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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Lord of the wings

 (The Spokesman-Review)
The Spokesman-Review

Forget about the controversy.

Forget about the fashion.

Forget about the bad jokes, the lousy speeches, the fake smiles that grace the faces of the losers.

When it comes to Hollywood’s annual orgy of self-congratulation, none of this dreck matters in the slightest.

The only thing you need to pay attention to is the reason why – beginning today at 5 p.m. PST – some 3,600 celebrity invitees will be packed into Los Angeles’ Kodak Theatre and why millions of the rest of us will be at home, staring at them on our television sets.

The movies. We’ll be doing it for the movies.

We’ll be interested to see whether Martin Scorsese is finally given the one award, the Oscar for Best Director, that he deserves over any other American filmmaker – even if it is for a film, “The Aviator,” that may not belong among his top five efforts.

We’ll be interested to see whether Hilary Swank will win the mantle of Best Actress over Annette Bening, same as she did in 1999 when the former “Karate Kid” actress stunned the industry with her powerful performance in “Boys Don’t Cry.”

And don’t forget whether first-time host Chris Rock will make good on his promise to make sure that Jamie Foxx, up for Best Actor (“Ray”) and Best Supporting Actor (“Collateral”), goes home bearing gold – even, Rock said, if he has to “take an Oscar from one of the sound or light people that win and give it to him.”

It should be fun.

Just as it’s always fun to guess beforehand what will happen. For the past several years – too many to count, really – I have been making my predictions and comparing them to what Spokesman-Review readers think, based on the entries in our annual Oscar contest.

This year is no different. So read on. And make your own forecasts.

Just don’t forget:

The movies are the thing.