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Trakin: Will Jon Stewart be a good host?
Beer: Yes... No Oprah, no Uma...
Trakin: I do guarantee one thing... The lowest-rated Academy Awards in history.

TWO GUYS PICK THE OSCARS

They Can’t Quit You: Beer and Trakin Huddle by the Campfire, Get Cozy and Tout This Year’s Race
Trakin:  Is it going to be a Brokeback kind of evening at the Academy Awards?  Or will Crash crash the party?
Beer:  I am a big fan of Crash, but the recent producer controversy is not shedding a good light on their chances.
Trakin:  As if it had a shot.... Though the public seems to favor Crash, if I'm reading the polls correctly. But the public doesn't vote, does it? This isn’t the People’s Choice, after all.
Beer:  So i'll take Brokeback for pic and director.
Trakin:  Going out on a limb, eh? That's pretty much a slam dunk, I'd say. Though a lot more people seem to have seen Crash... If you were voting, would you go for Crash?
Beer:  I'd vote for Capote, but I think Crash is also a better pic than Brokeback.
Trakin:  The “mo”-mentum, if you’ll pardon the pun, is all for the Mountain climbing over the competition. Any chance Philip Seymour Hoffman doesn't get the nod for Capote?
Beer:  He is the absolute lock of the nite.
Trakin:  Who would you have voted for?
Beer:  Hoffman's performance is the best of the year in any category.
Trakin:  It was this year's Ray, an incredible transformation... over Joaquin Phoenix, whose performance wasn't even the best in his own movie.
Beer: Reese stole Walk the Line, IMO... And saved it from a mediocre script.
Trakin: Speaking of, will she hold off the hard-charging Felicity Huffman in the stretch run?
Beer:  I am taking Reese to win, howabout you?
Trakin:  Until I saw Transamerica, I thought she was a lock... but Huffman's performance was a remarkable feat... I don't know if she can overtake the big lead, though.
Beer:  So, enough waffling, make your pick.
Trakin:  Bottom Line, Witherspoon in a Walk.
Beer:  Whattabout supporting winners?
Trakin:  Supporting actor is interesting... I bet you're gonna tell me Paul Giamatti gets a make-up for last year's Academy snub.
Beer:  Actually, Giamatti was snubbed even more for American Splendor... but I am taking George Clooney.
Trakin:  This could be the only category where Clooney has a shot.
Beer:  And I think his stature in the Academy now makes him a must to win something...  Although Matt Dillon was sensational in Crash.
Trakin:  If Crash gains more momentum, he could sneak in as a representative of a great ensemble. But I 'm going Giamatti... No reason, just a feeling... Supporting actress is always the wild card, isn't it?
Beer: Yep, but I am taking the favorite for once, gimme Rachel Weisz here.
Trakin:  She was so good in Constant Gardener... Is there a budding ingenue in this category?  I keep thinking the Marisa Tomei Syndrome may be applicable....
Beer:  Amy Adams takes that title...
Trakin:  Ya know... just to be contrary, I take her in the one major upset of the night. Sight unseen, BTW... I haven't even seen Junebug... I know you're going Ang Lee for director, but bear in mind, the last time he was a prohibitive favorite, for Sense and Sensibility, in 1985, he lost to an actor: Mel Gibson for Braveheart... Could Clooney spring an upset here?
Beer:  Lee would not be my choice, but he has all the momentum.
Trakin: I'll go the chalk with Lee. Foreign Film has to be between between Paradise Lost and Tsotsi, right?
Beer:  Definitely, I saw Tsotsi this weekend and I was absolutely blown away... I think it is among the best of the year. I’m picking it to win.
Trakin:  Wonder if the "Palestine" entry wins in the "Jewish" Academy... Probably not. I'll second your pick, even if Harvey Weinstein isn't around Miramax anymore to tilt the voting.
Beer:  I recommend that all movie fans rush out and see Tsotsi.
Trakin:  Do the Penguins shuffle off with Best Documentary?  Is there a holocaust entry this year?
Beer:  There are some strong docu contenders this year, but the Penguins are a prohibitive fave, and I am taking them.
Trakin:  Too bad the best documentary of the year, Grizzly Man, wasn't nominated... I liked Murderball, too, though.
Beer:  And Enron was unreal... I also was impressed and moved by Grizzly Man.
Trakin:  Penguins is the second-highest grossing doc of all time after Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.
Beer:  And deservedly so. The "making of" that is included in the DVD is also amazing.
Trakin:  Love cuddly penguins, but not as much as man-eating grizzlies. Adapted screenplay is a lock for Brokeback Mountain... No competition here.
Beer:  Brokeback is a clear "director"’s movie.
Trakin:  So... who do you think will win?
Beer:  I am going with Capote in Adapted.
Trakin:  You smell an upset, hunh? My pick for original screenplay would be The Squid and the Whale, but this is where Crash gets its nod. Though the Syriana screenplay was really good, too.
Beer:  I'll take Crash also. I don’t think it will be a one-horse race. Lots of movies will be honored.
Trakin:  A-ha... So maybe a Brokeback backlash?
Beer:  If it wins pic and director and maybe cinematography, that would be more than enough.
Trakin:  How about Original Score?  Brokeback, Constant Gardener, Memoirs of a Geisha, Munich, Pride & Prejudice... And make note John Williams gets credit for the Geisha score, with your fave, Yo-Yo Ma and Yitzhak Perlman...
Beer:  Brokeback for score will be tough to beat, but Geisha has a shot...
Trakin:  Funny enough, the Gustavo Santaolalla score made Brokeback, but I don’t see him winning in this category. I'm going for Academy perennial Williams.... Does Kathleen "Bird" York's great Crash song, “In the Deep,” top the better-known Dolly Parton? No way "It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp" gets it, right?
Beer:  I'll take Dolly for Best Song... but I have to run because I am off to the movies.
Trakin: What are u seeing?
Beer: Imax Deep Sea in 3D with refreshments.
Trakin:  One last thing... Will Jon Stewart be a good host?
Beer:  Yes... No Oprah, no Uma...
Trakin: I do guarantee one thing... The lowest-rated Academy Awards in history.
Beer: Say goodnight, Gracie...
Trakin: OK... The balcony is definitely closed...

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