Mark Burger, former movie reviewer for the Winston-Salem Journal and current reviewer for Relish, was on the Two Guys Named Chris radio show this morning with his personal picks and predictions for the Oscars.
He only talked about Best Picture, Best Director, and the acting categories. Since he skipped over the screenplay & technical awards, and since the acting awards seem to have a nearly unanimous verdict already, much of his input is unsurprising.
Mark Burger's Picks & Predictions
Best Supporting Actress
Should Win: Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine)
Will Win: Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls)
Best Supporting Actor
Should Win: Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine)
Will Win: Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls)
Best Lead Actress
Should & Will Win: Helen Mirren (The Queen)
Best Lead Actor
Should & Will Win: Forest Whitaker (Last King of Scotland)
Should & Will Win: Martin Scorsese (The Departed)
Should Win: Letters From Iwo Jima
Will Win: Babel
There were a few interesting details. Mark Burger said Will Smith is well-liked in Hollywood such that him winning Best Lead Actor is not as much of an impossibility as some might think (although still unlikely). Show co-host Chris Kelly said his personal pick for Best Director is Paul Greengrass (United 93), and I agree with that.
As for Best Picture, Mark Burger felt that Babel was the weakest of the five; that Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima, together, were two of the best films of 2006; and that Dreamgirls would have had an excellent shot at winning Best Picture, had it been nominated.