Like every other blog, website, magazine and newspaper on earth right about now, it’s time to unleash the PEN15 Club Oscar predictions and preferences, while indulging in the time-honored tradition of whining about who wasn’t nominated. “Snub,” we cry. “Snub!”

Why should you read these? Because I’m not insulting your intelligence by drawing futile comparisons between the nominees and the Presidential candidates (“if Julie Christie is Hillary Clinton, then Ellen Page is Obama!”). You’re welcome.

I’m too lazy to cut and paste the nominees, so for reference, go here.

    Best Picture

Will Win: As pundits internet-wide attempt to MacGyver Juno and Michael Clayton upset scenarios into existence, the fact is that No Country for Old Men has swept the guild awards, is the second-highest grossing nominee, is a career-best for a respected filmmaking team, and has a Best Editing nomination. It wins in a walk.

Should Win: There Will Be Blood has the kind of sick genius that usually doesn’t even make the final five, so I’m eager for it to go the distance.

Where the Hell is…: Zodiac

    Best Director

Will: Coens won the DGA and will win this.

Should: Anderson, who’s never made a less-than-great movie in five tries.

Where the Hell is…: Todd Haynes, I’m Not There

    Best Actor

Will: Day-Lewis. Insert milkshake-drinking pun here.

Should: Day-Lewis, though Jones’ towering work as a military dad whose values are shaken to the core cut through the Paul Haggis treacle of Elah.

Where the Hell is…: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

    Best Actress

Will: Christie will extend the Sexy British Ladies of a Certain Age streak to two years.

Should: Linney, who’s ridiculously overdue, for nailing the kind of role that usually goes to men like Hoffman or Paul Giamatti.

Where the Hell is…: Nicole Kidman, Margot at the Wedding; Molly Shannon, Year of the Dog

    Best Supporting Actor

Will: Bardem, like his character, appears unstoppable, although he’s shown a tendency toward loopy acceptance speeches so far this awards season.

Should: Holbrook, for making us cry like a baby during the last 20 minutes or so of Into the Wild.

Where the Hell is…: Robert Downey Jr., Zodiac

    Supporting Actress

Will: As usual, the toughest category. I think those “Blanchett scenes only” I’m Not There DVDs the Weinsteins sent out, though blasphemous, will nail it for Cate. I can’t fathom Ruby Dee winning for her five-minute, window-dressing role. Career achievement awards are nice, but Dee’s career has mostly been onstage and on television.

Should: I’m cool with anyone but Dee, but I’m partial to Amy Ryan for immortalizing that dying Boston stereotype, Dorchester-dwelling Irish Catholic white trash.

Where the Hell is…: Leslie Mann, Knocked Up

    Original Screenplay

Will: I have a feeling that everyone’s sick of Diablo Cody and the award will go, instead, to Clayton’s Tony Gilroy.

Should: Clayton is the most elegantly scripted piece of Hollywood entertainment in years.

Where the Hell is…: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, Superbad

    Adapted Screenplay

Will: The Coens, unless people get sick of voting for them in every category and throw a bone to Anderson instead.

Should: Polley, for fleshing out a sketch of a novella with total grace.

Where the Hell is…: Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard, Gone Baby Gone. There, I said it.

You’re welcome for the office pool victory. See you on the other side of my Monday morning hangover!

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