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There are only a few days left in 2006, which means the Academy Award-worthy films start hitting theaters at full force. We have put together a list of our favorite Oscar picks so far…

Best movie
It is always the hardest choice to be made. One of the possible winners is “The Departed” by Martin Scorsesse. Although, it is an adaptation it’s well done with amazing actors, like Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson. Just next to “The Departed” there is “Babel” by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. This is one of three significant movies done by this director, next to “Amores Peros” and “21 grams”. In the race for Oscar there are also two so called “female” movies. One of them, “Dreamgirls”, described as “perfectly done”, tells the story of three black female singers and is close to the real story of the “Supremes” band, well-known in 60s. The other, called “The Queen”, shows the real life of Queen Elizabeth II. Some people say that the black horse of this year Oscars is going to be “Apocalypto” by Mel Gibson, which tells the story of one of the Indian tribes in South America extinct many hundreds years ago.

Best Actress
Penélope Cruz, for her great role in “Volver”. She has been a longtime muse to Pedro Almodóvar. In the latest movie, the Spanish starlet finally reunites with the acclaimed director and delivers a truly passionate performance that reminds us of her talents. Although Penélope Cruz has never been nominated, she does have one of Spain’s Goya Awards. One of her biggest rivals can be Helen Mirren, though. She stars in “The Queen”, a movie which tells a story about Queen Elizabeth II. Mirren, the veteran actress, is no stranger to regal roles, but her understated-yet-powerful portrayal of a stressed-out Queen Elizabeth II may be her most impressive yet. She has already earned two Best Supporting Actress nominations, for “The Madness of King George” and “Gosford Park”.

Best Actor
Both Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, should be awarded for “The Departed”. They are very compelling, and the real question to be asked is which one of them is better? Matt Damon was nominated for Actor and won an Oscar with Ben Affleck for writing “Good Will Hunting” and Leonardo has already earned two acting nominations. There is one more to fight for Oscar. Ryan Gosling, staring in “Half Nelson” is showing a real huge talent.

Best Supporting Actor
Ben Affleck, starring in “Hollywoodland”. He has got one Oscar, for “Good Will Hunting” script. This year he got acting prize from Venice Film Fest. His rival is Jack Nicholson, playing in “The Departed”. Although he stars a ruthless Boston Mob boss Frank Costello, who does not mind getting his hands bloody, he is, as always, the best. Throughout his career he has had 12 nominations and has won 3 since 1970.

Best Supporting Actress
Vera Farmiga, staring in “The Departed”, where she is the only actress playing in a testosterone-charged movie. This year her rival is going to be Diane Lane, staring in “Hollywoodland”. Her portrayal of a mogul’s wife who becomes Superman’s sugar mama is vulnerable. She has already got one lead actress nomination for “Unfaithful”.

Improve your vocabulary!

the hardest – najtrudniejszy
extinct – wymarły
significant – znaczący
tribes – plemiona
muse – muza
starlet – gwiazdka
regal – królewski
compelling – nie do odparcia, fascynujący
ruthless – bezwzględny, bezlitosny
throughout – poprzez
mogul – magnat
vulnerable – podatny, czuły