less than a week away from the 79th annual Academy Awards, the awards
ceremony most likely to make me get angrier and angrier over the course
of four hours. Last year I actually got to my feet and yelled
obscenities at my television when Crash
got the Best Picture Oscar. This year looks like it has similar
potential for sheer fury-making, despite John Cassavetes having been
dead for some time. Over the next couple of days I’ll be taking a look
at the nominees in the major categories and viciously bad mouth the
ones I don’t like. Who will then take the gold on Sunday.

Part One: Best Screenplay

Part Two: Best Actor n a Supporting Role and Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Part Three: Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Leading Role

Now: Best Director

The movies that we think WILL win are highlighted in green.

The movies that we think SHOULD win are highlighted in white.

If the movie we think should win is the same as the movie that we think will win, the title will be in red.

Best Director
Babel – Alejandro González Iñárritu
The Departed – Martin Scorsese
Letters From Iwo Jima – Clint Eastwood
The Queen – Stephen Frears
United 93 – Paul Greengrass

Who wins: Come on. It’s Scorsese’s night. Duh.

CHUD Choice: We have to come down firmly on the side of Scorsese. Some people have taken to the game of dismissing The Departed; it’s not great Scorsese, they say. I will agree that the film doesn’t reach the amazing heights of Taxi Driver or Raging Bull or Boxcar Bertha or Goodfellas, but it’s a damn fine film. A very damn fine film. But because it comes from Scorsese one of the best films of the year isn’t enough – people expect him to rewire their synapses or something.

The rest: This could be one of the most boring Oscars ever – almost all the winners are obvious in advance. Even still, the list of nominees is one of the most impressive and diverse in years, and even if Paul Greengrass doesn’t have a prayer tonight, how awesome is it to see his work on United 93 recognized? This category does have the capacity to surprise, though – what if most of the Academy members assume that this is Scorsese’s year, so they throw their vote elsewhere? Plus, Clint Eastwood is in the mix, and if he got on that stage and demanded that the Academy blow him we’d be treated to a 96 hour telecast of actors, directors, producers and other members of the AMPAS on their knees, suckling from his gnarled old cock one by one.