>>> Casual Misanthropy
By staff writer JD Rebello
February 25, 2005

By now, you know the drill. Every time a big awards show comes around, I, being Points in Case's Hollywood correspondent (which allows me little except to read www.rogerebert.com in the bathroom) am sent to cover the festivities. You've read my past Oscar and Emmy articles (and if you haven't, you really should because you won't find much better literature on the celebrity culture, unless you read the Da Vinci Code with Access: Hollywood blaring in the background). Whatever, today, I'm here to present my picks for this year's Oscar festivities, for gambling purposes only.

But first, a few rules of thumb:

1. I don't pick any gay movies (i.e. Chicago). Gays in entertainment are best left for wrestling and NBC spinoffs.
2. I only pick hot chicks in the actress categories.
3. I regularly have actually seen about 50% of the nominees, and by 50%, I mean 10%, and by 10%, I mean I caught the last ten minutes of "Sideways" off an illegal download.

On with the picks:

Best Supporting Actress

Cate Blanchett for THE AVIATOR (Miramax)
Laura Linney – KINSEY (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Virginia Madsen for SIDEWAYS (Fox Searchlight)
Sophie Okonedo – HOTEL RWANDA (United Artists)
Natalie Portman for CLOSER (Columbia Pictures)

"I've only seen The Aviator and if I wanted to see someone twitch and moan for four hours, I'd electrocute my dog."

Well, time for Rule #2. Surprisingly, four actresses I find quite attractive (even Sophie, whom I had to IMDB just so I could judge her fairly). Blanchett's out. Madsen had some definite MILF qualities in "Sideways," Linney's boobs were Things #1,461 and #1,462 that I liked about "Love, Actually" (a movie that I still haven't lived down). But let's not beat around the proverbial bush. It's Natalie Portman. She's so hot, I've actually made a list of body parts I'd be willing to lose for a chance with her. They include: lungs, kidneys, appendix, tailbone, right eye, bicuspids, and my Justin's Apple. Please, Natalie, just give me one chance. I beg you.

MY PICK: Nataliiee (I can't even type her name without trembling) Portman

Best Supporting Actor

Alan Alda for THE AVIATOR (Miramax)
Thomas Haden Church for SIDEWAYS (Fox Searchlight)
Jamie Foxx for COLLATERAL (Dreamworks SKG)
Morgan Freeman for MILLION DOLLAR BABY (Warner Bros.)
Clive Owen for CLOSER (Columbia Pictures)

Now for the fun part. I can't believe this, but I've seen three of the movies nominated. So let's start there. Freeman and Foxx are out because they are black. (Kidding! Just wanted to see if you were still paying attention.) I have no idea who Clive Owen is. M*A*S*H was probably my favorite part about the long, long, LONG "Aviator." But I'd still give the nod to Thomas Haden Church. In just ten years he goes from "Ned & Stacey" to the Oscars. That's like when Mr. Miyagi was nominated for an Oscar a few years after he was on "Happy Days." I'm sold!

MY PICK: Thomas Haden Church

Best Director

Martin Scorsese for THE AVIATOR (Miramax)
Clint Eastwood for MILLION DOLLAR BABY (Warner Bros.)
Taylor Hackford for RAY (Universal Pictures)
Alexander Payne for SIDEWAYS (Fox Searchlight)
Mike Leigh for VERA DRAKE (Fine Line Features)

The popular pick is Scorsese, only because he's been boned over so many times. Is there anyone out there who thinks "Dances With Wolves" was better than "Goodfellas"? Not me, and I'm the only voice that matters. Regardless, "The Aviator" was a plodding pile of dogshit. Whatever. "Ray" and "Sideways" were more actors' movies. And what the bloody hell is a "Vera Drake"? Isn't that a douche spray? I think it is. Anyway, I'll go with Clint.

MY PICK: Clint Eastwood

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Annette Bening – BEING JULIA (Sony Pictures Classics)
Catalina Sandino Moreno – MARIA FULL OF GRACE (Fine Line Features)
Imelda Staunton – VERA DRAKE (Fine Line Features)
Hilary Swank for MILLION DOLLAR BABY (Warner Bros.)

Back to the chick categories. I really had to go IMDB-happy for this one. So here goes: Annette Bening used to be hot. Staunton is old and I'm still not convinced "Vera Drake" is a real movie. Catalania Por Fevora Chalupa or whatever is meh at best, and looks like she would steal my bike (that's not a race comment, she really does). So it comes down to Swank and Winslet, and I'm sorry but I'll never let Swank live down "The Next Karate Kid." (For those scoring at home, that's two Karate Kid references in one column…solid.) Besides, I've got a soft spot for "Eternal Sunshine," probably my favorite movie of the year.

MY PICK: The chick from Titanic who wouldn't move her fat ass over so Leo could get on.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Don Cheadle for HOTEL RWANDA (United Artists)
Johnny Depp for FINDING NEVERLAND (Miramax)
Leonardo DiCaprio for THE AVIATOR (Miramax)
Clint Eastwood for MILLION DOLLAR BABY (Warner Bros.)
Jamie Foxx for RAY (Universal Pictures)

Back to the dudes. And quite honestly, I'm torn. I've only seen "The Aviator" and if I wanted to see someone twitch and moan for four hours, I'd electrocute my dog. Clint Eastwood can't act, so I don't know what the hell happened there. Johnny Depp CAN act, but I'm sick of girls going into orgasm mode every time they see him wearing an eye patch. So he's out. So that leaves Cheadle and Foxx. And I'll take Cheadle, for two reasons: 1. Those NFL Playoff commercials give me goosebumps, and 2. Because quite honestly I'm sick of movies where someone does a really good impression of someone else, and the entire acting world collectively shits themselves. Give me a break. I can do an impression of Moe from "The Simpsons," where's my Golden Globe? And by the way, is Ray Charles the new Tupac? I haven't heard shit about him since those Diet Pepsi commercials, now all of a sudden he dies, and Ray's winning everything but the Daytona 500. Weak.

MY PICK: Don Cheadle

Best Picture

RAY (Universal Pictures)
SIDEWAYS (Fox Searchlight)

Time for the biggest category of the night. Like I said before "The Aviator" made me want to hang myself. A movie about Peter Pan is a little too "sit on my lap while we listen to ‘Smooth Criminal'" for my liking. The Ray Charles tribute has to end before they ship a Latin Grammy to his gravesite, and "Sideways" is little more than a very funny comedy with way too much talk about wine. Seriously. It was like the longest episode of "Frasier" ever. Not that it was a bad movie, I'm just saying. At gunpoint, I'll take "Baby." I haven't seen it, but it involves boxing, and that's usually all I need.

MY PICK: Million Dollar Baby

See new Points in Case posts via Twitter or Facebook.

Take comedy writing classes at The Second City - 10% off with code PIC.