For anyone filling out an office ballot for Sunday's Academy Awards, there's no reason to blindly guess. Tom O'Neil and his cadre of informed prognosticators over at Gold Derby
have all the information you need to make wise choices and give yourself a fighting chance against your geekier, Oscar-obsessed friends and coworkers.
According to his informal poll (surveying only 20 members of the 5000+ Academy, which he admits is far from scientific) Crash leads the voting with 9 votes to Brokeback's 7. I cannot fully articulate how much of a travesty it would be if Crash won. Notice I don't even say "if Brokeback lost." Crash is a well-acted but otherwise trite piece of didactic dogshit that makes I Am Sam look downright Modernistic. My outrage at its mere nomination has been renewed upon hearing Ebert and his cohort, whose apparent homophobia or retardation led him to say Brokeback should not have been nominated, have both proclaimed Crash the deserving best picture of 2005. I have not seen Munich, but from where I sit the only other film that deserves to stand beside Brokeback Mountain is Capote, and if it were any other year, which is to say any year not graced by the instantly classic performance of Heath Ledger, I'd be pulling hard for Mr. Hoffman. I am looking forward to see if he'll pay off his bet with Bennett Miller, which they made years ago: the first to win an Oscar has to bark his acceptance speech.