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Oscar noms are in!

movies I've seen
movies I want to see

BEST PICTURE
The Aviator
Finding Neverland
Million Dollar Baby
Ray
Sideways

Tough call. I haven't seen any of them yet. From what I've heard, The Aviator has a boring plot. Million Dollar Baby is supposed to be riveting, and Sideways is said to be a good road trip. I've heard lots of good things about Ray and Finding Neverland, but nothing really outstanding about the pictures as a whole. I'll have to go with Million Dollar Baby.

BEST DIRECTOR
Martin Scorsese, The Aviator
Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby
Taylor Hackford, Ray
Alexander Payne, Sideways
Mike Leigh, Vera Drake

Again, tough call. I've actually not seen any of Martin's or Mike's movies. As for Clint, I've seen two. I've seen one of Taylor's and one of Alexander's (he's from Omaha, dontcha know). I really have to go with Clint on that one.

BEST ACTOR
Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda
Johnny Depp, Finding Neverland
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator
Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby
Jamie Foxx, Ray

I am familiar with all of the actors. Interestingly, all the nominees except Clint played real people. Now, Leonardo and Jamie won the Golden Globes for Best Actor. Still, I'll have to go with Don Cheadle, since his role was the most heroic.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alan Alda, The Aviator
Thomas Hayden Church, Sideways
Jamie Foxx, Collateral
Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby
Clive Owen, Closer

I'm familiar with all of these actors too. Clive won the Golden Globe, but everyone has said such amazing things about Morgan Freeman, so I'll go with him (despite my crush on Clive).

BEST ACTRESS
Annette Bening, Being Julia
Catalina Sandino Moreno, Maria Full Of Grace
Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake
Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby
Kate Winslet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I'd never heard of Catalina before people started talking about Maria Full Of Grace (I think that might be her first movie). I'm familiar with the others. Now, Hilary and Annette both won the Golden Globes. I know Hilary already won an Oscar for Boys Don't Cry, but I'm not sure if Annette has. Honestly, I'd have to go with Hilary.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, The Aviator
Laura Linney, Kinsey
Virginia Madsen, Sideways
Sophie Okonedo, Hotel Rwanda
Natalie Portman, Closer

The Academy did it again. Laura's character is, I believe, the lead female character in Kinsey. Like Jennifer Connelly in A Beautiful Mind, we have a lead actress nominated for Best Supporting Actress simply because she'd have a better chance at winning. I have nothing against either of them, but it's not fair. /Sarah Natalie won the Golden Globe, and I know the Academy likes young actresses just starting out, but I don't think she'll get this one. I think I'll have to go with Cate, since I've heard Katharine Hepburn was very hard to portray.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Incredibles
Shark Tale
Shrek 2

Honestly, Shark Tale doesn't have a prayer. If you ask me, it's only nominated because the Academy needs three nominations for this category. Since Shrek 2 is the only one I've seen, I have to go with that for now.

BEST ART DIRECTION
The Aviator
Finding Neverland
Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events
The Phantom of the Opera
A Very Long Engagement

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this has to do with how visually stunning a movie is. I know it's the only one of the five I've seen, but Phantom of the Opera is a gorgeous movie. From the commercials I've seen, the others don't even compare.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Aviator
House of Flying Daggers
The Passion Of The Christ
The Phantom of the Opera
A Very Long Engagement

Now this one's for how well the movie is filmed, right? From the commercials I've seen, only House of Flying Daggers compares to Phantom of the Opera, but I still hope Phantom wins.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
The Aviator
Finding Neverland
Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events
Ray
Troy

Ooo, tough one. I've only seen Troy. While I love some of the costumes in that, there seems to be an awful lot of tie-dye, which I know wasn't available in ancient times. The Series of Unfortunate Events costumes in the commericals I've seen look very creative, so I'll have to go with that one.

BTW, Phantom was robbed!

(I'm skipping several categories because I'm just not interested in them.)

BEST MAKEUP
Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events
The Passion of the Christ
The Sea Inside

I haven't even seen commercials for The Sea Inside, but it looks like the real competition is between the realistic gore of Passion and Jim Carey's extreme makeover in Series of Unfortunate Events. I'll have to go with The Passion of the Christ.

BTW, Phantom was robbed again!

BEST SCORE
Finding Neverland
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events
The Passion of the Christ
The Village

That last one's a joke, right? Seriously, we have another movie only nominated to fill the fifth slot. Anyway, I've only heard the music from PoA, so I'll have to go with that.

Phantom wasn't eligible since most of the score was taken from the musical.

BEST SONG
"Accidentally in Love," Shrek 2
"Al Otro Lado Del Río," The Motorcycle Diaries
"Believe," The Polar Express
"Learn to be Lonely," Phantom of the Opera
"Look To Your Path (Vois Sur Ton Chemin)," The Chorus

This really comes down to "Accidentally in Love" vs. "Learn to be Lonely." I've heard both songs several times, and I honestly think that "Accidentally in love" is the better song, so I think it should win.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
I, Robot
Spider-Man 2

Werewolves and dog animagus vs. Doc Ock. I'll go with PoA.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Before Sunset
Finding Neverland
Million Dollar Baby
The Motorcycle Diaries
Sideways

It looks like Finding Neverland has the most unique story, so that's my pick.

Oh, and Phantom was robbed, again.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Aviator
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Hotel Rwanda
The Incredibles
Vera Drake

I'm going with The Incredibles for this one.

So Phantom got three Oscar noms. I hope this works out better than what happened with the Golden Globes.