- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 2, 2006

Best Picture

Heart says: “Crash.” It has more pitch-perfect dialogue than any film I’ve ever seen — explaining why the windows on public buses are super-sized, why some people park their cars on their front lawns and, finally, why Angelenos keep crashing into each other.

Head says: “Crash.” Because I honestly can’t stop thinking about those bus windows and front lawns.

Best Director

Heart: Steven Spielberg, “Munich.” There’s no one else on this planet who knows how to tell a story in such a visually compelling way while still keeping the narrative perfectly coherent.

Head: George Clooney, “Good Night, and Good Luck.” He surely should win for one of his three nominations this year, and the directing award is the one he deserves most.

Best Actor

Heart: Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Capote.” He is Truman Capote from the minute he comes on the screen wearing his cashmere scarf and vicuna coat, and Capote’s career wrenches your heart.

Head: David Strathairn, “Good Night, and Good Luck.” He is Edward R. Murrow from the minute he comes on the screen smoking a cigarette, and Murrow is even more cerebral than Capote.

Best Actress:

Heart: Keira Knightley, “Pride and Prejudice.” I cannot resist those lips.

Head: Felicity Huffman, “Transamerica.” Times have changed, and all previous transvestite/transgendered Oscar nominees have lost: Dustin Hoffman in “Tootsie,” Julie Andrews and Robert Preston in “Victor/Victoria,” and John Lithgow in “The World According to Garp.”

Best Supporting Actor

Heart: William Hurt, “A History of Violence.” He almost literally steals the show at the end of the film.

Head: Paul Giamatti, “Cinderella Man.” It’s only logical that the academy, having completely overlooked Mr. Giamatti in “Sideways” last year, would try to make amends.

Best Supporting Actress

Heart: Catherine Keener, “Capote.” From the minute she comes on-screen not wearing a cashmere scarf and vicuna coat, she is Harper Lee.

Head: Michelle Williams, “Brokeback Mountain.” Because this film, surprisingly, will not win any other major Academy Awards, and she was a surprise hit.

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