Before I get started, did I tell you that I have a horrible track record for guessing the winners? But I’m still going to give you my predictions because I write these as if it actually mattered (I like to stay in my own delusions). I'm also skipping any category where I haven't seen/heard of a single film.
Achievement in sound editing
“King Kong” (Universal) Mike Hopkins and Ethan Van der Ryn
“Memoirs of a Geisha” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Wylie Stateman
“War of the Worlds” (Paramount and DreamWorks) Richard King
Achievement in sound mixing
“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (Buena Vista)Terry Porter, Dean A. Zupancic and Tony Johnson
“King Kong” (Universal) Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges and Hammond Peek
“Memoirs of a Geisha” (Sony Pictures Releasing)Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell, Rick Kline and John Pritchett
“Walk the Line” (20th Century Fox)Paul Massey, D.M. Hemphill and Peter F. Kurland
“War of the Worlds” (Paramount and DreamWorks)Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer and Ronald Judkins
Does anybody in the Academy really understand the difference? Is War of the Worlds going to be the change given to Speilberg because it won’t win anything for Munich? Will it go to the mighty King Kong or will Memoirs of a Geisha and Walk the Line be given it as a consolation prize? Or will it be a Narnia sweep in the technical categories? My vote is for King Kong and Narnia again. Who deserves it? Probably King Kong.
Achievement in film editing
“Cinderella Man” (Universal and Miramax)Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
“The Constant Gardener” (Focus Features) Claire Simpson
“Crash” (Lions Gate) Hughes Winborne
“Munich” (Universal and DreamWorks) Michael Kahn
“Walk the Line” (20th Century Fox)Michael McCusker
The Constant Gardener probably deserves it the most, but Crash will probably win because of the multiple storylines and the fact its up for an Oscar. Munich was slightly too confusing to people will probably not win.
Best documentary feature
“Darwin’s Nightmare” (International Film Circuit) A Mille et Une Production, Hubert Sauper
“Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” (Magnolia Pictures)An HDNet Films ProductionAlex Gibney and Jason Kliot
“March of the Penguins” (Warner Independent Pictures) A Bonne Pioche ProductionLuc Jacquet and Yves Darondeau
“Murderball” (THINKFilm)An Eat Films ProductionHenry-Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro
“Street Fight”A Marshall Curry ProductionMarshall Curry
The fact that one of the films in this category made millions and millions of dollars is weird enough, the fact that it wasn’t a Michael Moore film even more so. March of the Penguins will win, just because everyone actually saw this film, but there’s good competition from Enron and Murderball. I haven’t seen those too but heard they were very good. The Penguins movie kinda bored me actually but I if those guys get an Oscar for sitting out in the cold harsh snow of Antartica for over a year, I won’t complain.
Achievement in costume design
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (Warner Bros.)Gabriella Pescucci
“Memoirs of a Geisha” (Sony Pictures Releasing)Colleen Atwood
“Mrs. Henderson Presents” (The Weinstein Company)Sandy Powell
“Pride & Prejudice” (Focus Features)Jacqueline Durran
“Walk the Line” (20th Century Fox) Arianne Phillips
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory all the way! The most inventive of the bunch. The rest were all just historical copies (and with Geisha, inaccurate historical copies apparently). Geisha might just win it for its exoticness but its critical panning might cost them.