Beer: The Reader is a brilliant movie that deals with the issue of Shame...
Trakin: Something you know something about... along with guilt and humiliation.
Beer: Ah, three words to live by.


HITS’ Fearless Forecasters Beer and Trakin Say Hooray for Bollywood
HITS' Lenny Beer and Roy Trakin survey the Oscar nomination field and find it tastes a lot like curry...

Trakin: For the most part, there don’t seem to be any glaring omissions in this year’s Oscar nominations, unless you consider The Dark Knight and Bruce Springsteen...
Beer: I feel that Kristin Scott Thomas was clearly overlooked in Best Actress.
Trakin: I read the Springsteen song didn't meet the minimum requirement for a nomination from a so-called "music guild" that decides on such things. It certainly was eligible. You have any theories on that?
Beer: I don't know what the minimum requirements are, but I like the song and it was a great companion for the film.
Trakin: And they could have really expanded the potential audience for the telecast with a Bruce performance, or even one of the High School Musical numbers...
Beer: It also seems clear that Slumdog Millionaire will win that category and I assume nearly every other one in which it will compete.
Trakin: So you see a Slumdog sweep at this point? Picture, Director, Screenplay, etc.
Beer: Yes I do… and sound, editing, etc
Trakin: Who do you like in Best Actor? Mickey Rourke or Sean Penn?
Beer: I think it is a two-way battle, yes.
Trakin: How do you see it playing out? Rourke is a great story, and the Academy seems to like Sean Penn, but he has already won one.
Beer: I think it will be close, and it’s too early to call, but it will be one of them.
Trakin: You like Kate Winslet as the favorite for Best Actress?
Beer: I also see a two-way duel here.
Trakin: Anne Hathaway?
Beer: Between Ms. Winslet and Anne Hathaway, exactly…
Trakin: My money’s on Winslet. She appears ready to get her first one, thanks to Ricky Gervais’ original suggestion in Extras she take a role in a Holocaust movie.
Beer: I am rooting for them both; their performances were excellent and award-worthy.
Trakin: Heath Ledger would appear a lock in Best Supporting.
Beer: Total lock, not even worth a conversation…
Trakin: Supporting Actress is always a crapshoot, isn't it? Could be anyone at this point.
Beer: It's a great field and always gives us surprises. Taraji P. Henson is on fire. Viola Davis is incredible.
Trakin: I’m so glad they didn’t muddy up this category by putting Kate Winslet here. Viola Davis' role was the quintessential supporting part... five minutes that completely changed the movie.
Beer: Marisa Tomei is also very good, and looks sensational naked
Trakin: If it's politics, then you gotta think Davis and Henson split the black vote... and then Davis and Amy Adams split the Doubt vote. Leaving Penelope Cruz vs. Marisa Tomei... It wouldn’t surprise me to see Cruz take this one, but Tomei’s performance was brave. Between this and her role in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, she’s now the go-to performer for on-screen nudity.
Beer: I just have a gut feeling that Taraji gets the only non-technical big win for Benjamin Button here.
Trakin: Well, that would be a bit of an upset at this point, but that fits in with the quirky nature of this category.
Beer: My point exactly
Trakin: I know you were a big supporter of The Reader, but did the fact it beat out The Dark Knight for the last Best Picture slot surprise you at all?
Beer: Not in the slightest. I am not a fan of The Dark Knight; I liked Iron Man much better.
Trakin: I guess, when it comes to the Academy, never count out a Holocaust movie...
Beer: The Reader is a brilliant movie that deals with the issue of Shame…
Trakin: Something you know something about... along with guilt and humiliation.
Beer: Ah, three words to live by.
Trakin: Gotta pick for Best Song? It has to be “Jai Ho,” that final Bollywood number from Slumdog... Very uplifting... I can just see the Oscar production now.
Beer: I think “O… Saya” will win.
Trakin: M.I.A. on TV… Not since Bjork has the Oscars had such a cutting-edge performer.
Beer: I hope she has a better outfit than Bjork… Whatta nightmare.
Trakin: Waltz with Bashir for Best Foreign Film and Wall-E for Best Animated Feature feel like odds-on favorites at this point.
Beer: Waltz with Bashir is a 10… That movie is genius, heavy, mind-bending, although Hebrew is not exactly a mellifluous language. And Wall-E could easily have been nominated for best pic.
Trakin: One last self-serving comment: I predicted the nominations for both Melissa Leo and Richard Jenkins when I first saw Frozen River and The Visitor. Both well-deserved, even if they don't stand a chance of winning.
Beer: As did I, love them both...but they will not win. I think Melissa got Kristin Scott Thomas' slot, it was probably very close, they were both great, in gut-wrenching films
Trakin: Any thoughts on Hugh Jackman as host? I sure wish Ricky Gervais was doing it... Or Bret and Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords. Just to hear them say, “Yis.”
Beer: Conchords are the best. They make me laugh and make me happy every time I watch. Not really down with the Hugh Jackman thing. I thought he sucked on the Tonys.
Trakin: To wrap up, then, Slumdog Millionaire will be the Barack Obama of this year's Oscars... The ultimate outsider win. Hollywood Fetes Bollywood...
Beer: Slumdog all the way. Danny Boyle's direction was magnificent and the story is just perfect.
Trakin: Unless Benjamin Button walks backwards into an upset.
Beer: NO WAY. Next week, let's make our final Grammy picks.