WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: A bunch of Wilco, since a friend is trying to get me into the band. Plus I just burned a CD with a whole bunch of tunes from the wonderful film "Once" on it.
WHAT I'M READING: Found a new stash of Noam Chomsky at the downtown public library.
WHAT I'M WATCHING: Finishing up season nine of Seinfeld, plus viewing some films from the last year. Speaking of which....
THE 2ND ANNUAL DUNG ACADEMY AWARD PREDICTIONS:
I won't go into as much depth as last year, because I spent an hour typing out my predictions and only got like half of them correct. So here it goes, for a year in which I've seen virtually nothing, my Oscar guesses for the big ceremony tomorrow night:
1. MAKE-UP: Well, it sure as hell won't be Norbit. Pirates was more visually stunning than make-up-esque, so I'm going with La Vie en Rose.
2. ORIGINAL SONG: I think the Enchanted three will cancel each other out, and I hope they do. The only real award I truly have a major rooting interest in, because Falling Slowly from the exceptional film Once is deserving. An awesome tune, and I'm hoping Irglova and Hansard perform it live. Really a beautiful tune.
3. ORIGINAL SCORE: No clue. Ain't heard any of them. But, I stick to my theory that the Academy likes to reward all Best Picture nominees with one actual win, so I'll guess Atonement.
4. SOUND EDITING: Who ever knows this one? I'll just guess The Transformers.
5. SOUND MIXING: Again, what's the real difference? I don't think any academy voters know either, so they'll just go with The Transformers again.
6. FILM EDITING: Well, it usually matches well with the top prize, so I'll go with No Country for Old Men, although There Will Be Blood could have a shot.
7. COSTUME DESIGN: Can they ignore Elizabeth: The Golden Age? Me thinks not, though Atonement and Sweeney Todd could be in the running.
8. ART DIRECTION: Sweeney Todd for no good reason.
9. LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: Always a guess, and I think I'm almost always wrong. Just for picking's sake, I'll say Il Supplente (The Substitute).
10. ANIMATED SHORT FILM: I Met the Walrus because I heard it's got something to do with John Lennon, whom everybody loves. Also, everybody has heard of him, so he's got a leg up with the voters.
11. VISUAL EFFECTS: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was pretty darn cool looking, and I can't see them wanting to have "Three Time Oscar winner The Transformers" on their conscious.
12. ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Although PTA might have an outsiders shot, this is really Ethan & Joel Coen's award to lose at this point, for No Country for Old Men.
13. ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: As much as they love her, how could they not honor Diablo Cody for the Juno script? Plus, it keeps in line with my theory of every Best Picture nominee getting at least one award.
14. CINEMATOGRAPHY: I keep hearing great things about this tracking shot for Atonement, but I'm gonna take a gamble on There Will Be Blood, for no good reason.
15. FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Haven't really heard anything except that one is about the Holocaust, which the Academy loves to honor, so I'm going with the Austrian film The Counterfeiters.
16. ANIMATED FEATURE: Can't do grown up, and I've got to hope and pray that the penguin love affair is over, so me goes with Ratatouille.
17. DOCUMENTARY SHORT: No clue. Maybe Salim Baba.
18. DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Actually, I was incorrect. I'm rooting in this one also. No End in Sight is a helluva brilliant film, and deserving of this award.
19. SUPPORTING ACTRESS: This one is giving me trouble. On one hand, can they resist honoring the elderly Ruby Dee, who is in her eighties? On the other, Amy Ryan seems to be popular. It would be so much easier if Cate Blanchett hadn't just won it a few years back, as she would be a lock. But sticking to my theory of all Best Picture nominees winning something, I'm guessing Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton. My heart still says giving an award to an old person could happen though, even if she's only in the film for five minutes. Ask Alan Arkin last year.
20. SUPPORTING ACTOR: Seems an easy guess. Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men. If there is a big upset, this will be it though, with Holbrook getting the old vote.
21. ACTRESS: Julie Christie in Away from Her is the smart money bet, but the love of Juno could pull it out for Ellen Page.
22. ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood seems as close to certain as anything this year.
23. DIRECTOR: While I'm hoping for a PTA upset, you have to like the odds of Ethan & Joel Coen for No Country for Old Men being only the second pair to win the top directing prize.
24. BEST PICTURE: No Country for Old Men seems a shoe-in here. Maybe people get sick of it and vote for There Will Be Blood, but I don't see the upset this year. The last two major upsets in this category won't work this time, as the actors like No Country (ala Shakespeare in Love over Private Ryan) and it doesn't have the gay theme to scare off voters (ala Crash over Brokeback).
We'll find out tomorrow how right I am. Should be fun, as this will be my seventeenth year in a row of watching the Oscars.
Be Seeing You.