The Oscar Race Decoded!

The nominees will be: JENNIFER HUDSON, Dreamgirls (Beyoncé is frantically trying to pack on some pounds as we speak); ADRIANA BARRAZA, Babel (she stole the movie from all the marquee names, who surely now want to deport the bitch); RINKO KIKUCHI, Babel (it could be a Kikuchi coup); ABIGAIL BRESLIN, Little Miss Sunshine (though she's aging rapidly); CATE BLANCHETT, Notes on a Scandal (I changed my mind. I'm entitled. Again.)


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Plummeting into the abyss will be: JACK NICHOLSON, The Departed (the dildo scene destroyed his cred; been there); BRAD PITT, Babel(he has a great phone scene, but otherwise he just looks concerned a lot); ADAM BEACH, Flags of Our Fathers (though I'd love to have sex on the Beach); STANLEY TUCCI, The Devil Wears Prada (A kind gay at Vogue? Spare me, girl.); MICHAEL SHEEN, The Queen(no one wants to vote for Tony Blair); BRYAN COX, Running With Scissors (his turds-in-the-bowl scene was delightful but paled next to Iwo Jima's shit pot); ALAN ARKIN, Little Miss Sunshine (though he played dead better than a Scarlett Johansson movie); MICHAEL CAINE, Children of Men(he was a little too good for a nomination); LIEV SCHREIBER, The Painted Veil (he already got his prize—Naomi Watts); IAN MCKELLEN, The Da Vinci Code (he got raves, but the movie was a cheap forgery).

Forrest Whitaker in Last King of Scotland
photo: Courtesy Film Four & DNA Films Limited
Forrest Whitaker in Last King of Scotland

The nominees will be: MARK WAHLBERG, The Departed (Marky Mark, Oscar nominee? What a world.); EDDIE MURPHY, Dreamgirls (Ditto. Showbiz is a wondrous place for the redemption of those who've lost their way.); BEN AFFLECK, Hollywoodland (Double ditto. The movie died more suddenly than George Reeves, but Ben—a B star playing a B star—got an A comeback by stealing the whole thing.); DJIMON HOUNSOU, Blood Diamond (he has that great speech—"Kill me! I'm dead already!"—and Hollywood is in love with endlessly noble Africans); JACKIE EARLE HALEY, Little Children (Keep him away from the kids—but not the Kodak Theatre!)

I'll see you all there as well. I'm dead already, but don't kill me. I'm living for the Oscars! musto@villagevoice.com


Web extra: Don't read this if you're grossed out by self aggrandizement or celebrities of a certain age. In fact, don't read any braggy, whiny thing I ever write or you might get so violently sick you'll never be fabulous again. Here goes: My book party last week at Room Service was like a very special episode of The Love Boat. The guest list was colorful and kitschy, all springing to extra life because a sea of photographers had turned the place into a giant apocalyptic flash that could make the blind see again. It was a two-hour photo op consisting of nothing but people posing for other people—and that's just how life should be at all times, isn't it? I was in heaven, my face cracking from all the sincere smiling (something I'm not exactly used to doing; I don't even generally engage in insincere smiling). Finally able to throw a party instead of just go to one, I aimed to eliminate the usually de rigeur setup of photogs having to stand outside to get boring arrival shots, which always leads to a lack of wattage—and access—inside. This time, everyone invited was let in—and as it happened, they were all either names, press, or celebutantes, all commingling on a plane of radioactive surrealness.

Tina Louise dropped by for a three-hour tour. Joan Rivers swung around to glitter, gab, and talk QVC. And Mariel Hemingway popped up, posing with me, cohost Perez Hilton, and Paper's Mickey Boardman. When Patrick McMullan set up a shot and said, "The girl should be in the middle," Mariel and I looked at each other and started laughing, as if to say, "Which one in this group is the girl?" When I told her my movie club recently watched Lipstick—the '70s fashion-world film she made with her late sister Margaux—she grinned and said, "I always tell people I was the older one."

All through the room, the whole gossip gang could be spotted: Cindy Adams, Jacob Bernstein, David Patrick Columbia, Jada Yuan, Ben Widdicombe, Mandy Stadtmiller, Ron Mwangaguhunga, Jason Bellini, and David Hershkovits. We all interviewed each other for hours! And the biggest gossip shocker was that, although it was open bar, hardly anybody lined up to get a drink! Party people are so hideously composed nowadays.

The hint of publicity, I guess, proved intoxicating enough. At first I thought it was ballsy of gay porn mogul Michael Lucas to pitch me an item at my own party, when I was supposed to be pushing myself, but that's his style. And besides, it was a good item: Lucas just got a letter from the late Federico Fellini's legal team demanding he cease all sales of Michael Lucas' La Dolce Vita. Lucas is fighting back, saying there's no connection, his own storyline having much more to do with rimming and fucking than Fellini's. Meanwhile, I pray Fellini's people don't realize my column and book are both called La Dolce Musto!

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