Here are my picks for the 79th ACADEMY AWARDS. If I disagree with what I think will happen, I have listed the “should win” underneath.

After the show, I’ll post the results here as well. Of course, if you just want to know what should have been nominated and who really should have won these awards, just head on out to the 2006 Golden Mugs.

In any case, here goes:

Best Picture: The Departed
– Should Win: (of this list) Letters From Iwo Jima –

● Director: Martin Scorcese (The Departed)
– Should Win: Paul Greengrass (United 93) –

● Actor: Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland)

● Actress: Helen Mirren (The Queen)

● Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls)
– Should Win: (of this list) Jackie Earl Haley (Little Children) –
– Did Win: Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) –

● Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls)
– Should Win: Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) –

● Adapted Screenplay: The Departed
– Should Win: (of this list) Children of Men –

● Original Screenplay: Little Miss Sunshine

● Foreign Film: Pan’s Labyrinth (Mexico)
– Did Win: The Lives of Others (Germany)

● Documentary Feature: An Inconvenient Truth
– Should Win: (of this list) Deliver Us From Evil –

● Animated Feature Film: Cars
– Should Win: NONE OF THESE, but probably Monster House –
– Did Win: Happy Feet –

● Cinematography: Children of Men
– Did Win: Pan’s Labyrinth –

● Film Editing: The Departed
– Should Win: United 93 –

● Art Direction: Pan’s Labyrinth

● Costume: Marie Antoinette
– Should Win: I suppose Curse of the Golden Flower

● Visual Effects: The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

● Makeup: Pan’s Labyrinth

● Sound Editing: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
– Did Win: Letters From Iwo Jima –

● Sound Mixing: Dreamgirls
– Should Win: I suppose Flags of Our Fathers –

● Original Score: Alexandre Desplat (The Queen)
– Did Win: Gustavo Santaolalla (Babel) –

● Original Song: “Listen” (Dreamgirls)
– Should Win: (of this list) I’d rather see Randy Newman get it for “Our Town” (Cars) than anything from the ultra-formulaic Dreamgirls –
– Did Win: “I Need to Wake Up” (An Inconvenient Truth) –

● Documentary Short Subject: Recycled Life
– Did Win: The Blood Of Yingzhou District –

●Animated Short Film: The Little Matchgirl
– Did Win: The Danish Poet –

●Live Action Short Film: West Bank Story

The Aftermath:

Wow, my percentage this year sucked more than the idea of interpretive shadow puppets. Of all 24 awards, I only picked 15 winners (63%). However, if I went the route of major film critics and only picked the major awards (picture, director, acting, writing). then I was 7/8 ( 88%). So I’ll think of it that way.

Overall, I think Ellen did a good job of hosting. My low expectations were met and exceeded. However my complaints of the night begin with Al Gore.

It’s no secret I’m not his biggest fan and I thought his “Academy Award Winning” documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” lacked the ability to inspire people to change and spent entirely too much time on his personal life, which unless it’s a cause of global warming, isn’t pertinent.

Rather, a better film about helping to change the environmental problems (Who Killed the Electric Car?) wasn’t even mentioned or nominated. I guess I’m just annoyed it all seemed like a way to celebrate Gore. I couldn’t quite tell from tonight’s telecast (what with all the cheering) but is it fair to say that Hollywood actors tend to be Democrats? I half expected Dicraprio to start burning an effegy of an elephant or George W. Bush.

It never fails to amuse me every time I hear Gore say “It’s not a political issue, it’s a moral issue”. Maybe he should have done something while in office then? Like sign the Kyoto Treaty?

Still, my biggest complaint of the night comes from Jerry Seinfeld. He should have won the award for Jerk of the Night.

I’m sure part of my ire comes from having worked in a movie theater but his comments about not wanting to dump his own trash from a theater is bullshit. He said he shouldn’t have to because everything is overpriced. Well, maybe he should find out why prices are that high.

Ticket prices determine what theaters get what movies and the theater that can offer the highest gross gets the best films. On the opening week, typically 90% of the ticket money goes to the distributor, not the theater, and unless a film has legs and lasts long enough to tip the percentage toward 50/50, theaters generally make little more than their money back on a film from ticket sales because of the cost of film rental and shipping.

The only place a theater makes its money is concessions. They have to pay off salaries, building and equipment maintenance and everything else involved with running a business, all from popcorn, soda and jujubees.

Next time, Mr. Seinfeld, check out your target before firing a shot. Last time I checked, you hadn’t done anything since your show about nothing. Someday I hope you make something.

Moving on, I loved Will Ferrell’s afro, and his collaboration with Jack Black and John O’Reilly wanting to take Helen Mirren home with them was the highlight of the night.

It was a good thing Clint Eastwood knows Italian, otherwise Ennio Morricone’s speech would have been a bit hard to understand.

Jodie Foster provided the best intro to the memorium section in recent memory though I still find it creepy to hear the applause for dead people based on their popularity within the community.

It was nice to see Diane Keaton in a dress and not some gentlemen’s suit from the 1940s. However, she should never be allowed to present again. Why was she yelling everything she read? I have a volume button on my remote and I know how to use it, thank you very much.

And why in the hell was Affleck let back on stage? Did he fool the producers and say Matt Damon was coming with him?

I’d like to thank Eddie Murphy for creating a new word tonight: “Norbited” (v. The loss of an Oscar win due to a crappy film being released just as voters receive their ballots.) I mean, c’mon. All the pundits had him locked in for this award almost as heavily as Mirren or Whitaker. I guess he can blame the distributors for nixing his advancement at this stage in his career.

My last gripe comes at the expense of American Idol loser, Jennifer Hudson. When accepting her award, she exclaimed, “Look what God can do!” Well, all I can tell is that God is a crappy judge of film. There were 4 better performances nominated. It’s not quite as bad as Marisa Tomei or Kim Basinger getting their awards but it’s not much better.

Well, that’s my recap of the 79th Annual Academy Awards. I’m still annoyed at my poor picks but at least I have my Golden Mugs to help me sleep at night.

Good night, and kiss my ass.