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Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 02/21/2008

Oscar Picks

By Jen Chaney

For a few weeks, it seemed like the unthinkable might happen: No Oscars.

Thankfully, in a plot development befitting an uplifting Best Picture contender, the writers' strike ended, the scribes (sort of) triumphed and the world now gets to see George Clooney in a tuxedo this Sunday night. Wondering where you can celebrate the 80th annual Academy Awards in the D.C. area? And, more importantly, what to select in that all-important Oscar pool? Then read on, all you "Juno"-loving home skillets...

D.C.'s "official" Oscar party -- the one sanctioned by the Academy -- is at Posh this year. The black-tie event comes with a hefty price tag: Tickets are $95, which includes open bar and hors d'oeuvres, or $150 for VIPs, who also get access to a private bar, valet parking, a swag bag, an Academy Awards program and passed champagne. The proceeds from the event benefit the Red Cross, so perhaps that's reason enough to spend (and drink) a little more on Oscar night.

If you prefer to go a cheaper route, the D.C. Film Society hosts its 15th annual Oscar soiree at the Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse on Sunday. Tickets are just $20, or $15 for Film Society members, with proceeds going to the Society and the Washington, D.C. International Film Festival. So you can celebrate film and benefit D.C.'s film community at the same time. Plus, there will be a silent auction featuring some cool memorabilia signed by Oscar contenders like Ellen Page ("Juno") and director Julian Schnabel ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly").

Also on the cheaper side: The Washington Film Institute's Oscars party, where tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The big event will be shown on a large screen at the Goethe-Institut, where guests can devour heavy hors d'oeuvres and one complimentary adult beverage.

Then of course, there is option three: Find a WiFi hot spot and join me for the fifth annual washingtonpost.com Oscar chat. The discussion goes even longer this year, as Liz Kelly -- you know her from her starring role on Celebritology -- will join me for the red carpet portion of the evening, starting at 6 p.m. (Why should I only be the only one bemoaning Renee Zellweger's skinniness when Liz and I can do it in stereo?) As always, I will stick around to chat with readers until the telecast ends, most likely sometime the following Tuesday.

Finally, that tricky business of predicting winners. I am still puzzling over my own picks since this year seems wide open in several categories. My thoughts:

It's safe to go with Javier Bardem as Best Supporting Actor, even though I personally want Hal Holbrook to take it.

I think Cate Blanchett will snag her second Supporting Actress statuette for being Bob Dylan in "I'm Not There."

Daniel Day-Lewis is a lock for Best Actor.

Marion Cotillard will surprise everyone by overcoming the Julie Christie factor to win Best Actress.

And "No Country for Old Men" will beat out "There Will Be Blood" (both of which filmed in Marfa, Tex.,) for Best Picture.

By Jen Chaney  | February 21, 2008; 11:12 AM ET
Categories:  Movies  
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