With my Eyes Of Laura Mars, I give you the nominees.

masochism n. 1. A willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences.

Well, color me a masochist when it comes to the Academy Awards. Every year I shake my fist at the television, cursing the Oscar gods for their ignorance, and vowing never to watch again. A monkey will learn to not go for the electrified banana after he's been shocked a few times, but like clockwork every year, I return to get my annual zap-o-agony. But at least with my lifetime of being electrified, I've learned a thing or two about how these guys work. So without further adieu, here's who's going to be nominated in the top six categories.

Best Picture: Million Dollar Baby, The Aviator, and Sideways are like a bagel's favorite sidekick: lox. The only question is who's going to nab the final two spots between Finding Neverland, Kinsey, Incredibles, Ray, and Hotel Rwanda? Incredibles ain't gonna happen; Finding Nemo getting snubbed pretty much confirmed that the Best Animated Feature category has killed the chances of any animated flick sneaking in. Kinsey's chances of getting nominated are about as small as Peter S-...I can't finish that sentence or Jen will beat me to death. So what have we got left? Neverland, Ray, Rwanda. The Academy likes films with large black casts about as Michael Moore digs Fox News, so there ain't no way they're nominating two of 'em. So Finding Neverland gets in by default; besides, they dig schmaltz. And in the last slot, I'm going to go with Ray since people generally prefer grooving to good tunes as opposed to thinking about preventable genocide.

The final 5: Million Dollar Baby, The Aviator, Sideways, Finding Neverland, Ray.

Director: You can always count on at least one nom for a director whose film got snubbed. But besides Eastwood, Scorsese, Payne, Forster, and Hackford, does anybody really have a shot? Yeah, there's my beloved Michel Gondry for Eternal and Yimou for Hero or Flying Daggers. But I think Yimou's screwed since he has two flicks out this year, so he'll probably split his own vote. So why won't they nominate Gondry? Just to spite me. So I'm sticking with the five I've got. Maybe that's the ballsy move! Or perhaps it's just a cop out by a wuss.

The final 5: Eastwood (MDB), Scorsese (Aviator), Payne (Sideways), Forster (Finding Neverland), and Hackford (Ray).

Best Actor: This one's iffy. The only two locks are Jamie Foxx and Leo DiCaprio. Then you've got a big pool with Cheadle, Eastwood, Neeson, Bardem, Giamatti, and Depp in the mix. I'm going with Cheadle for the #3 slot as a consolation prize for hosing Rwanda. Neeson can't possibly get nominated...I wake up in cold sweats thinking that accent. And I believe last year's nomination of Depp cleared their conscience for ignoring him for so long, so I think he's out as well. I'm giving the #4 slot to Eastwood since MDB is flying high; I think he's coming along for the ride. And American Splendor was too fringe for them to nominate Giamatti last time, so they'll make up for their (deserved) massive guilt this time around and give him the #5 slot for Sideways.

The final 5: Foxx (Ray), DiCaprio (Aviator), Cheadle (Rwanda), Eastwood (MDB), Giamatti (Sideways).

Best Actress: This is simply going to go exactly the same as the SAGs. Those people telling you Uma and Delpy have a shot here? In the immortal words of Cletus...they's lyin'.

The final 5: Hilary Swank (MDB), Annette Bening (Being Julia), Kate Winslet (Eternal...), Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full Of Grace), and Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake).

Best Supporting Actor: Morgan Freeman, Thomas Haden Church, and Clive Owen are nominations you can take to the bank. Freddie Highmore, Peter Saarsgard, Jamie Foxx, James Garner, and David Carradine are duking it out for the final two slots. Highmore's too young, I don't see that happening. And who would be able to face their maker knowing that they nominated The Notebook in any way, shape or form? So Garner's out. For the same reason I think Giamatti's getting in, I think this is Peter Saarsgard turn to be nominated. Not getting nominated for Shattered Glass was a travesty. And last but not least, I have a feeling in my gut that Carradine is going to sneak in. After all, it's not like he's EVER going to be up again. Why no Foxx? C'mon, eeeeeeverybody knows that this was a lead performance and that they only dumped him here for the nomination. It'll rub enough members the wrong way, trust me. Unless it doesn't.

The Final 5: Clive Owen (Closer), Morgan Freeman (MDB), Thomas Haden Church (Sideways), Peter Saarsgard (Kinsey), and David Carradine (Kill Bill 2).

Best Supporting Actress: Virginia Madsen, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, and Laura Linney are all guaranteed to go to the big show. The only real question is who #5 will be. Conventional wisdom says Kate Winslet for Finding Neverland, but double-nominations are pretty rare and we all know she's going to be returning to the red carpet many, many times. So I'll go with Sophie Okonedo for Hotel Rwanda. She's got great buzz, and besides, there always has to be at least one "Who the heck is that?" nomination.

The final 5: Virginia Madsen (Sideways), Cate Blanchett (Aviator), Natalie Portman (Closer), Laura Linney (Kinsey), and Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda).

And there you have it. I'll return tomorrow to beat my chest with triumphant pride.

Related tune: I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash (Real Audio via blackmusicamerica.com

posted by drew on 1/24/2005

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