So, three years ago, I had some extraordinary luck with my Oscar picks, simply by assuming that the Academy hates me and would not do me the courtesy of agreeing with me. As the past few years have given me no reason to think otherwise, I'm once again using the Worst Case Scenario Oscar Pick Strategy, the theory being, of course, that if I'm wrong, I'm happy -- I win either way.
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE I want Cheadle to win, as I wasn't impressed by Ray and really just don't give a crap about Jamie Foxx. So, Foxx it is.
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Oooh, who do I REALLY not want to win here? Hard to say. It'd make me happy if Alda or Church took it. So let's say Morgan Freeman. He was quite the curmudgeon.
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE Swank. Who was actually quite good, but I'm done with Hilary Swank winning Oscars. Especially when Winslet has naught.
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Both frontrunners annoy me here -- but I'll give it to Blanchett, because I like Portman enough to be happy for her, and dislike Blanchett's performance parody of Katharine Hepburn enough to hope she doesn't win.
WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY) I want it to be Sideways. So very much. So, again, I'll go with Baby.
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY) I may have liked The Aviator a great deal, but not because of its screenplay. And every other nominee in this category (with the exception of Vera Drake, which I haven't seen) would be preferable to me. So John Logan, my nemesis because of Star Trek: Nemesis, wins his second award.
BEST PICTURE I loved all of The Aviator and only two-thirds of Million Dollar Baby (damn, I hated the third act). Which means, per the rules, I'm picking Baby. But man, I'll totally be happy if I'm wrong.
DIRECTING See Best Picture. I've never been a huge Scorsese fan, but he really knocked my socks off with The Aviator. And Eastwood's certainly a great director, but the third act of Million Dollar Baby failed for me on a directing level primarily -- too long and too sappy.
I have to say, most of the nominees don't inspire great rage or adoration in me. It's a kinda dull year populated with many good, but not great, movies, and if it weren't for Chris Rock, I'd have little hope of this year's ceremony being at all interesting.
But there's always Chris Rock. And there's always the chance I'll be wrong.