We have plenty of time for the online pool and guessing, but I'll start now.
The 5 Best Picture nominees are not a surprise. I've seen all but Ray, and I don't think there's a clear-cut favorite. Finding Neverland made me cry like a baby and that's tough to do. But, the director isn't nominated, and I think those movies always lose. Every critic on Earth loved Sideways and it's a can't-miss enjoyable film. The Aviator has Scorsese and the most nominations going for it, but I thought it lost focus towards the end and didn't tell a tight story; more of a movie that seems like a Best Picture than the real Best Picture. Million Dollar Baby was outstanding; I'd probably pick MDB if I was betting money.
I'm usually much more interested in Original Screenplay than Adapted, but this year, I think Adapted is the more interesting race — Eternal Sunshine ought to win Original, imo. In the Adapted race, what's more deserving of a writing award than Before Sunset? The movie is nothing more than an 80 minute dialogue between 2 people sitting and walking through Paris, and it never drags. It won't win, but I suppose it's a victory for Richard Linklater that the Academy acknowledged him at all. I don't get to vote unfortunately.
Cinematography? House of Flying Daggers is like a moving coffee table book of beautiful pictures. Not going to win any writing awards, but pret-ty colors.
Actress in a Supporting Role. Wow, tough one. Can I pick them all?
Poor Tom Cruise. Well, not really, but mock-poor Tom Cruise. Not only is he unable to win one of these things, but, this year, Jamie Foxx gets a nomination (and an almost certain win) for Ray and a nomination for supporting actor in Cruise's Collateral. Don't ask me how Foxx's role is considered supporting in Collateral. He was in the whole damn movie.