We’ve noticed a certain trend among “professional” Oscar prognosticators—first and foremost among them Dave Karger—in dealing with the question of Dreamgirls. Is it the over-nominated Oscar behemoth that, according to its snub for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, no one loves? Or does its absence in the top few categories signal a groundswell of sympathetic support for the poor helpless lil’ would-be frontrunner? You don’t find too many taking the middle ground. It’s basically either a clean sweep of its six categories (or close enough, at any rate), or a near-shutout. Maybe we’re biased, but we’d like to think it’s the latter (though we’re already starting to feel a tad nervous about our prediction of Djimon Hounsou defeating Eddie Murphy). Even if it turns out we badly misjudged the deflated Dreamgirls juggernaut and it does end up cleaning house (as all those second-place percentage spreads would suggest we’re afraid of), we still think Art Direction will be the one most likely to buck the trend. Simply, the movie’s sets look like they were made from construction paper “for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf,” to borrow from Ntozake Shange. At least Pan’s Labyrinth’s paper-mâché falls into place with the protagonist’s fantasy dreamworld. The votes for veracity will fall The Good Shepherd’s way, but recent guild award results suggest this is Pan’s Labyrinth to lose.
Will Win: Pan’s Labyrinth
Should Win: Pan’s Labyrinth