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And the (potential) winner is...

Sunday, February 25, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:23 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 9, 2008

In anticipation of tonight’s 79th Annual Academy Awards, the Missourian found five Columbia residents to predict who will take home Oscars in nine categories. The individuals are as diverse as their predictions. The Oscars air tonight, at 7 p.m., on ABC.

THE CHOICES

BEST PICTURE

“The Departed”

“Little Miss Sunshine”

“Babel”

“Letters from Iwo Jima”

“The Queen”

BEST DIRECTOR

Martin Scorsese, “The Departed”

Clint Eastwood, “Letters from Iwo Jima”

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Babel”

Stephen Frears, “The Queen”

Paul Greengrass, “United 93”

BEST ACTOR

Forest Whitaker, “The Last King of Scotland”

Peter O’Toole, “Venus”

Leonardo DiCaprio, “Blood Diamond”

Will Smith, “The Pursuit of Happyness”

Ryan Gosling, “Half Nelson”

BEST ACTRESS

Helen Mirren, “The Queen”

Kate Winslet, “Little Children”

Judi Dench, “Notes on a Scandal”

Meryl Streep, “The Devil Wears Prada”

Penélope Cruz, “Volver”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Eddie Murphy, “Dreamgirls”

Alan Arkin, “Little Miss Sunshine”

Jackie Earle Haley, “Little Children”

Djimon Hounsou, “Blood Diamond”

Mark Wahlberg, “The Departed”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Hudson, “Dreamgirls”

Abigail Breslin, “Little MIss Sunshine”

Adriana Barraza, “Babel”

Cate Blanchett, “Notes on a Scandal”

Rinko Kikuchi, “Babel”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Michael Arndt, “Little Miss Sunshine”

Guillermo Arriaga, “Babel”

Peter Morgan, “The Queen”

Guillermo del Toro, “Pan’s Labyrinth”

Iris Yamashita, Paul Haggis, “Letters from Iwo Jima”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

William Monahan, “The Departed”

Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham, Dan Mazer, Todd Phillips, “Borat”

Patrick Marber, “Notes on a Scandal”

Todd Field, Tim Perrotta, “Little Children”

Alfonso Cuarón, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, “Children of Men”

BEST ANIMATED FILM

“Cars”

“Happy Feet”

“Monster House”

WHAT COLUMBIANS PREDICT:

CHIP GUBERA, MU Film Studies Instructor

Independent Columbia producer and director; did films “Song of the Dead” and “Wrestling Women Vs. the Brainiac.”

BEST PICTURE

Little Miss Sunshine

“Hands down, “Little Miss Sunshine” was the best overall film. It had great acting, a great score, wonderful, complex characters, and most of all, it told a great modern day American story. First and foremost, film making is storytelling. “Little Miss Sunshine” used every element of detail, from its dull colors to the broken down van, to tell the story. That’s filmmaking.”

BEST DIRECTOR

Martin Scorsese — The Departed

“Scorsese, one of the best American directors of all time, is due for a win. He is brilliant. Even though “The Departed” was not one of my favorite films, there is no question that film students will be studying the directing technique in the film for years to come.”

BEST ACTOR

Forest Whitaker — The Last King of Scotland

“One of Hollywood’s most underrated actors, Whitaker’s powerful performance demands to be noticed.”

BEST ACTRESS

Helen Mirren — The Queen

“Everyone loves Helen Mirren. She’s coming back.”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Eddie Murphy — Dreamgirls

“This was a role of a lifetime for Eddie Murphy. He created a real, fully rounded character that was mesmerizing to watch and 100 percent believable. That’s not always easy to do when your name is Eddie Murphy. Mr. Murphy has finally arrived as a contender.”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Abigail Breslin — Little Miss Sunshine

“It’s cruel not to give it to the kid.”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Michael Arndt — Little Miss Sunshine

““Little Miss Sunshine” told the best story of any film in 2006, and it told it with character. We see the build up and destruction of almost every main character that ultimately brings them all together for the climax that cynically melts your heart. This is the modern family struggling in today’s society.”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Alfonso Cuaron, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby — Children of Men

“It’s a crazy sci-fi book that is turned into a stab toward U.S. foreign policy. Also, it’s smart, thrilling and goes against many so-called “guidelines” of the screenplay. There are unexpected deaths, unexplained twists and uneven plot points. However, it all works together very well. The writing ends up aiding to the unbalance of the overall film.”

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Cars

JOSHUA ALBIN, Store Director, Hollywood Video on East Broadway, Broadcasting and Film Studies degree from University of Central Missouri in 2004

BEST PICTURE

Little Miss Sunshine

“I am tired of the Academy overlooking great comedies. Besides, although most of these films are great, none but “Little Miss Sunshine” will leave you with a smile.”

BEST DIRECTOR

Martin Scorsese — The Departed

“It’s time for the Academy to stop playing the “Let’s Slight Martin Scorsese” games.”

BEST ACTOR

Forest Whitaker — The Last King of Scotland

“It’s the role Forest Whitaker was born to play — lots of contradictions, lots of charisma — just like Idi Amin.”

BEST ACTRESS

Helen Mirren — The Queen

“I haven’t seen this, but the buzz says she can’t lose. Plus, Helen Mirren has a long history of playing great, imperious characters.”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Alan Arkin — Little Miss Sunshine

“Alan hasn’t won yet (I’m pretty sure), and the Academy loves to honor careers rather than performances in this category.”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Hudson — Dreamgirls

“The music-movie Academy win streak rolls on with this award (see “Ray” and “Walk the Line”).”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Guillermo Arriaga — Babel

“Similar in theme to last year’s Best Picture winner, “Crash,” “Babel” finds its win in this category.”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

William Monahan — The Departed

“This is more of a personal pick than an authoritative one. “The Departed” was brilliant as a script and as an adaptation.”

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Monster House

““Cars” will win. That’s a shame. “Monster House” is the most original and best animated film in years.”

BILL BELLINGHAUSEN, Employee of 9th Steet Video

BEST PICTURE

Little Miss Sunshine

“It’s such a lovable movie. I don’t think a comedy has won Best Picture since “Annie Hall” and it’s time.”

BEST DIRECTOR

Martin Scorsese — The Departed

“He makes the best movies.”

BEST ACTOR

Forest Whitaker — The Last King of Scotland

BEST ACTRESS

Helen Mirren — The Queen

“She’s old. She needs an award.”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Alan Arkin — Little Miss Sunshine

“He’s a veteran actor who deserves some recognition.”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Abigail Breslin — Little Miss Sunshine

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Michael Arndt — Little Miss Sunshine

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham, Dan Mazer, Todd Phillips — Borat

““Borat” won’t win. The Academy Awards are too stuffy and boring. There’re a lot of older people voting, and I don’t think they liked some of the things in “Borat.”” But, Bellinghausen picked it to win “because I want it to,” he said.

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Happy Feet

PALWASHA KHAN, MU sophomore; self-described “movie fan”

BEST PICTURE

The Departed

“Amazing movie. But, I’m surprised “Blood Diamond” didn’t make it to Best Picture. It kind of has to do with poverty and what’s going on in the world. “Little Miss Sunshine?” I don’t think that really affects the world as much as “Blood Diamond” would.”

BEST DIRECTOR

Martin Scorsese — The Departed

BEST ACTOR

Leonardo DiCaprio — Blood Diamond

“I think overall he is a really good actor because I think he grew up as an actor. He went from that little kid on “Growing Pains” to changing his accent for “Blood Diamond.” I really appreciate him as an actor.”

BEST ACTRESS

Helen Mirren — The Queen

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Djimon Hounsou — Blood Diamond

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Adriana Barraza — Babel

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Michael Arndt — Little Miss Sunshine

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

William Monahan — The Departed

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Cars

[photo]

Molly Gawler, center, Adam Battlestein, and Karen Fuhrman, right, with the Pilobolus Dance Theatre group walk down the red carpet outside of the Kodak Theatre on Saturday. The group will perform today during the 79th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. (AMY SANCETTA/The Associated Press)

DEBBIE MAXFIELD, a team leader at State Farm Insurance; she was browsing titles in Movie Gallery. Her brother-in-law is a writer who wrote and produced “The Pistol.”

BEST PICTURE

The Departed

“I was surprised at the ending which for me is a sign of a good movie, as I usually guess the endings in most movies.”

BEST DIRECTOR

Paul Greengrass — United 93

“A lot of detail from that day went into this. Very well directed.”

BEST ACTOR

Forest Whitaker — The Last King of Scotland

BEST ACTRESS

Meryl Streep — The Devil Wears Prada

“Loved her in this movie. She played her role very well.”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mark Wahlberg — The Departed

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Abigail Breslin — Little Miss Sunshine

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Michael Arndt — Little Miss Sunshine

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

William Monahan — The Departed

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Cars

“One of my favorites!”


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