Oscar Predictions Filled With Greed and Vengeance!

From the seer, suckers: The nominees, plus trash talk about some non-nominees

Did you honestly think a silly little thing like the writers' strike would stop the Oscar nominations—or my flood of irrelevant predictions for them? Especially when I was totally right with last year's column about how Basic Instinct 2 would be completely shut out? So let me trot out a whole new batch of can't-fail Academy Awards buzz. This year's lucky (and, if they show up, scabby) nominees—announced on the 22nd—will most assuredly be a bracing mixture of the "Wow!" and the "What the fuck?" I predict:

BEST PICTURE No Country for Old Men ("I didn't get it," a friend told me—and that's recommendation enough); Michael Clayton (The truth can be adjusted—and so can the Oscar list to include this enjoyable popcorn movie posing as art); There Will Be Blood (Oil, that is. Black gold. Texas tea); Atonement (It spans many years of thwarted passion and many months of hype); The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (a stroke of genius, ba dum pum).

But don't rule out: Into The Wild (A vote for this might encourage Sean Pennto stay behind the camera); Juno (a much better title than The Jamie Lynn Spears Story); Sweeney Todd (a/k/a There Will Be Blood and Singing. Bravo! Blech); American Gangster (just for the line, "Fuck me like a cop, not a lawyer!"); 3:10 to Yuma (Yuma, Oprah, Oprah, Yuma).

BEST FEMALE ACTOR (Yes, we do it the correct way here): Julie Christie, Away From Her (though I can't remember why. Kidding, bad joke. Actually, she broke my heart, threw it to the ground, stomped on it, and put it right back in); Marion Cotillard, La Vie En Rose (Flawless lip-synch plus turtley old-age makeup equals guaranteed Oscar nod. But are we sure she's not a drag queen?); Ellen Page, Juno (the nomination poor Christina Ricci never got. And it's the rare edgy movie that can't offend anyone—the 16-year-old has the baby but doesn't keep it. Learn it, Jamie Lynn); Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart (though Angie surely won't accept the nomination until they legalize gay marriage); Keira Knightley, Atonement (She didn't have much to do except look snooty and get fucked against the wall, but she was great in Pride and Prejudice and she's really pretty).

But don't rule out: Amy Adams, Enchanted (Once in love with Amy . . .); Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age (No one liked it, but it takes a very special film to unite the entire populace); Laura Linney, The Savages (She's always amazing—and no, I didn't see The Nanny Diaries).

BEST MALE ACTOR Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd (such a cutie, even when holding a grudge and a scalpel); Emile Hirsch, Into the Wild (this year's Ryan Gosling); George Clooney, Michael Clayton (Has there ever been a nomination for charisma alone? Sure, Jude Law got two of them); Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood (But there won't be scenery after he gets through chewing it. I kid. He was actually genius as the oily oil man with the newscaster voice); Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl (last year's Ryan Gosling).

But don't rule out: Russell Crowe, 3:10 to Yuma (Hollywood loves him for killing the gay guy—in the movie); Denzel Washington, American Gangster (He put the "hero" back in heroin); Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Standard (such gravitas—and a dimpled butt is always a plus); Mathieu Amalric, The Diving Bell . . . (Blink if you liked him); Frank Langella, Starting Out in the Evening (though he didn't look like Nixon at all); James McAvoy, Atonement (those lips, that nose).

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE ACTOR Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone (Go, baby, go!); Saiorse Ronan, Atonement (this year's Abigail Breslin—and don't say, "Who's Abigail Breslin?"); Catherine Keener, Into the Wild (Her dippy hippie livened up the wilderness); Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There (This time, she rocked. But what was Kate Hepburn doing in a Bob Dylan movie?); Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton (She was mesmerizingly good, practically turning the whole flick into The Witch and the Wardrobe).

But don't rule out: Romola Garai, Atonement (She atoned for Saiorse Ronan's doings); Vanessa Redgrave, Atonement (She atoned for Romola Garai's doings—and her performance was three of the strongest seconds in the film); Ruby Dee, American Gangster (extra points for slapping Denzel).

BEST SUPPORTING MALE ACTOR Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (He had to endure small-dick jokes and dialogue like, "Let me be your sidekick tonight so you can examine my grit and intelligence." Plus his piece, I mean his part, was way bigger than Brad Pitt's. In fact, the camera lovingly lingered on his dewy saucer eyes for 160 long minutes); Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men (Another cuckoo assassin! They'll flip a coin and decide he had grit and intelligence); Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton (The Full Monty guy got naked again, but with extra pills and pathos. He broke my heart etc., etc.); Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild (a master class in acting, but he should get nominated anyway); Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War (It took him two years, but he's broken that fucking Oscar curse! Maybe!).

But don't rule out: John Travolta, Hairspray (for bravely turning camp into science fiction) and Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men (I'm scared-a him.). By the way, with this bunch of largely obscure films based on greed and vengeance, the Academy should probably be thrilled that there probably won't be a telecast this year. Imagine the ratings!

But enough with these pretentious, grubby craftspeople aiming for hollow glory. Let me truly go into the wild for some trashy, non-award-winning gossip by the coward Michael Musto: The steamy club BoysRoom was recently evicted, so it moved to Rapture Café, where they now block off the shelves of books at night—as if the go-go crowd would grab for some of them!

Actually, there isone they might want to peek at: Andrew Morton's unauthorized bio of Tom Cruise, though it turns out that the tell-all treats sexuality issues briefly, as if fucked by both a cop and a lawyer. Firstly, Morton insists on using the term "gay slurs" more than once, as if agreeing with Cruise's legal team that it's vicious for a star to be called gay. He also writes with great assuredness, "Tom has successfully—and rightly—won every legal battle about his sexuality." But Morton does admit that Tom may have lost the war because of the constant speculation on the Web. And he sneaks in a story about a porn star named Big Red who claimed to have slept with Cruise. Though the Enquirer found Red's story too screwy to run, Morton quotes pit-bull private eye Anthony Pellicano as being more open-minded about it. In any case, if it's true that—as Morton reports—the guy ended up in hiding, maybe he and the author can get together for drinks in the underworld.

Porn star Michael Lucas came out of his boudoir closet to answer my item that on Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild, he refused to wear a "cock sock," and—what's worse—he made his young co-star cry by fingering his butt. Lucas swears he put the cock blocker on with no objection, and he also pooh-poohs the ass-fingering claim. "Even if I was ugly and desperate on a desert island," he told me, "I wouldn't do that with him. He was not my type—a skinny little teenager. It would seem like child molestation. Not to sound arrogant, but I usually get a very positive reaction when I stick my finger in people's assholes. Some guys are upset when I don't put my finger up there. But this guy wasn't interesting to me. Unless it's the producers spreading the rumor. How desperate they must be!" Do I smell two thumbs up from Ebert and Roeper?

Finally, things are looking up for Lindsay Lohan. She may not get a nomination for I Know Who Killed Me, but I hear Lohan's being interviewed for the cover of Paper at the Beverly Hills Hotel, then sweeping off to go back to the recording studio. Let's toast her with cranberry juice!

WEB EXTRA

And while our glasses are upraised, let's toast my spanking new blog! Click on it, comment on it, pee on it—just get on it now!

musto@villagevoice.com

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