Feb 252004
 
Authors: Jeremy Anderson

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.

 

Best Picture

Who Will Win: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the

King”

In an attempt to honor the trilogy as a whole, I think the

Academy has been planning on awarding this third and final

installment.

Who Should Win: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the

King”

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.

Best Actor

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.

Best Actress

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

and unforgettable.

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

ever.

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.

Best Director

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.

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