This being a movie blog, a post of Oscar predictions seems appropriate. That the post comes from the guy who has seen just one nominated film (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, up for Best Cinematography)? Less appropriate. But when has knowledge ever been a requirement for blogging?
I'm not going to pick every category. For the ones I don't mention, assume that Avatar wins all the technical awards it's nominated for, the documentary awards go to the most left-leaning entries, and everything else is won by a movie you probably didn't see.
For the rest (these are what Wikipedia terms the "major awards"):
Best Foreign Language Film: I have no idea why this is major while cinematography is not. In any case, I would tend to go with Ajami, which is Israel's submission, except that it's primarily in Arabic. I think that will confuse some people and irritate those who aren't crazy about Israel's Arab population in the first place. So I'm going with The Milk of Sorrow, a Peruvian film that's partially in Quechua. Score one for repressed indigenous peoples!
Best Animated Feature: Up is the only animated movie nominated for Best Picture. It is also nominated in this category. While it would be hilarious if one of the other nominated movies (Coraline, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and the Frog, The Secret of Kells) won, I don't see it happening.
Best Adapted Screenplay: I'm thinking Precious. I'm a little surprised that Avatar didn't get nominated here for adapting whatever episode of Captain Planet it's based on.
Best Original Screenplay: I think this is where the run of awards for The Hurt Locker will start. The writer, Mark Boal, also strikes me as the sort of person that tends to win this, based on past awards for young writers who make a splash (thinking of the likes of Diablo Cody, Alan Ball, and, way back when, current nominee Quentin Tarantino).
Best Supporting Actress: We're all agreed that Mo'nique is going to win this, right?
Best Supporting Actor: I know nothing about him, but what little I've read suggests that Christoph Waltz is the odds-on favorite here. Which is why I'm going with Christopher Plummer for his portrayal of Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station. There needs to be at least one surprise acting winner, and why not do it in a category that often recognizes older actors with a long body of work (Alan Arkin, Morgan Freeman, Jim Broadbent, Michael Caine, James Coburn, etc.).
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock. I almost can't believe I just typed that, but then I remember that Julia Roberts has won an Oscar, so all bets are off.
Best Actor: We're all agreed that Jeff Bridges is going to win this, right?
Best Director: Everyone has this coming down to the formerly married couple, though it would be something if Lee Daniels, the first African-American director nominated for the award, could benefit from a split decision. I don't think that'll happen, especially as Kathryn Bigelow has already won the DGA Award, which is a very strong indicator of who wins the Oscar.
Best Picture: Twice in the last ten years the Best Picture and Best Director awards have split, both both could be considered unusual cases. In 2005, Crash won best picture while Ang Lee won the directing award for Brokeback Mountain, whose story of gay ranchers wasn't likely Best Picture material. In 2002 Chicago won Best Picture but Rob Marshall was passed over as Best Director, I assume because he's a theater person who directed a musical.
This year poses a similar dilemma, given the technical breakthrough represented by Avatar. Do voters choose to reward the advances made by a movie that's a little light on story and character, or do they reward a more traditional film that's more completely made? It's a hard choice to make, but then I realize the kicker: James Cameron is an ass, and that might just tip the scales enough to let The Hurt Locker squeak by.
So there you have. Place your wagers accordingly (with the full knowledge and understanding that by reading this post you've waived any claims of liability against Adventures in Snack Canyon for any losses incurred, especially as you'd have to be a gold-plated moron to wager actual money based on picks made by a guy who clearly indicated at the start that he's seen none of the films up for major awards.).