R.J. White's Picks for the Oscars

By R.J. White

As the editor for the entertainment section of a thriving online news outlet (I can't say which one, but you know), many people are asking, "R.J. (that's my name), what are your picks for the Academy Awards?"

Rather than reply to all of these e-mails directly, I'll just address everyone at once.

Best Picture
R.J.'s Pick: The Color Purple

Now, some will dispute this, and I don't blame them. For me it was a tough decision between this and 'Prizzi's Honor.' Sure, 'Out Of Africa' has its little cadre of supporters. Don't get me wrong, it's a fine film, but I feel that this is truly Steven Spielberg's year. 'Kiss of the Spider Woman' is too far out there, and not what the Academy usually goes for.

Best Actor
R.J.'s Pick: James Garner, 'Murphy's Romance'

I think this is James' year. His subtle performance opposite Sally Field displays the sort of nuanced charm his fans have seen on television for years. Jack Nicholson was just giving us more of the same in 'Prizzi's Honor,' Harrison Ford's 'Witness' was too much of a trifle and who really saw 'Runaway Train?' Anyone? I thought not. Again, sorry Bill Hurt, but 'Kiss of the Spider Woman' just won't grab the Academy's conservative hearts.

Best Actress
R.J.'s Pick: Geraldine Page, 'The Trip to Bountiful'

What can I say? It's a small story that hits you right in the old heart and it's the work of the wonderful Ms. Page that takes you there. Meryl was great in 'Out of Africa,' but she and her accents will surely have more chances in the future. Whoopi Goldberg's debut was well-received, but I see her as being more of a box office sensation than a serious actress. 'Agnes Of God' was a bit of a downer, so sorry, Ms. Bancroft.

Best Director
R.J.'s Pick: Steven Spielberg

See my Best Picture pick. These usually go hand in hand, deservedly. This year should be no different. Of course, hopefully Steven's gotten this serious bug out of his system, and can get back to entertaining America once again. It would be nice to see John Houston get one more accolade, but, frankly, 'Prizzi' isn't his best work. Though the man is an unqualified genius, Kurasowa just won't get the votes needed.

So, there you have it- I hope this doesn't mess up any office pools- it's just one professional's opinion. So, have fun, settle in with some popcorn on the big night and Viva La Film!