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Who gets to kiss Oscar’s ass on Hollywood’s biggest night? The inside line on who will win, who will lose, and who will get robbed

By PETER TRAVERS

The Departed

BEST PICTURE

Babel
The Departed
Letters From Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

The Front-Runner The other four nominees have it all over Little Miss Sunshine, but the dysfunctional-family comedy is impossible to dislike. Oscar, the cowardly bastard, has taken the path of least resistance before — Shakespeare in Love — and the gold-plated bugger will again.

The Spoiler It’s a real contest this year, with each nominee standing tall. And Babel is running a quiet and steady race. At least the Academy didn’t nominate the boneheaded Bobby. For me, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed is the one that deserves to wipe away the sunshine. If the geezer voters would stop bitching about the film’s violence, they’d see a classic crime drama that beats the pants off the competition for directing, writing, editing and killer ensemble acting.

MY PICK
The Departed: A classic crime film however you cut it.

>>See Peter Travers’ pick for Best Picture | Best Director | Best Actress | Best Actor | Best Supporting Actress | Best Supporting Actor

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