Snowstorm heads east after blasting West. Oh, fantastic.
Man sought in foiled Florida kidnapping: "A 13-year-old boy bound to a tree in the woods foiled a kidnapping-for-ransom plan by using a safety pin, his teeth and his hands to escape, police said Sunday."
Boston flips over another ad campaign.
Paper: Strom family enslaved Rev. Al kin.
Strange New Creatures Found in Antarctica.
Text messages land teacher in hot water: "A middle school teacher trying to buy pot was arrested after she sent text messages to a state trooper instead of a dealer, police said."
Principal deems Jesus chant offensive, italics mine: "A Catholic school principal has organized sensitivity training for students who shouted 'We love Jesus' during a basketball game against a school with Jewish students."
Virtual terror strikes Second Life.
NYCC 2007: Stephen King's Cell Next for Roth.
So, here's how the Oscar blogging works, for those of y'all who are new: God and my internet connection willing, I blog the show live and hit post during the commercial breaks. I'm hearing that the show is going to be particularly overlong tonight, so there's going to be a lot of posts. Everything will be behind a cut to minimize the assault on your friendslist, and if you defriend me or filter me out for the night, I will
Oscar predictions (see full list of nominees): Sadly, Oscar.com has locked the pool and I won't actually get to play. Fie.
The big categories:
>> Best Actor: Forest Whitaker. Duh. Oscar Central reports that only a few brave souls are even predicting Peter O'Toole.
>> Best Actress: Helen Mirren. Again, duh. Oscar Central reports that no one is predicting anyone else. In fact, didn't that bookie in London already pay out all the bets laid on Mirren last week? If there is some kind of earth-shattering upset, I'd predict Judi Dench. If.
>> Best Supporting Actor: Most of us are expecting Eddie Murphy, although the ill-timed release of Norbit may have taken the shine off his chances. Mark Wahlberg has a lot of goodwill behind him, but I suspect his nomination is much like Ryan Gosling's: he should just be thrilled to be here for what it'll do for his career. If anyone steals it out from Murphy, I suspect it'll be Alan Arkin.
>> Supporting Actress: Oscar Central only lists one prediction for Abigail Breslin--all the others are for Jennifer Hudson. I'll tell you this, though: if Breslin and/or Arkin win, you'll know the score for Best Picture.
>> Best Director: You know, I honestly think that if Scorsese doesn't taket his one--pity Oscar or not--there may actually be booing in the auditorium. If he doesn't take it, Paul Greengrass might, but I suspect it would line up with whichever movie then ends up winning Best Picture--Iñárritu or Eastwood. So what I’m saying is, Scorsese winning does not mean The Departed will automatically win, since there’s a sentimental reason behind the voting; but if Iñárritu or Eastwood win, Babel or Letters from Iwo Jima will probably follow. Assuming either man lives to take the stage, of course.
>> Best Picture: You know what? The only thing I am sure of is that The Queen won’t win. I just don’t think it’ll resonate with American voters; it’s another one of those “Should be thrilled to be here” nominations. As for the other four? I have no idea. Babel seemed to have it in the bag early on; then Little Miss Sunshine seemed to take the lead. In fact, I was walking through the den and heard some talking head on Fox saying that LMS was the expected winner, which I find astonishing on some level--not because it's a comedy, but because it's such a small movie. It's the kind of movie that's not a Best Picture--not every movie has to be, you know. It's a little movie, and that's the niche it fills, and I like it all the more for being one. As someone else (oh, my dying brain cells) put it, I'd (also) rather it not win that be the movie everyone resents for not being worthy of it. I'm putting down The Departed just because; among those three movies, I have no idea.
>> Animated: Well, Cars has been winning most of everything so far.
>> Art Direction: Man, I would really like to go with POTC2 for this one, if only because
I am completely biased the sets--particularly Tia Dalma's shack--were really fine work. Most predictors seem to be going with Pan's Labyrinth, however.
>> Cinematography: Children of Men, widely--but not universally--predicted. The entire slate is extremely strong here (I would be perfectly happy with The Illusionist), but COM actually brings some innovation to the table as well.
>> Costume Design: Curse of the Golden Flower actually won the guild award for this one, and I've said all along that it's Marie Antoinette's biggest threat. I'm still going with MA, though.
>> Documentary: Most likely An Inconvenient Truth, the most widely viewed of the nominees.
>> Film editing: This is a tough category to call. I would like to see Children of Men win this one, but it's probably going to come down to Babel and The Departed, and because Babel involves intertwining storylines, I'm going with that one as a prediction. If Babel doesn't win big, this might be one of its consolation prizes.
>> Foreign language: Pan's Labyrinth. Accept no substitutes.
>> Makeup: I'm guessing Pan's Labyrinth for this one, as it actually involves heavy (and creative) use of prosthetics. Pan's Labyrinth is also a good guess in almost any category where it appears, given that it received more nominations than any other foreign film not also nominated for Best Picture.
>> Score: I really don't know--the Golden Globe winner, The Painted Veil, wasn't even nominated. I'm hearing predictions falling mostly to either The Queen or Babel, so I'm just going to flat-out guess The Queen. Ironically, this is one of the few nominated movies I've seen, and I can't remember the score at all; if I'd had my way, The Illusionist and The Fountain would have somehow been up for this as well. (And I don't know if POTC2 was eligible, given its re-use of themes from the first movie, but... I love the kraken music. I can't help it!)
>> Song: I'm hearing mostly that "Listen," one of the three Dreamgirls songs, is probably going to take it. It came out yesterday that the three actresses will all perform, but they're going to switch up songs; I don't know which one was originally Beyoncé’s, but I would not be surprised to find out she or her father were involved in making sure she got to sing this one on the show.
>> Screenplay (adapted): I'm hearing mostly The Departed for this one.
>> Screenplay (original): Mostly Little Miss Sunshine for this one.
>> Visual effects: I just watched POTC2 with my sister last night--she actually hadn't gotten around to seeing it yet, due to her school/work schedule--and I'm telling you, if it doesn't win this category, it will be highway robbery.
Categories no one ever knows:
>> Documentary short: The Blood of Yingzhou District. Not unanimous, but it's what I'm hearing the most.
>> Animated short: I'm hearing The Little Matchgirl, particularly from people who have seen it.
>> Live-action short: It seems to be narrowed down to Binta y la gran idea and West Bank Story. I'm going with Binta on a complete whim.
>> Sound editing: I'm hearing Letters from Iwo Jima for this one, although I would like POTC2 to win, and have absolutely no idea otherwise.
>> Sound mixing: I'm hearing Dreamgirls, aptly enough, for this one.
All right, I’m off to grab a late lunch. See you in--three?