A lot of critics are sure to squawk about Golden Globe winner Sacha Baron Cohen (aka "Borat") being left off the list of Best Actor nominees, but the Academy has a rich history of snubbing comedy/musical award winners (most egregious recent example: Gene Hackman in The Royal Tenenbaums, who snagged a Globe but was left off the list of Oscar nominees). And the list of nominees is formidable, owing mainly to the inclusion of Ryan Gosling, who, per Weekly film critic Brian Miller, turned in the performance of the year in Half Nelson and who is my pick to upset the likes of Peter O'Toole, Leo DiCaprio and Forest Whitaker in the Best Actor category, ala Adrien Brody in The Pianist.
My other upset pick is Little Miss Sunshine prevailing in the Best Picture category. Miller hated this indie dramedy, calling it condescending. Personally, I found it impressive for its lack of condescension, but this is what makes critiquing such a wholly subjective medium so much fun. Anyhoo, here's a partial list of Oscar picks to get your betting pools percolating: Best Picture: Little Miss Sunshine; Best Actor: Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson; Best Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen; Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls; Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls; Best Director: Martin Scorsese, The Departed.
Agree? Disagree? Get in here with your picks and insight in the "Comments" section.