As of now, here are the biggest questions on Oscar night.

1. Will Brokeback Mountain win Best Picture, or can Crash pull off a monumental upset?

2. Will George Clooney walk away empty-handed?

3. Will it be Clooney, Giamatti, or possibly upstart Matt Dillon in the tight supporting actor contest?

4. Will Jon Stewart be better than Chris Rock? (well…that one shoudn’t be too hard to answer)

This brings me to ask – whatever happened to the intense Best Actor/Best Actress races? This year there’s very little suspense. Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Reese Witherspoon will be making trips to the podium. You can bank on it. But the disturbing thing is that it’s not only this year, but the last few years have been interestingly devoid of a real exciting race. Last year Jamie Foxx and Hilary Swank cleaned up. The year before, it was Sean Penn and Charlize Theron. Whatever happened to the great Russell Crowe/Denzel Washington or Nicole Kidman/Renee Zellweger showdowns? Have the acting categories just become THAT predictable? The shortened awards season can be blamed for some of this recent trend. There just isn’t enough time for upstart contenders to build enough momentum. It also doesn’t help that bona fide contenders like Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix do virtually no campaigning at all. Oh well. It’s the Oscars and there will be surely be some drama somewhere. Let’s hope at least that Hoffman and Witherspoon have some mildly entertaining speeches prepared.

Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation download