And the winner might possibly be…

And the winner might possibly be...

by Blair BoydStaff Writer

Award season is finally coming to a close on Feb. 25 with the Mecca of all award shows, the Oscars. The 79th Annual Academy Awards will air at 7 p.m. on ABC where the year’s best will be rewarded for their outstanding work.

Though more than 20 awards are given out at the Oscars, there are always the few big awards that really become the focus of the evening. These are the top notch awards that get the most attention, and this year the list is just as unprecedented as usual.

Nominees for the Best Supporting Actor category include Alan Arkin for “Little Miss Sunshine,” Eddie Murphy for “Dreamgirls,” Mark Wahlberg for “The Departed,” Djimon Hounsou for “Blood Diamond” and Jackie Earl Haley for “Little Children.”

If previous awards shows this year are any prediction of the future, Murphy is a shoe-in for the Oscar. Murphy has nabbed the Golden Globe and SAG award for the same category. Missing from the impressive list is Jack Nicholson for “The Departed,” and many think he was snubbed of a worthy nomination.

The Best Supporting Actress category is a diverse group of talented stars. The list includes Adriana Barazza for “Babel,” Cate Blanchett for “Notes on a Scandal,” Abigail Breslin for “Little Miss Sunshine,” Jennifer Hudson for “Dreamgirls” and Rinko Kikuchi for “Babel.” Following in her co-star’s footprints, Hudson seems to be the likely favorite to take home this award as she has also been honored in this category at previous award shows.

Moving along to the lead roles, the Best Actor category contains no one unworthy of such a great honor. Leonardo DiCaprio is nominated for “Blood Diamond,” as well as Forest Whitaker for “The Last King of Scotland,” Will Smith for “The Pursuit of Happyness,” Peter O’Toole for “Venus” and Ryan Gosling for “Half Nelson.” Whitaker seems likely to take this award, though many people are rooting for DiCaprio to grab his first win after three previous nominations.

The Best Actress category consists of Meryl Streep for “The Devil Wears Prada,” Helen Mirren for “The Queen,” Penelope Cruz for “Volver,” Kate Winslet for “Little Children” and Judi Dench for “Notes on a Scandal.” The winner for this category will likely be a toss up between Mirren and Streep who have both received awards for these roles. If Streep were to win, it will be her third win in 14 nominations.

Now we look at the action behind the scenes-Best Director. Nominees are Clint Eastwood for “Letters From Iwo Jima,” Martin Scorsese for “The Departed,” Stephen Frears for “The Queen,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for “Babel” and Paul Greengrass for “United 93.” It seems most people are really hoping to see Scorsese win his first Oscar win after being nominated seven times, although all directors have what seems to be a decent shot of bringing home the gold statue.

Finally we get to the biggest of the big, the award for Best Picture of the Year. It’s no surprise that all movies nominated have actors and actresses within them nominated for awards as well. The list includes “Babel,” “The Departed,” “The Queen,” “Letters From Iwo Jima” and “Little Miss Sunshine.” Each movie is completely different from the other, making predictions for this award next to impossible. The biggest upset would be “Little Miss Sunshine,” a film carried by a 10-year-old star in the making. At this point, it’s anyone’s game, so you’ll have to tune in and find out for yourself.