Byline: GEORGE MEYER CORRESPONDENT
In every sense of the word, you can expect the 2006 Academy Awards show to be a gay occasion.
Costumes, gowns and a new host all indicate hilarity and spectacle. And the pre-show buzz surrounding the nominees suggests that films with gay characters will figure greatly in the winners' list at the end of the (predictably) overlong celebration.
Primarily, that means that "Brokeback Mountain," the 20th Century Fox Western that chronicles the strained relationship between two gay sheepherders, will walk off with a fistful of Oscars.
That is, if history matters, as it has in 18 of the last 22 years, when the Golden Globe Award-winner for Best Picture also won the Oscar.
Two mainstream hits -- "Crash," a collection of interrelated and racially charged vignettes, and "Munich," Steven Spielberg's Middle Eastern revenge thriller -- have a chance …