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2006 Oscar Nomination Predictions

Hey everybody, it's Oscar time. Now before the predictions come out, I'm going to share my predictions. I did not order these in preference, just alphabetically. Here we go.
(*=favorite to win)
Best Picture
1. Brokeback Mountain* - Didn't see it but it is getting such praise from many critics and it looks likely to be this year's big winner.
2. Capote - Once again, I did not see this movie but trailer looks great and it has enough buzz to be another "filler" nomination.
3. Crash - My favorite of the year, I would say is the most likely candidate to beat out B.M.,  but an early 2005 release likely hurt this movie.
4. Good Night, and Good Luck - An interesting movie, though not my type. It was obviously well-made and seems to be one of the "filler" nominees.
5. Walk the Line - This year's "Ray." It could do even better than Ray did last year, but that will likely come from the actors.
This year's spoiler is...Munich, as it was a hit or miss with most critics.
Best Director
1. Ang Lee* - He has been nabbing many awards so far and will likely claim his second Oscar this year.
2. Bennett Miller - I've heard good things, that's about it.
3. George Clooney - Has been recieving a lot of praise for his direcorial debut, and I would put him as the second most likely to steal the Oscar from Lee behind...
4. Paul Haggis - As Crash catches steam and picks up awards, Haggis has been mentioned more and more often. I think that if he were to steal this category, it would culminate in Crash stealing Best Picture as well.
5. Steven Spielberg - A favorite of the Academy in one of his boldest feats ever likely will be a "filler" this year.
This year's spoiler is...David Cronenberg...or Fernando Meirelles (my favorite to spoil)...or Woody Allen (my second favorite)...or maybe even Ron Howard (my third favorite). Although so far the race for directorial winner seems done, the race for nominations is very competitive.
Best Actor
1. Heath Ledger - One of the three most likely to take the award, he has recieved a lot of praise for this role.
2. Joaquin Phoenix - Nearly a spinning image of a young Cash, may grab the award, but won't have it as easy as Jamie Foxx, who had a more difficult role to play.
3. Philip Seymour Hoffman* - Since it seems that either Phoenix or Hoffman will be the likely two grab the award, it will be the second year in a row where imitation has resulted in success. Hoffman's Capote is favored over Phoenix's Cash.
4. Russell Crowe - The first of the "other two" slots, Crowe gave a performance which could've nabbed him another Oscar, however Cinderella Man's summer release (and failure at the box office) greatly hurt his chances. A second life on DVD could get him into the nominations category.
5. Terrence Howard - He is the one most overlooked out of all of the actors in the field, in my opinion, and although he got a Golden Globe nomination, it will be difficult to tell whether the Academy will be so keen on letting Howard get the credit he deserves this awards season.
This year's spoiler is...David Strathairn. Another actor portraying a real life person, Strathairn has gotten high praise, however I feel that he shouldn't be in the top five. I would much rather see Ralph Fiennes' Constant Gardener performance steal a spot.
Best Actress
1. Charlize Theron - Has been nominated in the past and gave another strong performance.
2. Felicity Huffman* - An enchanting performance which earned her a Golden Globe, Huffman playing a man who is in the process of getting a sex change is my favorite to get the Oscar.
3. Judi Dench - She's not going to win, but she's gotten praise and it is enough to get her a nomination.
4. Reese Witherspoon - The only Best Actress to win at this year's Globes, Reese Witherspoon is great in Walk the Line and is Huffman's biggest threat this year.
5. Ziyi Zhang - Although Memoirs of a Geisha dissapointed, Zhang still shone and could get a nomination, though it is unlikely that she will win.
This year's spoiler is...Keira Knightley, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for Pride & Prejudice. Joan Allen also poses a threat in what I think is an overrated performance in The Upside of Anger.
Best Supporting Actor
1. George Clooney - George was shocked at winning at the Golden Globes, but Syrianna, which did not live up to expectations, will see it's best chance at winning through Clooney.
2. Jake Gyllenhaal - Once again, Brokeback is going to be given a lot of nominations. Gyllenhaal is one of my favorite current actors and he will likely barely miss out on winning come Oscar time.
3. Matt Dillon - My favorite performance of all the nominees, Matt Dillon's racist cop is powerful, and provided with a strong push from the rabid Crash fanbase, Dillon could recieve the statue.
4. Paul Giamatti* - Ignored for two great Lead Actor performances in American Splendor and Sideways, Giamatti should finally pick up a nomination for Cinderella Man. He is my favorite to win, though I'm dissapointed that his first Oscar nom will be coming from a roll as a supporting actor.
5. Don Cheadle - The only one of the five who I feel has no chance at winning, Cheadle did a fine job, but not good enough for a very strong field.
This year's spoiler is...William Hurt or Terrence Howard (Crash). Both had strong performances, and Howard had an excellent year, but it will be a shocker if they displace anyone on the above list with the exception of Cheadle.
Best Supporting Actress
1. Catherine Keener - I see Capote doing fairly well, and those who recognize the film and Hoffman, will likely recognize Keener as well, for her portrayal of Harper Lee. I don't believe she will win, but a nom is likely.
2. Frances McDormand - Since Charlize Theron is the only thing attracting a lot of attention to the film North Country, a lot of McDormand's success lies in Theron's hands. Therefore, a Best Actress nomination for Theron will do wonders for McDormand.
3. Maria Bello - My third place finisher in this category, Bello may lose some votes because some consider her part to be too big for a supporting role.
4. Michelle Williams - Another Brokeback nomination WILL be found here but I have the great performance by Williams losing out only to...
5. Rachel Weisz* - She was excellent, as always, in The Constant Gardener, a film which sadly will likely be overlooked in most categories except this one. Picking up a Golden Globe on her way to the Oscars doesn't hurt Weisz' case either.
This year's spoiler is...either Amy Adams or Thandie Newton (who I felt gave the best performance by anyone in any category this year). Both actresses sadly seemed to be overlooked when awards season came and the hyped-up movies were released. Adams will be more likely squeezing into the category, but Newton has always got a chance when backed by a fanbase like Crash's.
Best Original Screenplay
1. Cinderella Man - A summer release may be taking the wind out of Cinderella Man's sails.
2. Crash* - It has been picking up enough steam to not only secure a nomination, but make itself a favorite to win.
3. Good Night, and Good Luck - GNGL could surprise people and take this category, but I see the Oscar most likely going to either Crash or...
4. Match Point - In "the grand return of Woody Allen," Allen proves he has an eye for good movie making, regardless of genre. It did not pick up quite enough steam to secure nominations in the acting and directing categories, but the Academy will award Allen in some form, an a screenplay nomination is most likely.
5. The Squid and the Whale - Another contender that could surprise people is Noah Baumbach's dramedy, but it likely will not get more than a nomination.
This year's spoiler is...Syriana, although it dissapointed many, there may still be just enough left in the tank to get a screenplay nomination, and nothing more.
Best Adapted Screenplay
1. Brokeback Mountain* - For the last time, Brokeback Mountain seems to be the all-out favorite this year, and Adapted Screenplay will likely be one of the areas where it succeeds, just like in the Golden Globes.
2. Capote - Likely won't pick up enough steam to surpass this year's darling.
3. The Constant Gardener - See Capote.
4. A History of Violence - See Constant Gardener.
5. Munich - The most likely to give up its spot in this category, it all depends on how warmly the Academy accepted this controversial film.
This year's spoiler is...Walk the Line. WTL could easily replace Muncih, but I still place Munich slightly higher.
***My Personal Top 5 Movies of 2005
1. Crash
- Powerful, meaningful, great.
2. Match Point - Excellent, different, must-see.
3. Cinderella Man - Well-done, uplifting.
4. Wedding Crashers - Comedies get very little respect and I thought this was the best R-Rated comedy I've ever seen.
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - What can I say? I'm a fan.
***My Personal Top 5 Performances of 2005
1. Thandie Newton in Crash - Will likely, and sadly, be overlooked in what I thought was one of the most powerful performances I've ever seen.
2. Matt Dillon in Crash - Nearly as good as Newton, however Dillon has been getting praise, though it is a little less than what I think he deserves.
3. Peter Sarsgaard in Jarhead - A very underrated performance, probably overlooked because a) Jarhead bombed, it was supposed to make more money and be a better movie and b) the list of names more famous than Sarsgaard's is enough to over shadow him. Jake Gyllenhaal, one of my favorite actors, also was great in Jarhead but won't appear on this list.
4. Ralph Fiennes in Constant Gardener - Fiennes has a way that he carries himself that is captivating. It is hard to identify, but something about him puts him in a high class of performers. He proved he belonged in The Constant Gardener, a roll which he will sadly be overlooked for.
5. Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers - It is a shame that comediens are almost never rewarded for their performances, as Vince Vaughn's was incredible. He was pitch perfect at every moment, and laugh out loud hilarious. To sum it up, I end with the old tale of an actor on his death bed saying, "It's easy to die. What's harder is making people laugh."

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