HANDICAPPING the Oscar nominations:
1 -- "Dances With Wolves." Didn't see it. Line in front of theater stretched to Vermont, no parking spaces. Heard it has something to do with Indians.
2 -- "Awakenings." Didn't see this one, either. But my wife saw it with her sister. Said it was a real tear-jerker. Something about a mental patient who suddenly . . . oh, I don't know. Tell you the truth, was watching "MacGyver" when she explained it. Went in one ear and out the other.
3 -- "Goodfellas." Missed first half hour arguing with vacant-eyed Guns 'n' Roses groupie behind candy counter over $2.50 box of Pom-Poms. From what I DID see, movie should be called "Deadfellas."
4 -- "Ghost." Please. What's next: "Huey, Dewey and Louie Visit Uncle Mickey?"
5 -- "The Godfather, Part III." Bummer ending. This critic left theater ready to gobble entire bottle of Percodan. Put it this way: It ain't "The Sound of Music."
Projected winner: "Dances with Wolves." Insecure director/star Kevin Costner slips envelope filled with $100 bills to all 6,700 members of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
1 -- Stephen Frears ("The Grifters.") Steve, two words: No shot.
2 -- Martin Scorsese ("Goodfellas.") Marty, Marty, Marty . . . First "Taxi Driver." Then "Raging Bull." Now another psycho from the demimonde. What, the Leo Buscaglia tapes aren't working?
3 -- Barbet Schroeder ("Reversal of Fortune.") Claus von Bulow most unsympathetic character since Pol Pot.
4 -- Francis Ford Coppola ("The Godfather, Part III.") If there's a "Godfather IV," let's get a director who's NOT suffering from clinical depression.
5 -- Kevin Costner ("Dances with Wolves.") Stirring paean to Old West or three-hour excuse for a nap? This critic goes with Door No. 2.
Projected winner: Kevin Costner. Ruthless director invites other nominees to isolated mountain retreat day before ceremony, quietly excuses himself and watches from nearby cliff as cabin is buried under carefully rigged avalanche.
1 -- Robert DeNiro ("Awakenings.") Who CAN'T play someone asleep?
2 -- Jeremy Irons ("Reversal of Fortune.") I forget, is this guy who played superintendent in "Police Academy?"
3 -- Richard Harris ("The Field.") Hasn't been same since drunken rampage in Wales pub when he threw drink at innkeeper's wife and called her "fat old cow." Or am I thinking of Richard Burton?
4 -- Gerard Depardieu ("Cyrano de Bergerac.") Is it Dep-ar-DEW or Dep-AR-dew. If I'm the noted French actor, I'm changing my name to Jerry Depp for American audiences.
5 -- Kevin Costner ("Dances with Wolves.") Is this guy up for Rotarian of the Year, too? Get a life, fella! Go mow the lawn or something.
Projected winner: Kevin Costner. Obsessed actor cuts brake lines on limos of other nominees, touching off tragic 27-car pileup on Santa Monica Freeway three hours before awards ceremony.
1 -- Kathy Bates ("Misery.") Scarier than a British soccer crowd.
2 -- Anjelica Huston ("The Grifters.") A shell of an actress since breakup with Nicholson, brought on (we hear) by Huston's stubborn refusal to change transmission fluid on Jack's Aston Martin.
3 -- Julia Roberts ("Pretty Woman.") Millionaire with matinee-idol looks falls in love with gorgeous down-and-out hooker? Sure, happens every day.
4 -- Meryl Streep ("Postcards from the Edge.") Insecure actress plays insecure actress. Talk about art imitating life.
5 -- Joanne Woodward ("Mr. and Mrs. Bridge.") Long-time Academy vendetta against husband Paul Newman for world's worst salad dressing --es Oscar hopes.
Projected winner: Kevin Costner. In bizarre incident at ceremonies, volatile actor leaps on stage, claims to have 100 sticks of dynamite strapped to body and demands to win Best Actress award. SWAT units arrive too late to help.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Joe Pesci ("Goodfellas.") In one scene, he sticks barrel of pistol down terrified mobster's throat. In another, he turns rival hood into pincushion with kitchen knife. Olivier, eat your heart out.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Lorraine Bracco ("Goodfellas.") In one scene, she takes whack across forehead in role as downtrodden Mafia wife. In another, she has screen door slammed in face. This . . . this is ACTING.