When it comes to predicting the Oscars one can go one of two ways: the wishful thinking way, which has you choosing what you would like to most see win as opposed to what will really win; and the following-the-herd method. When one follows what every other Oscar prognosticator predicts, one tends to do better. It is, however, a lot like following the masses in every other matter from going to church to buying a brand of beer: it won’t make you feel any better about yourself afterwards but at least you won’t stand out.If you’re hoping to win your office pool, it is wise to follow the general consensus. You will do better than most when you go that way, but you won’t predict the unpredictable, like Adrien Brody surprising everyone with a Best Actor win for The Pianist two years ago. To that end, I am here to offer you the general consensus. As the editor of the extremely popular (at least we like to think so) Oscarwatch.com, I have been knee deep in the general consensus for months now. Depending on what day of the week you’re reading this, the Oscars will have not yet happened or been over already for days, in which case you can laugh at how wrong I was! Or applaud the general consensus for being, once again, dead on. Despite the last-minute surge for Crash, it doesn’t appear that Best Picture will be awarded to the Paul Haggis picture but instead will go to Ang Lee’s magnificent Brokeback Mountain, easily the most talked about film of the year, the highest grossing of the top five, and coming into the race with a remarkable quantity of accolades: one of only a handful of films to win both the Los Angeles Film Critics and the New York Film Critics; to win three of the top awards at the Golden Globes for picture – drama, screenplay and director; to win the Producers Guild, the Directors Guild AND the Writers Guild, the British Academy of Film’s top honor and countless other critics’ awards. For the Academy to turn around and be the only major awards group to snub Brokeback would be, at this point, not only an embarrassment but one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history.Best Picture:General Consensus/I predict: Brokeback MountainPotential Spoiler: CrashBest Director: General Consensus/I predict: Ang Lee, Brokeback MountainSpoiler: George Clooney for Good Night, and Good Luck or Paul Haggis for Crash.Best Actor has been in lockdown for months now. No one has really challenged the frontrunner, Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose performance in Capote was breathtaking. Closing in on him is Heath Ledger’s heartbreaking Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain. If love for Brokeback is stronger than most predict Ledger could squeak in. General Consensus/I predict : Philip Seymour Hoffman, CapoteSpoiler: Heath LedgerBest Actress was all around a disappointing category, with the exclusion of the best female performance of the year with Joan Allen in The Upside of Anger. Naomi Watts was also snubbed for King Kong. Now, there are only two contenders – Felicity Huffman and Reese Witherspoon. Witherspoon is the girl of the hour and it’s hard to imagine anyone else beating her.General Consensus/I predict: Reese Witherspoon, Walk the LineSpoiler: Felicity Huffman, TransamericaSupporting Actor is the toughest of the major categories to predict. If they reward George Clooney for his great year, here is his best chance to pick up an award. Paul Giamatti is long overdue and won the Screen Actors Guild award. Matt Dillon is the Comeback Kid and has been interviewing everywhere. And Jake Gyllenhaal, representing the “should really be a lead” role has a strong chance to collect on some Brokeback love.General consensus: George Clooney, Syriana I predict: Paul Giamatti, Cinderella ManSpoiler: Matt DillonSupporting Actress:General Consensus/I predict Rachel Weisz, The Constant GardenerOriginal Screenplay:General Consensus/I predict Crash Spoiler: Good Night, and Good LuckAdapted Screenplay:General Consensus/I predict: Brokeback MountainAnd the rest:CinematographyGeneral Consensus: Brokeback Mountain I predict: Memoirs of a GeishaForeign Language FilmGeneral Consensus: TsotsiI predict: Paradise NowDocumentaryGeneral Consensus: March of the PenguinsI predict: Darwin’s NightmareArt DirectionGeneral Consensus/I predict: Memoirs of a GeishaCostumesGeneral Consensus/I predict: Memoirs of a GeishaSoundGeneral Consensus: King KongI predict: Walk the LineSound EditingGeneral Consensus/I predict: King KongEditingGeneral Consensus/I predict: CrashMakeupGeneral Consensus/I predict: Chronicles of NarniaScoreGeneral Consensus/I predict: Memoirs of a GeishaSongGeneral Consensus/I predict: “Into the Deep,” CrashLive Action ShortGeneral Consensus: Six ShooterI predict: The RunawayDoc ShortGeneral Consensus/I predict: God Sleeps in RwandaAnimated FilmGeneral Consensus/I predict: Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-RabbitAnimated Short:General Consensus: The Moon and the Son: An Imagined ConversationI predict: 9Visual Effects:General Consensus/I predict: King Kong
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