The Silly Season of Predictions - The 79th Academy Awards(I cannot think of the Academy Awards without thinking about dear old COEP's Regatta, for the Oscars and the Regatta increment side by side in Feb-March each year. Good luck for the 79th Regatta!)
Performance by an actor in a leading role
The Buzz: Forest Whitaker in "The Last King of Scotland" is apparently a shoo-in.
Sentimentally: Peter O’Toole in "Venus". He's been at the Oscars so many times! Give the man a competitive Oscar :-)
Blind Spot: DiCaprio? Unlikely.
Performance by an actor in a supporting role
The Buzz: An open race. Mark Wahlberg for "The Departed" leads, perhaps?
My Sentimental Fav.: Alan Arkin for "Little Miss Sunshine"
Blind Spot: Surprises likely. IIRC, this is usually the first award to be given out on the night, so we'll know first up.
Performance by an actress in a leading role
The Buzz: Helen Mirren in "The Queen"
My Sentimental Fav.: Mirren again. Terrific actress. Jeff from 'Coupling' would be rooting for her too :-)
Blind Spot: Penélope Cruz in "Volver"
Performance by an actress in a supporting role
The Buzz: Rinko Kikuchi in "Babel"
My Sentimental Fav.: Little miss Abigail Breslin in "Little Miss Sunshine"
Blind Spot: Can't think of an upset here
Achievement in directing
The Buzz: Tight as ever. Perhaps the long awaited Martin Scorsese Oscar, this time for "The Departed", will materialise. But there's grizzly old Clint-y. Never, ever discount him. He's always feeling lucky.
My Sentimental Fav.: Marty for sure.
Blind Spot: Alejandro González Iñárritu. The ensemble-hyperlinked-globalised movie directors are in vogue
Best foreign language film of the year
The Buzz: The absence of "Volver" was apparently a surprise, as was the inclusion of "Water". But seems like "Pan’s Labyrinth" is the front-runner here.
My Sentimental Fav.: I suppose one would have to say "Water", but I didn't quite like it a lot. But still, good luck.
Blind Spot: Have nary a clue
Best motion picture of the year
The Buzz: Ah, the big one. "Babel" or "Letters from Iwo Jima". "The Departed" a close follower. Tough to call. I picked the first two because they have Academy-friendly themes.
My Sentimental Fav.: The unlikely one: "Little Miss Sunshine". More practically, "The Departed".
Blind Spot: "The Queen"? Impossible, mate.