It’s almost that time of year again. The night when millions of
people tune in to one of the highest-rated television events of the
year to watch their favorite players compete against one another
for the coveted trophy. To watch tears of happiness stream down the
faces of the winners and to watch the disappointed losers go home
defeated. The Super Bowl you say? Oh no, this is the Oscars.
Last year saw the release of many award-worthy films, but only a
select few were lucky enough to catch Oscar’s eye. Some categories
have clear-cut frontrunners, while others are so packed with
commendable contenders that a winner is harder to choose.
Nonetheless, here are my predictions, picks and disappointments
regarding the 76th Annual Academy Awards nominations.
Who Will Win: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the
In an attempt to honor the trilogy as a whole, I think the
Academy has been planning on awarding this third and final
Who Should Win: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the
This trilogy is probably the biggest cinematic achievement of
the last 20 years. To deny it the Oscar would be criminal.
Who Got Snubbed: “In America”
I would have liked to see “Kill Bill Vol. 1,” “Cold Mountain”
and “House of Sand and Fog” nominated as well, but “In America” was
especially worthy of a spot in this category.
Who Will Win: Sean Penn, “Mystic River”
I think Academy voters will be split between Penn and Murray,
but Penn gave the more traditional kind of standout performance
that tends to get the Oscar.
Who Should Win: Bill Murray, “Lost in Translation”
I honestly won’t be disappointed with whoever wins in this
category, but Murray’s subtle, comedic performance is the one that
won me over the most.
Who Got Snubbed: Nicolas Cage, “Matchstick Men”
This is one of my favorite performances of the year and it is a
big shame it went unnoticed.
Who Will Win: Charlize Theron, “Monster”
Her performance was the most talked about of the year and it has
all the makings of Oscar gold.
Who Should Win: Charlize Theron, “Monster”
Theron is in good company with her fellow nominees, but her
portrayal of real life serial killer Aileen Wuornos is unbeatable
Who Got Snubbed: Scarlett Johansson, “Lost in Translation
She more than held her own against Bill Murray in this film.
However, Uma Thurman (“Kill Bill Vol. 1”), Nicole Kidman (“Cold
Mountain”) and Jennifer Connelly (“House of Sand and Fog”) all gave
nomination-worthy performances also.
Best Supporting Actor
Who Will Win: Tim Robbins, “Mystic River”
Robbins’ introspective portrayal of a damaged man with
devastatingly bad luck will most likely win over Oscar voters.
Who Should Win: Ken Watanabe, “The Last Samurai”
He practically stole this movie from Tom Cruise by giving the
film most of its power and spirit.
Who Got Snubbed: Chris Cooper, “Seabiscuit”
He gave a quietly effective performance that was maybe
overlooked due to his completely opposite, Oscar-winning
performance last year in “Adaptation.”
Best Supporting Actress
Who Will Win: Renee Zellweger, “Cold Mountain”
This is her third Oscar nomination in a row, but she has yet to
win. The third time’s a charm and this is her best performance
Who Should Win: Rene Zellweger, “Cold Mountain”
She stole every scene she was in and provided some much-needed
comic relief to an otherwise serious, somber film.
Who Got Snubbed: Emma and Sarah Bolger, “In America”
This movie wouldn’t have existed without them. Possibly the best
child performances I have ever seen.
Who Will Win: Peter Jackson, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return
of the King”
I think the Academy realizes that recognition is more than due
for what Jackson accomplished with this trilogy.
Who Should Win: Peter Jackson, “The Lord of the Rings: The
Return of the King”
None of the other directors in this category came close to the
level of achievement Jackson accomplished.
Who Got Snubbed: Alejandro Gonz�lez
I��rritu, “21 Grams”
He managed to orchestrate a completely nonlinear storyline into
an excellent, fully comprehensible film.