I don’t typically pay that much mind to the Oscars. When Scorsese didn’t win for GoodFellas and Pacino won for Scent of a Woman — a performance that is near excruciating to watch today, and ranks among one of his lesser efforts — I gave up the ship but fast.

Yet for some reason I was hanging on the Best Supporting Actor category this year, as it represented the only category in which I’d seen all the contenders. And again, Oscar didn’t fail to disappoint me. Anyone who saw ’em all would have to admit that the best performance of the lot was by Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children. Yes, it was an admittedly creepy role — a recently-released sex offender coming back to his hometown to live with his mom — but one that Haley infused with equal parts horror and humanity. It was a f–king brilliant performance, and while I can’t begrudge Alan Arkin — who I still say was robbed when he didn’t get nominated for his work as the punchdrunk-on-suburbia dad in Edward Scissorhands — the guy was on screen in Little Miss Sunshine for like, what? Ten minutes? That’s not to say that one can’t make an impact in a few moments; think Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross or the guy who got kicked in the balls in Ernest Goes to School. But Arkin’s work just didn’t have the impact of Haley’s, or a lot of his competiton, for that matter. A win for Haley — he was Kelly Leak in Bad News Bears, for chrissakes! — would have awarded what was truly the best performance by an actor in a supporting role.

::Gets off soapbox::

Okay. Now. Brendan Donnelly’s ready to rock the house.

Oh, and Mariano Rivera will have nothing to do with us. Somebody cue the sad music.