- The Washington Times - Friday, February 23, 2007

Oscar parties will be springing up all over the country Sunday night when the Academy Awards will be handed out. Meanwhile, I’ll be flying from Indianapolis (through Detroit) after covering the NFL Scouting Combine and won’t be home until 10 p.m.

As an avid movie-goer, here are my picks for Oscar Night.

Best picture

Who Should Win: The Departed. In a weak year for nominated pictures (“Babel” stunk and I’m semi against foreign-language films from even being eligible), Martin Scorsese’s picture isn’t a masterpiece but it is the best movie of the year.

Who Will Win: The Departed.

Best director

Who Should Win: Martin Scorsese, The Departed. I think he should have won numerous times, most recently for Gangs of New York and Aviator. But he’s been shut out. This shouldn’t serve as a Lifetime Achievement Award, but he should win.

Who Will Win: Scorsese.

Best actor

Who Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio, Blood Diamond. If I was an Oscar voter, I would take the performance for which Leo was nominated and combine it for the performance he should have been nominated for (The Departed). The guy can flat out act.

Who Will Win: Forest Whitaker, Last King Of Scotland.

Best actress

Who Should Win: Helen Mirren, The Queen. I left that movie actually believing she was the Queen. Now that’s acting.

Who Will Win: Mirren. Can’t go wrong with Mirren, Judi Dench (Notes On A Scandal) or Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada) in this category. An extremely strong year for actresses.

Best supporting actor

Who Should Win: Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls. Whatever good vibes he created by playing James “Thunder” Early, he lost with the release of Norbid last week.

Who Will Win: Murphy.

Best supporting actress

Who Should Win: Cate Blanchett, Notes On A Scandal. Fine performance, she should win her second Academy Award, joining her win for The Aviator. I wasn’t a big fan of Jennifer Hudson’s performance in Dreamgirls. She screamed more than she sang. And she didn’t really have to act.

Who Will Win: Hudson.

Best original screenplay

Who Should Win: The Queen. A great script that netted Mirren a nomination and should have netted the Tony Blair character a nod as well.

Who Will Win: Babel. For what reasons, I have no idea, but it’s been winning most of the pre-Oscar awards.

Best adapted screenplay

Who Should Win: Notes On A Scandal. Great script.

Who Will Win: The Departed. Great script as well.


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