Here are my picks for the 80th 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 2007 Golden Mugs.

Best Picture: No Country for Old Men
– Should Win: Atonement –

● Director: Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)
– Should Win: (of this list) Jason Reitman (Juno) –

● Actor: Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood)

● Actress: Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose)
– Should Win: Julie Christie (Away from Her) –

● Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)

● Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There)
– Did Win: Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) –

● Adapted Screenplay: No Country for Old Men
– Should Win: Atonement –

● Original Screenplay: Juno

● Foreign Film: The Counterfeiters (Austria)

● Documentary Feature: No End in Sight
– Should Win: God Grew Tired of Us (though it’s hard to tell what year this should have been nominated for an Oscar and it wasn’t anyway for no reason that I can imagine) –
– Did Win: Taxi to the Dark Side –

● Animated Feature Film: Ratatouille

● Cinematography: There Will Be Blood
– Should Win: Atonement –

● Film Editing: The Bourne Ultimatum

● Art Direction: Atonement
– Should Win: 300 –
– Did Win: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street –

● Costume: Elizabeth: The Golden Age

● Visual Effects: Transformers
– Did Win: The Golden Compass –

● Makeup: La Vie en Rose

● Sound Editing: The Bourne Ultimatum

● Sound Mixing: Transformers
– Should and did Win: The Bourne Ultimatum –

● Original Score: Dario Marianelli (Atonement)

● Original Song: “Falling Slowly” (Once)

● Documentary Short Subject:Sari’s Mother
– Did Win: Freeheld –

●Animated Short Film: Peter & The Wolf

●Live Action Short Film: Les Mozart Des Pickpockets

The Aftermath:

This year, I got 18 out of 24 right (75%). When looking at the 8 major categories (picture, directing, acting, writing), I mirrored last year’s total and got 7/8 (88%). I feel pretty good about how most of the awards went down, I suppose. I still would prefer “Atonement” get the major accolades but I guess it’s just a matter of taste.

A special thank you to the Internet for giving me the correct animated and live-action short film choices. I had picked two different ones based on their name but a little research helped me out there.

Now on to critiquing the Oscars’ telecast:

So, Jessica Alba hosted the Scientific and Technical awards? It seems they always choose some beautiful starlet to do that. Is it just to tease all the engineers and science geeks? It seems mean since it’s their own awards show. Not that Ms. Alba is banned from giving me any sort of recognition (good or bad).

Regarding the main show, with the writers’ strike over, the team behind the event had to rush and put together the show. While video montages could be put together, all of the pithy remarks had to be thought up in a short amount of time.

And sadly, while the pithy remarks are trite and generally terrible, I personally find the video packages far worse because they take FOREVER. Even the self-deprecating “binoculars & periscopes” and “bad dreams” video packages were funny … but I could have done without them. I think the Academy should be allowed one video package a show. That would keep things moving along a lot better.

Jon Stewart was back to host after a one year absence while Ellen Degeneres stepped in. I like him as the host and think he does a great job of being quick to remark on the show as it unfolds. That said, the monologue was weak and I expected better, even with the writers’ strike hampering things.

Congrats to Amy Adams for pulling off her song. Even without any production behind her, it was far more watchable than much of the stuff they’ve inundated us over the last few years. Have I mentioned that “Enchanted” was one of my favorite films of the year? Well … now you know.

Though I do have issues about not having her sing the other song her character sings in the film. While I like Kristin Chenoweth, it’s just not the same and seemed only to serve the purpose of masking the fact that THREE songs from the same film were nominated (and they weren’t from “Once”).

Keri Russell’s comment, “I loved being part of this film” in reference to “August Rush” felt as sincere as my last wedding proposal. And did anyone else feel like the Oscar nominated song from that film felt like watching Star Search? I though Jon Stewart was going to award the little girl 4 stars and tell her she’d won the competition.

The best acceptance speech had to go to Tilda Swinton for her supporting actress win. Calling out Clooney on “Batman & Robin” is always funny, even though he openly mocks the film himself. It’s still a good time.

The best presenters were Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen, arguing over who was more like Halle Berry and who was more like Dame Judi Dench. The worst had to go to Katherine Heigl – breaking down when presenting the Make-Up Oscar? If you’re not comfortable speaking in front of a billion people, maybe you should just say no when they ask?

The most hilarious hair has to go to Renee Zellweger. She either lost a bet or a fight with a flow-bee. Seriously, this nearly made me lose bladder control. And most hilarious jewelry goes to Nicole Kidman for being haphazardly draped in diamonds. I’m sure it cost more than I’ll make in my lifetime … but all that sparkling didn’t distract me from how much I could do without the actress.

I want to make a special note at how much I appreciated the show for letting Marketa Irglova come back out and give her thank yous for winning Best Song for “Once”. Sure, I’m biased, because it’s my favorite film of 2007 but it was a really nice moment and a good speech.

The rest of the show was pretty blasé. There weren’t too many high points and thankfully due to the writers’ strike, there weren’t any production numbers to add to the video packages I’ve already discussed my distaste for. Maybe next year, they could just do the whole show off-script and we could see if this could end in under three hours? Just a thought.

And as a fellow Sobering Conclusion reviewer likes for me to end these little rants: Good night, and kiss my ass.