Best Picture:

The Aviator

Finding Neverland

Million Dollar Baby


Sideways According to most experts, 2004 was a poor year for movies. By that, they mean there were no The Lord of the Rings films to define life. As far as we're concerned at Street, thank God. Now we can actually talk about the Academy Awards without feeling obligated to sell our souls to those damn hobbits in order to keep our readers. The truth is, there were a lot of terrific movies in '04, and many of them received their due last week when the nominations for the 77th Academy Awards were announced. And while there were some snubs, everyone should just be happy that Gandalf is finally a thing of the past.

Best Picture

The Aviator

Finding Neverland

Million Dollar Baby



According to "the wire," the real contest here is between The Aviator and Million Dollar Baby. But here's the real question: how does the Academy explain the absence of Fat Albert? Two words: Kenan Thompson. That tub o' love should've been enough to carry this box office extravaganza to Oscar glory.

Best Actor:

Don Cheadle -- Hotel Rwanda

Johnny Depp -- Finding Neverland

Leonardo DiCaprio -- The Aviator

Clint Eastwood -- Million Dollar Baby

Jamie Foxx -- Ray

The big shocker here is Paul Giamatti's snub for Sideways, seeing as how most had this race pinned between him and Jamie Foxx. That means the coast is clear now, Jamie. Don't let it go to your head, though -- the first 10 years of your career were utter shit, and everyone knows it.

Best Actress:

Annette Benning -- Being Julia

Catalina Sandino Moreno -- Maria Full of Grace

Imelda Staunton -- Vera Drake

Hilary Swank -- Million Dollar Baby

Kate Winslet -- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

The real questions here are pretty obvious. Did anyone actually see Maria Full of Grace or Vera Drake? Assuming no, does anyone have a freakin' clue who Catalina Sandino Moreno or Imelda Staunton are? If you have any hints, please e-mail and help us out. Until we hear, let's just go ahead and pick Hilary Swank; both she and this movie tend to win everything.

Best Supporting Actor:

Alan Alda -- The Aviator

Thomas Haden Church -- Sideways

Jamie Foxx -- Ray

Morgan Freeman -- Million Dollar Baby

Clive Owen -- Closer

Alan Alda and Morgan Freeman. Sure, these guys were good in their respective movies. But if they weren't like, I don't know, 800 years old, would they have been nominated?

Other issues at stake: Is there any member of the Academy who wouldn't totally blow Jamie Foxx? And Thomas Haden Church -- an actor who plays an actor. Goddamn, that's brilliant. Is this why critics worldwide have collectively been suckling at Sideways' teat for months now?

Best Supporting Actress:

Cate Blanchett -- The Aviator

Laura Linney -- Kinsey

Virginia Madsen -- Sideways

Sophie Okonedo -- Hotel Rwanda

Natalie Portman -- Closer

This one has to go to everyone's favorite postmodernist of the year, Cate Blanchett. Turning in a fairly creepy performance of former Academy fave Katherine Hepburn, the memories have surely rattled Hollywood's old bones. On another note -- Natalie Portman? For an Oscar? Next thing they're going to nominate some schmo like, oh, who knows, Jamie Foxx. For multiple Oscars, even.

Best Director:

Clint Eastwood -- Million Dollar Baby

Taylor Hackford -- Ray

Mike Leigh -- Vera Drake

Alexander Payne -- Sideways

Martin Scorsese -- The Aviator

Scorsese has had more nominations in this category than J-Lo has had boyfriends of different races. And, like J-Lo, he has never won. Eastwood, a past winner, could steal the award, however, because he very well may kill someone if he doesn't, and you better believe the Academy knows this. Whatever the outcome, look for Scorsese and Eastwood to duel at Elton John's after party, to see who the real winner is (i.e. who's more of a badass).