Oscar Predictions (with winners)

(2.26.07) UPDATE: Picks I correctly predicted are denoted with an (*), incorrect picks denoted with an (X) and have the actual winners added below. Out of the 21 categories I attempted to predict, I got only 11 right. No surprises with the big awards but I was surprised by a lot of the technical selections.

Here are my picks for Sunday's Academy Awards show:

Adapted Screenplay:
(X)Children of Men
Winner: The Departed

Original Screenplay:
(*)Little Miss Sunshine

Winner: The Departed

(X)Children of Men
Winner: Pan's Labyrinth

Art Direction:
(*)Pan's Labyrinth

Costume Design:
Winner: Marie Antoinette

(*)Pan's Labyrinth

Original Score:
(X)The Queen
Winner: Babel

Original Song:
(X)"Listen" from Dreamgirls
Winner: "I Need To Wake Up" from An Inconvenient Truth

Sound Editing:
(*)Letters From Iwo Jima

Sound Mixing:

Animated Film:
Winner: Happy Feet

Foreign Film:
(X)Pan's Labyrinth
Winner: The Lives of Others

Documentary Feature:
(*)An Inconvenient Truth

Supporting Actress:
(*)Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls

Supporting Actor:
(*)Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine

Best Actress:
(*)Helen Miren in The Queen

Best Actor:
(*)Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland

(*)Martin Scorsese for The Departed

Best Picture:
(X)Letters From Iwo Jima
Winner: The Departed

I won't even try to pick the short film categories as I have not seen any of them, the academy should just upload the nominees to their website; it would benefit everyone involved.


DVD Review: A Prarie Home Companion

Featuring an all-star ensemble cast, meticulous pacing, and a demonstration in the fine art of blending comedy, drama and ambient dialogue, there's no mistaking who directed A Prairie Home Companion. Robert Altman's final film possesses each of the signature elements associated with his filmmaking style. It's not his best film, nor most groundbreaking; but now that the knowledge it was his last work has sank in, Companion has inescapably become one his most important films.
Yesterday Altman would have been 82. He never won an Oscar for directing, but he was nominated six times and received an honorary award from the Academy just last year. A Prairie Home Companion is an excellently crafted film with each of the players on top of their game. The film is about death, endings and last shows. It possesses both humor and tragedy and makes me smile just thinking about it.
The DVD is great, if you're an Altman fan, go buy it; it's essential to your collection.

Garrison Keilor worked closely with Altman on this film and he wrote a sort-of eulogy a while back, here's the link. And here's an article from today's New York Times about a recent tribute to Altman attended by many of the actors who had worked with him.