I have a long history of disagreeing with the Academy dating back to 1994 when "Forrest Gump" won Best Picture over "The Shawshank Redemption". I could go on about the terrible injustices meted out by the Academy (e.g., "Titanic" over "L.A. Confidential") but won't.
Instead I am going to list my predictions for the "Big Five" awards along with who I think ought to win. Here goes:
Best Picture: "Brokeback Mountain" - It has all the buzz and momentum and has already entered the American lexicon.
My Pick: "Walk the Line" - This is a movie that normal folk can relate to which makes it unsuitable to the Academy. It doesn't flatter the Academy's intellectual vanity.
Best Director: Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain" - Again, big Mo' for "Brokeback" will carry Lee along with it.
My Pick: Steven Spielberg, "Munich" - I'm afraid the excellent morality tale will end up being shut out.
Best Actor: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote" - Again, he has all the momentum going in and the depiction of supreme egotist Capote flatters the Academy's intellectual vanity.
My Pick: Joaquin Phoenix, "Walk the Line" - For the same reason that "Walk the Line" won't win Best Picture, Phoenix will not win the Actor's trophy.
Best Actress: Felicity Huffman, "Transamerica" - Has anyone outside NY, LA and the Academy even seen this movie? Yet lauding movies about homosexuals and transsexuals makes the Academy feel more enlightened than "Red State" America.
My Pick: Reese Witherspoon, "Walk the Line" - For the same reasons Phoenix will not win Best Actor, Witherspoon will not win Best Actress.
Best Supporting Actor: Matt Dillon, "Crash" - This excellent, intricate story of race relations in California will probably not pick up nearly as many awards as it deserves. Dillon is their best shot.
My Pick: Matt Dillon, "Crash" - "Crash" should win more Oscars than "Brokeback Mountain". I mean, really. How relevant are gay cowboys in America? Especially compared to race relations.
Best Supporting Actress: Catherine Keener, "Capote" - Keener is a great actress in the same mold as previous Supporting Actress winner, Marcia Gay Harden. This pick will help stoke the Academy's sense of moral righteousness.
My Pick: Catherine Keener, "Capote" - She's just a great actress.
I'll check back after the awards and see how I did. Lord knows, I hope I am wrong on some of these.