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Sunday night are the Academy Awards, which means that I’m going to use this space to tell you what movies and actors I would have voted for, if I had a vote. These are not predictions; I have a generally lousy record of picking actual winners. Just one Content Guy’s opinion...

Best Picture: I’d be choosing between The Descendants and Moneyball, and I’d pick The Descendants.

Best Actor: George Clooney in The Descendants.

Best Actress: Viola Davis in The Help. (I just hope they don’t give it Meryl Street for the wretched The Iron Lady. And I can;t work up any enthusiasm for seeing Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs, a movie that looks like it’d be watching paint dry.)

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer in Beginners.

Best Supporting Actor: Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids, a great comic performance in one of the year’s funniest movies. It deserves to be recognized.

Best Director: Alexander Payne for The Descendants.

Best Original Screenplay: I’m really torn on this one, since I could vote for Bridesmaids, Margin Call or Midnight in Paris. I loved all of them...but probably Midnight in Paris is the one I loved the most.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Again, I’m torn between The Descendants and Moneyball, but I’d probably vote for The Descendants.

As I said above, I’ll probably end up wrong. I’m looking for The Descendants to do well, but I have a feeling that The Artist - which I liked a lot, but didn’t feel was quite good enough - is going to pick up a bunch of awards.

We’ll see.

Speaking of movies...

Last weekend, I saw Safe House, the Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds thriller about a treasonous former US spy being hunted by unknown parties and getting an assist from an inexperienced field agent holding down the fort at a South African safe house. I liked this a lot more than Mrs. Content Guy - she grew bored with all the fights and car chases, which I thought were pretty well done. Safe House is a solid B-movie, well-done, workmanlike, and an entertaining evening at the movies. Nothing more, nothing less.

To be fair, I like movies about retired or aging spies who are forced back into action. Always have. There are better ones out there that you could rent ... the other night, for example, I found that Hopscotch was on Netflix, and I watched this comic thriller with Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson about a CIA agent gone rogue. Unlike Safe House, which is all testosterone and momentum, Hopscotch is cleverly written and directed, features Matthau at his most irascible, and is just a fun movie of the type they don’t make anymore. (I feel old just writing those last few words, but what are you going to do?)

There’s another reasonably competent movie in this “retired spy” genre that has just come to DVD - The Double, with Richard Gere and Topher Grace, about the hunt for a Russian assassin. Not great, but diverting enough for an winter evening when you have nothing else to do.

Of course, such movies are better if you are sipping a good glass of wine...

And I had some great ones this week:

The 2008 Innocent Viognier, from Victoria, Australia ... a truly fabulous white wine that, as it happens, was part of the MNB Wine of the Month selection. Click here for more info. We had it with this great tilapia and tomato and onion dish that I make, and it was really, really good.

The 2009 Chianti Ruffina from Fattoria di Basciano in Italy ... which was wonderful with the chicken parmesan I made the other night.

And finally, the 2006 Pinot Noir from Michaud Vineyard in California’s Monterey County...also terrific with just about anything.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.

KC's View: