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It’s already late Friday. And many of you are feeling woefully unprepared. Why? You’re going to have to fill out a ballot for an Oscar pool in less than 48 hours and you haven’t seen 75% of the nominated films.

Have no fear, North is here. While we excel in providing early stage venture analysis, occasionally we enjoy conducting due diligence on other innovative & ambitious undertakings.

In case you’re wondering, I HAVE seen all but two of the nominated films from the major categories (a perk of having friends and family in the “the biz.”). I’m also co-defending champion of a very prestigious Oscar Party Pool in Echo Park. Okay, now I’m just setting myself up for a bashing on Monday.

So without further ado, here are my picks for the 81st Academy Awards.

Disclaimer: Film enthusiasts should always conduct their own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice prior to making any Oscar ballot decisions. North and its management or associates will not be liable for any loss or damages caused by a reader’s reliance on information obtained in this blog posting…

Best picture: Slumdog Millionaire – seems to have all the momentum right now

Best director: Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire – deserving

Best actor: Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler – he was damn good (Penn a close second)

Best actress: Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married – upset special over Winslet

Best supporting actress: Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona – upset special over Taraji Henson

Best supporting actor – Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight – sentimental pick, but he was good

Best foreign language film – Waltz With Bashir * – Israel – going to see tonight

Best animated feature film – Wall-E

Best adapted screenplay – Slumdog Millionaire

Best original screenplay – Milk

Best original score – Slumdog Millionaire

Best original song – Down To Earth – Wall-E

Art direction – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – i fell asleep in this too…boring

Cinematography – Slumdog Millionaire

Costume design – The Duchess

Best documentary feature – Man on Wire – my best film of the year

Film editing – The Dark Knight

Make-up – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Sound editing – Iron Man

Sound mixing – The Dark Knight

Visual effects – The Dark Knight

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