2006_01_oscars.jpgIt's the itch we can't scratch - the Academy Awards. We make sure we see the announcements at 8:30AM and then rush to work, thinking about the nominations while on the train. This morning, Academy President Sid Ganis and Mira Sorvino (who isn't doing anything else, anyway) announced the nominations. As expected, Brokeback Mountain, Good Night and Good Luck, and Capote earned many nominations, and Crash made a surprising showing with Best Picture, Best Director and even a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Matt Dillon. Other surprises/interesting things:

- Amy Adams was nominated for best supporting actress for her work in the critically acclaimed Junebug; while people start adding Junebug to their Netflix queues, Scarlett Johanssen is probably disappointed...as is Maria Bello
- Keira Knightley nominated for best actress in Pride and Prejudice; she was quite radiant in the role, but Gothamist feels it was more an effort to get a sexy young starlet in the mix - Charlize and Reese are basically like Old Guard by now
- William Hurt's appearance in A History of Violence seems to be in the Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love line of nominations - those short, scenery chewing performances
- Someone on the Today show was surprised that Terrence Howard was nominated for best actor, as he played a pimp in Hustle and Flow, but given the Academy's love of noticing women who play hookers and how Hollywood treats women, is it that shocking?
- No acting nods for The Squid and the Whale, but the screenplay was nominated
- The Best Animated Film category is really good: Howl's Moving Castle, The Corpse Bride, and Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit!
- The Best Documentary nominations are also eclectic and interesting, as the subjects include penguins, parapalegics, globalization, businessmen crooks and the Newark's mayor's race - this is the category to be really excited about

We think Philip Seymour Hoffman and Reese Witherspoon will win the lead acting categories; supporting is harder, but maybe they'll give it to George Clooney since he probably won't win for screenplay or director and Rachel Weisz, though we think Catherine Keener could make a break for it. The best director is likely to be Ang Lee, as he did win the Director's Guild Award; however, he won the DGA for Crouching Tiger, while Steve Soderbergh won the Oscar for Traffic..and you can never quite count out Steven Spielberg, who has done a lot for Hollywood. We think Best Screenplay will go to Crash and Best Adapted will go to Brokeback or Capote. Best Picture will probably be Brokeback, but there's a surprising groundswell of support for Crash.

Who do you think will win? Who did you want to see nominated? The Oscars will be given out on March 5.