the envelope, please

Local film pros predict Oscars likely winners

By ANDREW WINEKE THE GAZETTE

It s the annual dilemma: You re filling out the office Oscar pool and darned if you know the difference between sound editing and sound mixing.

Only about two people in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences could explain it, but the important thing is to know who Oscar likes. Is the Academy likely to toss a bone to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man s Chest in the mixing category? Will Clint Eastwood s Flags of Our Fathers best his Letters from Iwo Jima in editing?

Never fear, The Gazette is here to help. We polled a group of local film buffs who have actually seen both Babel and Notes on a Scandal and can give you five reasons why Peter O Toole is not going to win best actor for Venus (although all five have to do with Forest Whitaker being a lock for Last King of Scotland ).

Even better, you can check your ballot against the pros and crow if you whip them.

Our panel is composed of Warren Epstein, The Gazette s entertainment editor; Kathryn Eastburn, film reviewer for the Colorado Springs Independent; Kimball Bayles, owner of Kimball s Twin Peak Theater; and Robert von Dassanowsky, film studies professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Actually, von Dassanowsky is off gathering inside information and a suntan as a visiting professor at UCLA.

If setting pen to paper is too much effort, Kimball s Twin Peak has set up an online contest with prizes you can find a link at www.gazette.com.

Without further ado, we present Best Oscar Picks from a Mid-Sized City in a Mountain State.