Due to some apparent “communication errors” I don’t have TV shows to come home to tonight. For obvious reasons I am way, way, WAY less than thrilled about this, so we are going to do our Oscars blog tonight as it does not look like I am going to be able to get around to seeing the movies I wanted to see before Sunday.

Best Picture:
I think this is going to be the most difficult category to call. I’ve seen four of the five movies, however I think it’s safe to say that the fifth (Letters from Iwo Jima) will not win. That being said, who wouldn’t want to see the little movie that could, Little Miss Sunshine, walk away with the gold (I’m not that naive.) And as much as I loved The Queen, Helen Mirren *was* that movie and as a whole, it is not deserving of Best Picture. So, I’m torn. Babel is the frontrunner, and for obvious reasons. Hollywood is still on its Crash high, which might work against Babel, but then again, it’s the movie that Hollywood loves to love. It makes you feel like you’re being a good person just by shelling out $10.50 to see it. Like you’re somehow enlightened and a better person. However, The Departed does not cater to our need to feel like worldly citizens who are globally aware. It made me want to be a badass undercover cop with a mean Bahston accent and an ABSURD case of potty mouth. And I like it. I can’t think of one thing in this movie that doesn’t gel the way I would hope it to. The writing is brilliant. The acting is out of this world. The directing is perfect, but not invasive and every last element, even down to the soundtrack, makes the movie unique, exciting and an absolute thrill to watch over and over again. Scorsese has delivered us the goods and it’s up to the academy to realize that picking a movie like Babel (or even Crash, for that matter) does not make you in tune with the “people” of the world outside the walls of your million dollar homes. (Basically, don’t vote for a movie based on its subject matter. And for the record, I did like Babel, it’s just that The Departed was a better picture and Babel would be picked for the wrong reasons. That’s all.)

Final Answer: The Departed. (After making that statement I immediately realize that I will be immensely let down.)

Best Director:

Scorsese. And loooonnnnggg past due, if you ask me.

Lead Actor:
I want DiCaprio, but I know it’s going to Whitaker. And I’m okay with that. As much as I enjoyed Leo in Blood Diamond, I do not think it was his best role. I have a feeling that the tragedy of DiCaprio is that it is going to take a few more nominations before he walks away with an Oscar. Which hurts, because I truly think he’s far superior than most actors these days . But give it to Whitaker. He deserves it, too, and I’m happy to see him get it.

Lead Actress:

Get it over with. Just give it to Helen Mirren. Moving on.

Supporting Actor:
Alan Arkin was great in Little Miss Sunshine, but again, I’m not that naive. Mark Wahlberg played my favorite badass potty mouth in The Departed (I was more shocked than anything by his performance).
But Djimon Hounsou. I’ve said since I saw the movie that he deserves this award. There is no way that I could possibly go with Wahlberg or Arkin to win this one, knowing how moved and impressed I was with Hounsou’s performance in Blood Diamond. Granted I didn’t see Dreamgirls (I’m still not seeing it. No. Not happening), and as much as I LOVE Eddie Murphy… maybe he should show that he’s making a clear departure from Nutty Professor/Norbit type movies, before he tries and passes himself off as an “Academy Award Winning Actor.” Or maybe I’m just missing the boat here.

Hounsou. Hounsou. Hounsou.

Supporting Actress
My heart is holding out for Abigail Breslin (the sweetness of the “am I pretty?” dialogue between her and Arkin in the hotel room tugs at all the right strings). And I think that Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi were phenomenal in Babel, and both had challenging roles that they mastered perfectly, but I think Jennifer Hudson has got this pretty much sealed up.

If you saw Children of Men, think about the last 20 minutes or so of this movie. Think long and hard. That should pretty much answer this one for you.

Documentary: I think I’d be amused by an Al Gore acceptance speech, but I think that Jesus Camp was one of the absolute best documentaries I’ve seen in a long time.

Foreign Language Film:
Totally biased because it’s the only one I saw, and it was absolutely brilliantly amazing. Pan’s Labyrinth.

(Side Note: I wish I saw any of the short animated films that were nominated.)

Adapted Screenplay: Borat? Or The Departed? Borat? Or The Departed? Borat? Or The Departed? My heart is with Borat, and depending on how dejected I feel by this point in the evening I may stick with Borat, but otherwise… The Departed.

Original Screenplay: I think that the brilliance of Little Miss Sunshine is that it is so simplistic in its screenplay and its dialogue, that it makes it utterly brilliant. The smallest things that are said by characters like Frank and Olive, and even the things that aren’t said by Dwayne, make this movie so smart and so intelligent. But, Babel was also extremely well written and presented a somewhat tired storyline in a great new light. I may have been harsh on Babel earlier, but understand that it’s not the movie I am against, it was excellent, but rather the reason I feel it would win next to a movie like The Departed. I’d be pleased with a Babel victory here.

So… what about you?