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Alex Deleon predicts Cool Oscar Winners

by Alex Deleon, Hollywood

No self-respecting film critic can resist the temptation to try to predict who the winners will be on Oscar night, so, for better or for worse, with the big self-congratulation orgy less than a week away -- here are my predictions and conjectures.

Helen Mirren(The Queen) and Forest Whitaker (The Dictator) will easily claim the Best Actress and Best Actor prizes, respectively. (The odds of anyone else upsetting the front runners in these two categories are about 100 to 1)

Best Picture should go to Clint Eastwood's "Letters From Iwojima" but Steven Frear's "The Queen" just might edge Letters out if it snowballs into a landslide. Best Director will almost certainly go to Martin Scorcese for his egregiously over-rated "The Departed" because, having overlooked his really superior films, "Taxidriver" (1975) and "Raging Bull" (1980), Hollywood owes him one, and this might be his last chance. "The Departed" is one of Mr.
Scorcese's worst films ever, but this is the way Hollywood operates. It is unlikely that Eastwood will get a third directorial Oscar, but with the aura and clout he packs in this town, you can never rule Dirty Harry completely out. The director I personally think really deserves it, Steven Frears, for his work on "Queen" is an outside possibility -- in racetrack terms, maybe a 10 - 1 shot. But again, if that snowball effect kicks in ... And another even-bet for Queen would be Best Screenplay by Peter Morgan. In fact, since Mr. Morgan was also a co-writer for "The Last King of Scotland", he is almost a shoo-in for Best Scenarist of the year.
I have not seen enough of the contenders to venture guesses on Supporting roles, but my personal choice (if I had one) for Best Supporting Actor would be Michael Sheen, for his portrayal of British Prime Minister Tony Blair in The Queen. Round and round she goes -- where she'll stop on February 25 nobody (except maybe Clint Eastwood) really knows.

Alex, Hollywood
February 20, 2007


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