The Reel Deal: Which stars will take home little gold man?

When I was 13, I had two main goals in life. The first was to successfully climb Mt. Everest (including coming back alive), and the second was to win an Academy Award for Best Actress. Yes, they are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum, and I can only justify them by saying ‘that’s just me.’

Since I feel both goals are not in my immediate future, I’m going to consult the guess section of my brain and pick the winners (of the major categories) of the 80th Annual Academy Awards. I would have used my Magic 8-Ball instead, but I chucked that two years ago for giving me bad relationship advice.

•Best Screenplay (Original)

"Juno" – Diablo Cody

"Lars and the Real Girl" – Nancy Oliver

"Michael Clayton" – Tony Gilroy

"Ratatouille" – Brad Bird, Jim Capobianco and Jan Pinkova

"The Savages" – Tamara Jenkins

Prediction: Hollywood loves a great story, and Diablo Cody’s is one of the best out there. She struck gold with her first screenplay "Juno," and I suspect she’ll be taking the little gold guy home with her. If not, I’ll rage against the injustice and sulk until the rest of the show is over.

•Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Casey Affleck, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford"

Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men"

Hal Holbrook, "Into the Wild"

Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Charlie Wilson’s War"

Tom Wilkinson, "Michael Clayton"

Prediction: Ugh, this category has me torn. While I loved Holbrook in "Into the Wild," you just can’t beat Javier Bardem for his portrayal as the cold-blooded assassin Anton Chigurh in "No Country." I bow down to his awesomeness.

I also predict my fingers will fly off if I have to type the title of Casey Affleck’s movie again. It reminds me of that one Fiona Apple CD that had 50 words for the title.

•Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Cate Blanchett, "I’m Not There"

Ruby Dee, "American Gangster"

Saoirse Ronan, "Atonement"

Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"

Tilda Swinton, "Michael Clayton"

Prediction: I’m going to predict I get this one wrong. Ruby Dee won the Screen Actor’s Guild for this category, Tilda Swinton is getting rave reviews, Saoirse Ronan wins best name and Amy Ryan is snubbed. I think Cate Blanchett wins it.

•Best Actor in a Leading Role

George Clooney, "Michael Clayton"

Johnny Depp, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"

Tommy Lee Jones, "In the Valley of Elah"

Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"

Viggo Mortensen, "Eastern Promises"

Prediction: Thanks for playing, everyone else in this category, but this award is going to Daniel Day-Lewis. His performance was so powerful that I want to make the milkshake reference here, but I’ll hold my fingers. (If you haven’t seen "There Will Be Blood," that might not make sense.)

•Best Actress in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett, "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"

Julie Christie, "Away From Her"

Marion Cotillard, "La Vie En Rose"

Laura Linney, "The Savages"

Ellen Page, "Juno"

Prediction: Stop hogging the awards Blanchett. I really want Page to win because she was fabulous in "Juno," but rarely do they give this award to a comedic performance (Hello, Renee Zellweger in "Bridget Jones’s Diary"). Christie has won this category at most of the major award shows, but I think Marion Cotillard will pick this Oscar up. That’s my big upset of the show. Actually, the big surprise would be the show ending at 11 and not going over, but we all know that won’t happen.

•Best Director

Julian Schnabel, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"

Jason Reitman, "Juno"

Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"

Joel and Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"

Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood"

Prediction: Uhh, Joel and Ethan Coen? Maybe? Oh, why did I throw away that Magic 8-Ball? That would have been used for determining my guess for this award. Oh, idea! According to the on-line Magic 8-Ball, Gilroy won’t win, it "better not tell me now" whether Reitman will, and it is "decidedly so" that Schnabel, the Coen brothers and Anderson will.

•Best Picture



"Michael Clayton"

"No Country for Old Men"

"There Will Be Blood"

Prediction: Last year, "The Departed" won over heavily favored "Brokeback Mountain," causing quite the stir. Apparently they like to do that in Hollywood. This year, "No Country for Old Men" appears to be most likely to pick up the Academy Award but the voters may decide to shock us all and pick "Atonement." I still favor "No Country for Old Men."

Don’t forget to watch beautiful stars wear dresses that cost more than your house on Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. on ABC. Also, if all of my guesses come true, I am totally going into the future predicting market, with the help of my new Magic 8-Ball.

Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer.

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