier, but no one saw your movie. Sorry, Ed, but no one saw your movie. Sorry, Geoffrey, but you got naked in your movie, and I love you, you cuddly Oscar-winning nut, you, but ewww. Just EWW.

Okay, so who will Hollywood vote for? Lessee... Tom makes millions for Hollywood, is a lovable lug and would probably only cheat on his wife playing bridge. And in the opposite corner, ruining Meg Ryan's marriage, playing in a crappy rock band, ruining Nicole Kidman's marriage, hefting sheep around his farm in Australia, and taking that Billy Elliot kid under his wing and ruining his chances of ever being the least bit like Tom Hanks -- it's Russell Crowe!

Yup, I thought so. And Russell got to decapitate people with a sword. Good job, Russ.

Best Song

Bob Dylan, "Things Have Changed" (Wonder Boys)
Some crappy Randy Newman song. (Oh, wait, that's redundant.)
The obligatory Disney song.
And a couple of other ones no one thinks will ever to win.

I don't know why they don't just save themselves the trouble of a big, long, rambling, mumbled speech from Dylan and just hand him the Oscar now. I mean, it's not like he's going to lose. I'd say the Disney song might have a chance of an upset, but it's Sting, and it's stupid. It's not even the best song in that movie. (I'm sorry, but when Tom Jones sings in a Disney flick, that's Oscar-worthy.)

And Randy Newman -- who decided this guy had talent? He's been rewriting the same song for the past twenty years, and people keep nominating it! The best thing about the song is one lyric -- "Show me a man who's gentle and kind, and I'll show you a loser." That's it. Fun over. Don't even get me started with it being from Meet the Parents.

Am I the only one who wanted that pretty Garth Brooks song from Frequency to get nominated? Please, tell me no. They could have scrapped any of those other songs, and I would have been happy. Well, except for the one by Bjork that wouldn't win even if it were nominated alone. I have to see that performance. What? You don't know who Bjork is? Umm, she's kind of an acquired taste. You might not want to know who she is after she performs. Just a warning.

Best Director

Billy Daldry (Billy Elliot)
Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
Ridley Scott (Gladiator)
Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich)
Steven Soderbergh (Traffic)

I don't get this thing where they nominate Soderbergh once for each movie he directed. That's just wrong. The guy directed two movies worthy of getting him a nomination. He deserves an Oscar. Not that I'm complaining all that much. Ang Lee's my favorite, and he's going to win, because the vote for Soderbergh's will split. So I'm just peachy. But, come on! Two movies! And you can't tell me Miramax wouldn't have poured out major dough to get Lasse Hallstrom nominated for Chocolat in that extra spot.

Best Picture

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Erin Brockovich

The next time I hear someone say, "But I don't waaaannnaaa see a movie I have to read," someone is going to get their rear end severely beaten. (Or, hey, I'm tiny -- I'll probably just bite some ankles.) Look, you ignorami, unless you're one of those people who move their lips when they read names out of the phone book, you will not have a problem reading subtitles.

And just as another aside, it shows just how stupid Americans are when I've got to watch a movie on Showtime with subtitles -- and it's Scottish. Ahem. But I digress.

Anyway, out of all of these nominated movies, Erin Brockovich and Chocolat have about as much a chance of winning Best Picture as I do. If there were a god -- or at least one who liked my opinions at all -- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon would win. I have to love a martial arts movie where they devote ten minutes to a ten-minute horse race/catfight/dirty-look-a-thon over a comb -- and I liked it.

But, no. The Academy never, ever takes a chance. And Marisa Tomei doesn't count, since I think we can all agree that wasn't a chance. That was a hangover. So, it's between Gladiator and Traffic, and the Academy loves epics. So, Gladiator it is.

And Russell got to decapitate people with a sword. Good job, Ridley Scott

Jennifer Matarese

Compare Jennifer's picks with the Academy's at Oscar.com.

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Check out the Crescent Blues reviews of the Oscar contenders:
Cast Away by Don & Dixie Mitchell
Gladiator by Alan M. Heller
Shadow of the Vampire by Lynn I. Miller
Shadow of the Vampire by Jennifer Matarese
Traffic by Don and Dixie Mitchell
Erin Brockovich by Jennifer Elcano