Political junkies have election night. Sports nuts have the Super Bowl. Sunday is Oscar Night, the best of both worlds for movie fans since, like politics and football, it involves a full body contact, endless speeches, and tasteless production numbers.
Like everyone else, I have my preferences as to who should walk off with the statuette; unlike everyone else, my reasoning is unassailable. And, despite Oscar's focus on youth - the hosts are James Franco, 32, and Anne Hathaway, 28 - I think it could be a big night for grownups. Some thoughts:
Best Picture: The King's Speech ought to win, and it probably won't. The Academy will most likely go with The Social Network, and then all its members will get on Facebook to crow about how right they were, which makes the whole process kind of unfair, don't you think. Next year's winner: Twitter: The Movie.
Best Actor: If Colin Firth doesn't win for his breathtaking performance in The King's Speech, I hereby vow I'll never watch the Oscars again until next year.
Best Actress: It's true that The Kids Are All Right does not represent the greatest performance of Annette Bening's career (that would be American Beauty). But after four nominations, she deserves to get recognized this year. I know everyone's buzzing about Natalie Portman, but mark my words: 10 years from now people are gonna look back at all the praise being heaped on Black Swan and say, "What were we, drunk?"
I should warn you right here that my track record when it comes to predicting Oscar Winners is somewhere this side of "Dewey Defeats Truman." In my family we have a nationwide Oscar Pick 'Em Invitational, and although I'm the only one of the bunch who actually makes a living writing about this stuff, I have never, ever come even close to winning. Last year my brother-in-law Scot (who lives in Dallas, for crying out loud), won in a walk.
And he's some sort of corporate deal put-together-er (that's the technical term).
Anyway, I'm just getting started. To read the rest of my 100 percent-lock Oscar predictions, check out my article on the AARP entertainment site.
You'll also find my tribute to Elizabeth Taylor, who happens to turn 79 on Oscar Sunday.