Ok. This is my first Oscars since I started blogging. I have disagreed mightily with the Academy going back to the Forrest Gump Best Picture win of 1994. The stab in the heart that was Titanic beating L.A. Confidential in 1997. Passing up the chance to do the honorable thing and allowing themselves to be bought for Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan or Elizabeth in 1998. Passing up the chance to do something gutsy by choosing Gladiator over Traffic in 2000. The pre-selection of 2001 as "Ron Howard's year", when his above average A Beautiful Mind beat out a field of contenders each one of which was better than Howard's offering.
Everyone seems to agree that (a) no-one has seen any of these films, and (b) consequently no-one really cares who wins. It's been reported that in recent years Oscar drew its best numbers when there was a heavy favorite in the field (think Forrest Gump, Titanic, Gladiator, The Return of the King). I'm sure by now TV execs are hoping and praying that the selection of first-time host Chris Rock will help to offset what are expected to be lackluster numbers. Rock has done his bit to generate buzz for the show by claiming to never watch awards shows and claiming that no self-respecting, straight, black male would.
That being said, here are my picks for the major categories. These picks are based on having seen almost none of these films, actors or actresses. My choices reflect my prediction on how the Academy will behave based on my intuition and knowledge of previous Oscar history.
Best Picture: The Aviator
Best Director: Martin Scorsese
Best Actor: Jamie Foxx
Best Actress: Hilary Swank
Best Supporting Actor: Morgan Freeman
Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett
Best Animated Film of the Year: Shrek 2
We'll see how I do come Tuesday morning,