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…encouraged people to bring themed foods to pass.

KB and I brought Drumsticks (for Whiplash), Martin Luther King, Junior Mints (for Selma), and chicken tenders (because they’re a Bird, Man).

But the winner of the evening was Beth, who handmade these Mendl’s boxes (for The Grand Budapest Hotel) and then baked cupcakes to place inside.

Damn, Beth!

That’s commitment,

-Shady

Oscar's wine.

Tonight, we’re drinking it.

KB gets all the perks… or at least one of them,

-Shady

…for next week’s Oscars.

Since arriving, Banksy’s been busy making the city prettier. Here are a few pieces that have popped up around town since Monday (click on each image for a larger version):

The billboard was taken down within hours, but we’re heading out tomorrow to see a few of the wall pieces in person.

Stay tuned,

-Shady

We’ll see how accurately I picked the winners.

If interested, you can predict your own winners with this printable ballot.

Calling my bookie,

-Shady

…and if you know me you know that I typically could care less. Most of this is due to the fact that I used to not see a lot of movies; some of it is due to the fact that I loathed those movies that would get nominated.

But this year, two things are different. First, since moving to Los Angeles we get to see a lot of free movies (especially Academy Award contenders). And second, 2009 was the first year in a long time that produced a good number of films that I consider to be Oscar-worthy.

So since this is the first year since 1995 (I was rooting for “Pulp Fiction” back then) that I’ve actually given a shit about the Oscars, I’ve decided to add my two cents to the insanity.

The full nominee list is below.

The people/films I want to win are in red.

The people/films I expect to win are in green.

And if I both want and expect them to win, those people/films are in black.

Also, I’ve only listed the categories I can comment on or care about. If I haven’t seen any of the films from a certain list, or if it’s a category I’m not interested in (sorry, Best Original Song) the list was omitted.

NOMINEES FOR THE 82ND ACADEMY AWARDS:

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”
  • George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
  • Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
  • Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
  • Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Matt Damon in “Invictus”
  • Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
  • Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
  • Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
  • Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
  • Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
  • Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
  • Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
  • Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Penélope Cruz in “Nine”
  • Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
  • Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
  • Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Animated Feature Film

  • “Coraline” Henry Selick
  • “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson
  • “The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements
  • “The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore
  • “Up” Pete Docter

Cinematography

  • “Avatar” Mauro Fiore
  • “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” Bruno Delbonnel
  • “The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd
  • “Inglourious Basterds” Robert Richardson
  • “The White Ribbon” Christian Berger

Directing

  • “Avatar” James Cameron
  • “The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow
  • “Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino
  • “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels
  • “Up in the Air” Jason Reitman

Film Editing

  • “Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
  • “District 9” Julian Clarke
  • “The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
  • “Inglourious Basterds” Sally Menke
  • “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Joe Klotz

Foreign Language Film

  • “Ajami” Israel
  • “El Secreto de Sus Ojos” Argentina
  • “The Milk of Sorrow” Peru
  • “Un Prophète” France
  • “The White Ribbon” Germany

Music (Original Score)

  • “Avatar” James Horner
  • “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Alexandre Desplat
  • “The Hurt Locker” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
  • “Sherlock Holmes” Hans Zimmer
  • “Up” Michael Giacchino

Best Picture

  • “Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
  • “The Blind Side” Nominees to be determined
  • “District 9” Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
  • “An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
  • “The Hurt Locker” Nominees to be determined
  • “Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer
  • “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
  • “A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
  • “Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer
  • “Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Sound Editing

  • “Avatar” Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
  • “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson
  • “Inglourious Basterds” Wylie Stateman
  • “Star Trek” Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
  • “Up” Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Sound Mixing

  • “Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
  • “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
  • “Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
  • “Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
  • “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Visual Effects

  • “Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
  • “District 9” Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
  • “Star Trek” Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • “District 9” Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
  • “An Education” Screenplay by Nick Hornby
  • “In the Loop” Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
  • “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
  • “Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • “The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal
  • “Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino
  • “The Messenger” Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
  • “A Serious Man” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
  • “Up” Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

ctor in a Leading Role

  • Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”
  • George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
  • Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
  • Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
  • Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Matt Damon in “Invictus”
  • Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
  • Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
  • Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
  • Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
  • Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
  • Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
  • Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
  • Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Penélope Cruz in “Nine”
  • Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
  • Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
  • Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Animated Feature Film

  • Coraline” Henry Selick
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson
  • The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements
  • The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore
  • Up” Pete Docter

Art Direction

  • Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
  • Nine” Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
  • Sherlock Holmes” Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
  • The Young Victoria” Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

Cinematography

  • Avatar” Mauro Fiore
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” Bruno Delbonnel
  • The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd
  • Inglourious Basterds” Robert Richardson
  • The White Ribbon” Christian Berger

Costume Design

  • Bright Star” Janet Patterson
  • Coco before Chanel” Catherine Leterrier
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Monique Prudhomme
  • Nine” Colleen Atwood
  • The Young Victoria” Sandy Powell

Directing

  • Avatar” James Cameron
  • The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow
  • Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels
  • Up in the Air” Jason Reitman

Documentary (Feature)

  • Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller
  • The Cove” Nominees to be determined
  • Food, Inc.” Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
  • The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
  • Which Way Home” Rebecca Cammisa

Documentary (Short Subject)

  • China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
  • The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
  • The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
  • Music by Prudence” Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
  • Rabbit à la Berlin” Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

Film Editing

  • Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
  • District 9” Julian Clarke
  • The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
  • Inglourious Basterds” Sally Menke
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Joe Klotz

Foreign Language Film

  • Ajami” Israel
  • El Secreto de Sus Ojos” Argentina
  • The Milk of Sorrow” Peru
  • Un Prophète” France
  • The White Ribbon” Germany

Makeup

  • Il Divo” Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
  • Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
  • The Young Victoria” Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

Music (Original Score)

  • Avatar” James Horner
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox” Alexandre Desplat
  • The Hurt Locker” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
  • Sherlock Holmes” Hans Zimmer
  • Up” Michael Giacchino

Music (Original Song)

  • Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
  • Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
  • Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36” Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
  • Take It All” from “Nine” Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
  • The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Best Picture

  • Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
  • The Blind Side” Nominees to be determined
  • District 9” Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
  • An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
  • The Hurt Locker” Nominees to be determined
  • Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
  • A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
  • Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer
  • Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Short Film (Animated)

  • French Roast” Fabrice O. Joubert
  • Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell
  • The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” Javier Recio Gracia
  • Logorama” Nicolas Schmerkin
  • A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park

Short Film (Live Action)

  • The Door” Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
  • Instead of Abracadabra” Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström
  • Kavi” Gregg Helvey
  • Miracle Fish” Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
  • The New Tenants” Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Sound Editing

  • Avatar” Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
  • The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson
  • Inglourious Basterds” Wylie Stateman
  • Star Trek” Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
  • Up” Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Sound Mixing

  • Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
  • The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
  • Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
  • Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Visual Effects

  • Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
  • District 9” Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
  • Star Trek” Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • District 9” Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
  • An Education” Screenplay by Nick Hornby
  • In the Loop” Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
  • Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal
  • Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino
  • The Messenger” Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
  • A Serious Man” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
  • Up” Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

Calling my bookie,

-Shady

…which means they might actually be good this year.

Reality television should be illegal,

-Shady

“The Visitor” (Groundswell Productions)

1. It’s well thought out, wonderfully written, and fully realized conceptually, so it figures it would get the total shaft from the Golden Globes. When your “best of” list includes “The Reader” and not this movie, the validity of your picks goes completely out the window.

2. After years of being a character actor, Richard Jenkins outshines nearly every performance of any other actor being considered for an award this year. And the man appears to be able to do everything, from dark comedy (“Six Feet Under” and “Burn After Reading”) to slapstick fart humor (“Step Brothers”) to more subtle dramatic works like this. Hopefully the Oscar nominations will acknowledge Jenkins and right the wrong the Golden Globes created.

3. “The Visitor” is writer/director Thomas McCarthy’s second film! As if I weren’t already jealous of his talents, he’s also an actor on “The Wire,” and will be playing Principal Caden in Peter Jackson’s movie adaptation of Alice Sebold’s novel The Lovely Bones. I hate people who are good at more than one thing! Leave something for the rest of us sad bastards!

4. The film pushes Fela Kuti. You should want to see it for that fact alone.

5. If you read this blog regularly you know my clear choice for “Best Picture” of 2008 is “Wall-E.” But that movie aside, “The Visitor” is definitely high on my list. I’d say it’s just as good as “Slumdog Millionaire” and slightly better than “The Wrestler.” It’s out on DVD now, so rent it.

RATING: Countless dialogues on race relations, immigration, and what’s truly important in life

Land of the free, home of the brown,

-Shady

Old Poop!