Friday, February 25, 2005


Gonna go all over the map here

For starters, if you get a chance, send up a quick prayer for me at 10:45 this morning, as I join the ranks of the sterilized.

Second prayer request is for a friend of mine. Last year, her father passed away after a series of illnesses. Shortly after that, she reacted badly to medication she was taking for migraines and lost more than 50 pounds, as she could not keep anything down. Finally, after getting that back under control and reaching a point where she felt ready to return to work, her mother suffered a major stroke the day she was supposed to return. She's now taking the summer off and I really believe that she just needs to feel God's peace during a very challenging life season.

Next up, Al posted a very thought-provoking piece on how the modern/post-modern church is evolving. You can read it here.

Next, the only awards show I ever watch is on this Sunday. The Oscars has always had a special place in my heart (especially given my love of movies). I am a big music buff, too, but the Grammys never get my attention. For some reason, the Oscars do. I always read up on the events (I haven't seen all the Best Picture nominees ahead of the presentation in at least 10 years), so I like to think I have a good handle on handicapping the race. Anyhoo, here's a fast 'n' furious analysis and set of predictions for Sunday:

Best Picture: If you believe the critics, it should be Sideways. However, Million Dollar Baby is building up strong momentum. Ray and Finding Neverland seem to be distant contenders, more likely to compete in the lower categories while The Aviator looks to be the victim of some backlash and bad buzz.

Best Actor: Nearly everyone is choosing Jamie Foxx for his role as Ray Charles while at the same time lamenting the fact that Paul Giamatti was not even nominated for Sideways. The consensus seems to be that Don Cheadle, Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio are afterthoughts in this category and only Clint Eastwood can knock Foxx off the top of the mountain.

Best Actress: Starting to sound like a Million Dollar Baby sweep, as Hilary Swank is apparently leading the pack. Annette Bening is very much in the running, as is Imelda Staunton. Catalina Sandino Moreno is the "just glad to be nominated" candidate and Kate Winslet is the dark horse.

Best Director: Truly a two-horse race between two candidates deserving not only for the movies for which they are nominated, but also for their body of work. Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood are the long favorites, although Alexander Payne could sneak in for his work on Sideways. Taylor Hackford and Mike Leigh have no chance.

So there's the major categories. Here's my picks (a complete list of nominees can be found here):

Animated Film: The Incredibles
Sound Editing: Spider Man 2
Sound: Ray
Makeup: Passion of the Christ
Original Song: "Believe" (Polar Express)
Score: Finding Neverland
Costume: Lemony Snicket
Art Direction: Aviator
Editing: Million Dollar Baby
Cinematography: Aviator
Adapted Screenplay: Sideways
Original Screenplay: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Director: Martin Scorsese (Aviator)
Supporting Actress: Virginia Madsen (Sideways)
Supporting Actor: Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby)
Actress: Annette Bening (Being Julia)
Actor: Jamie Foxx (Ray)
Picture: Million Dollar Baby

There you go.

See you in a few days (when the pain's gone away.)