BEST ACTOR: Pretty much what I expected to be here. Billy Bob Thornton might have made it for either THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE or MONSTER BALL or Ewan MacGregor for MOULIN ROUGE, but this is a solid group.
*Russell Crowe - A BEAUTIFUL MIND: A better performance than his win last year for GLADIATOR, but last years win will hurt his chances. Could sneak a win, but I don't think so.
*Sean Penn - I AM SAM: It's all been done before (See Dustin Hoffman in RAIN MAN)
*Will Smith - ALI: A great performance, but the movie lacks which I think hurts his chances.
*Denzel Washington - TRAINING DAY: My bet for the winner.
*Tom Wilkinson - IN THE BEDROOM: A solid performance, but not worthy of the statue.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Some head scratchers in this category. Gene Hackman should be here.
*Jim Broadbent - IRIS: One of his 2 great performances (see MOULIN ROUGE as well), but gets lost in the pack.
*Ethan Hawke - TRAINING DAY: Head Scratcher. Not quite sure how he got here.
*Ben Kingsley - SEXY BEAST: Here's your winner. Kingsley should be happy he wasn't placed in the Best Actor category!
*Ian McKellen - LORD OF THE RINGS - FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING: My personal favorite, but won't win.
*Jon Voight - ALI: Head Scratcher number 2.
BEST ACTRESS: One of the best years for women in a long time! Solid performances filled the screen.
*Halle Berry - MONSTER'S BALL: A super performance and not hard on the eyes! One of the forerunner!
*Judi Dench - IRIS: One of her best in years. A nicely written character for a great actress.
*Nicole Kidman - MOULIN ROUGE: A happy surprise. Kidman is turning into one of the best actress out there and taking the most chances! She should be happy to be here, but will be here again soon I'm sure.
*Sissy Spacek - IN THE BEDROOM: The other forerunner. Really is neck and neck with Berry!
*Renee Zellweger - BRIDGET JONES' DIARY: A nice performance, but Naomi Watts for MULHOLLAND DRIVE would have made it a super group of 5 amazing performances.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Women rule this year! An amazing group of performances.
*Jennifer Connelly - A BEAUTIFUL MIND: Give it to her cause she's won everything else!
*Helen Mirren - GOSFORD PARK: Helen and the next actress Maggie Smith are both so good at what they do you forget how good they continue to be.
*Maggie Smith - GOSFORD PARK: See above.
*Marisa Tomei - IN THE BEDROOM: This proves that MY COUSIN VINNEY wasn't a mistake. A super job, but I don't think enough to beat Connelly.
*Kate Winslet - IRIS: Always gives solid performances in everything she does.
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: The Academy has finally added this category and then they screw it up by not even nominating the winner! WAKING LIFE was the best animated film in years and made most critics "best of" lists at the end of 2001.
*JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS: Yeah, this is better than WAKING LIFE...Please....
*MONSTERS, INC.: A good movie, not as good as WAKING LIFE.
*SHREK: A good movie and one of the funniest films this year! Not as good as WAKING LIFE.
ART DIRECTION: Some very nice work done in all these films.
*AMELIE - Aline Bonetto (Art Direction) -- Marie-Laure Valla (Set Decoration): This picture looked great, but I'm not sure how much of it was art direction and how much was Paris itself.
*GOSFORD PARK - Stephen Altman (Art Direction) -- Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration): Looked great for what it was, but nothing that a Masterpeice Theater production wouldn't have in it.
*HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE - Stuart Craig (Art Direction) -- Stephenie McMillan (Set Decoration): Very Nice, but I believe the next 2 films were better.
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING - Grant Major (Art Direction) -- Dan Hennah (Set Decoration): Some absolutely wonderful stuff. They created an entirely new world. Give it to them!
*MOULIN ROUGE - Catherine Martin (Art Direction) -- Brigitte Broch (Set Decoration): I really loved the art direction in this film and wouldn't be upset if they won, but I think LORD OF THE RINGS was something special.
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Honestly, this is one of the hardest catergories for me. Every one of these films is beautiful to look at! Kudos to every single one!
*AMELIE - Bruno Delbonnel: Doesn't have enough to beat the "Hollywood" films.
*BLACK HAWK DOWN - Slawomir Idziak: Might be the award this film wins.
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING - Andrew Lesnie: If it's a RINGS night, you can give this award to them as well.
*THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE - Roger Deakins: Black and White lives!!!!!!! Give the award to them just so more movies are made in glorious Black and White!
*MOULIN ROUGE - Donald M. McAlpine: There are some amazing sequences in this film. Has as much of a chance as any of these films.
*THE AFFAIR OF THE NECKLACE - Milena Canonero: I've really only seen the previews for this film so far, but it looks like your typical period piece.
*GOSFORD PARK - Jenny Beavan: Yeah, everyone looks nice, but they're just in tuxs and the such. As least someone's grandparents are happy they got their closets cleaned out!
*HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE - Judianna Makovsky: A few nice costumes, but nothing to make me go WOW!
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING - Ngila Dickson and Richard Taylor: Some really great stuff here. They really went out of their way to give a special look to each character.
*MOULIN ROUGE - Catherine Martin and Angus Strathie: The only film to give the RINGS a run for their money. I really loved the costuming in this film and I'm guessing the elegent and sexy outfits of Kidmans and the older, sophistic wardrobe of Ewen McGregor will also be the type of costumes that the older Academy find appealing. I'm putting this slightly ahead of the RING.
DIRECTING: There's an absence of both Baz Luhrmann of MOULIN ROUGE and Todd Field of IN THE BEDROOM.
*A BEAUTIFUL MIND - Ron Howard: Howard is a frontrunner and it really depends how the night is going. He did nice work, but I'm not sure he deserves the statue.
*BLACK HAWK DOWN - Ridley Scott: Scott always does great work, especially since he changes genres quite often while still capturing the essences of the story. I don't think this film has enough backing for him to win this award.
*GOSFORD PARK - Robert Altman: One of the better directed films for Altman in quite some time, but if you look at DR. T that's not saying much! Yeah he did great things with a large ensemble cast, but how much of that was his doing and how much was the hiring of some of the best actors in the business? Baz Luhrmann should be here in his place!
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING - Peter Jackson: This film (series) has been a pet project of Jackson for years and he really did great things. He deserves it!
*MULHOLLAND DRIVE - David Lynch: One of his best films since BLUE VELVET, but they still don't make much sense! Since the film received few other nominations, I don't think he has a chance. Just being nominated was recognition enough!
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: We as a film going public never gets to see these movies. It's nice to see that HBO, Showtime, Sundance, Bravo and other cable stations are starting to pick up these films and put them on the small screen at least! Hooray for them.
*LALEE'S KIN: THE LEGACY OF COTTON
*MURDER ON A SUNDAY MORNING
DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT:
*ARTISTS AND ORPHANS: A TRUE DRAMA
*A BEAUTIFUL MIND - Mike Hill and Dan Hanley: A filler nomination to honor an all around nicely made film.
*BLACK HAWK DOWN - Pietro Scalia: Ridley Scott always works with great editors. The Academy could give the award to this film just to honor it.
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING - John Gilbert: If the bandwagon for this film is on a roll, give this award to them!
*MEMENTO - Dody Dorn: The editing in this film is one of the elements that made it special. The movie that should win!
*MOULIN ROUGE - Jill Bilcock: The first 20 minutes of this film is cut so frantically that it was giving me a headache. Great editing shouldn't be so noticable!
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: I must admit I'm unfamiliar with some of these films! Do you think the Academy voters can say the same?
*AMELIE: The best known of these films and quite lovely. Give it to them!
*LAGAAN: One of the first big epic from Bollywood in India to be nominated. Has a shot!
*NO MAN'S LAND
*SON OF THE BRIDE
MAKEUP: Head scratching time. Are you trying to tell me that the Make-up in A BEAUTIFUL MIND is better than Rick Baker's amazing work in PLANET OF THE APES (the only redeeming quality of that remake)
*A BEAUTIFUL MIND - Greg Cannom and Colleen Callaghan: What? Oh, I get it, the make-up was so good that it made the actors look like normal people?!?!?!
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING - Peter Owen and Richard Taylor: Here's your winner.
*MOULIN ROUGE - Maurizio Silvi and Aldo Signoretti: Better than A BEAUTIFUL MIND, but not PLANET OF THE APES.
MUSIC (SCORE): Well the best score and the winner of every other major award (AFI and Golden Globes) isn't even nominated here, MOULIN ROUGE, due to the Academy's rules on the use of pre-existing material.
*A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE - John WIlliams
*A BEAUTIFUL MIND - James Horner
*HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE - John Williams
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING - Howard Shore: Give it to them I guess.
*MONSTERS, INC. - Randy Newman
MUSIC (SONG): As soon as I heard "Come What May", from MOULIN ROUGE, I knew that that was the song to beat this year and I might actually like the song that wins this Oscar for once. But wait, it's not even nominated because of a stupid Academy rule that states a song written for anything else may not be elible, even if it was never used or heard in its previous project. Both "As Time Goes By" from CASABLANCA and the theme from THE GODFATHER fell under this stupid rule. "Come What May" was orginally written for Baz Luhrmann's ROMEO AND JULIET, but never appeared in that film. It's an inspiring song but instead we are stuck with the normal medicore, pop songs. When are they gonna do away with this stupid category?
*KATE & LEOPOLD - "Until" Music and Lyric by Sting
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING - "May It Be" Music and Lyric by Enya, Nicky Ryan and Roma Ryan
*MONSTERS, INC. - "If I Didn't Have You" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
*PEARL HARBOR - "There You'll Be" Music and Lyric by Diane Warren: Anything but this!!!!!!
*VANILLA SKY - "Vanilla Sky" Music and Lyric by Paul McCartney
BEST PICTURE: Well, the lack of both Baz Luhrmann of MOULIN ROUGE and Todd Field of IN THE BEDROOM from the best director category usually spells the kiss of death for this award.
*A BEAUTIFUL MIND: One of the frontrunners. A nice safe pick for the Academy, but not what I would pick.
*GOSFORD PARK: The one picture I would cringe for if it won! A nice film, but no BEST picture.
*IN THE BEDROOM: Originally a forerunner, but got the kiss of death (see above rule).
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING: What I believe as the winner! The best film ever made in this genre! All the elements of this film are special.
*MOULIN ROUGE: One of my favorites from the year. Didn't think it would make this cut so I'm happy to see it here. The strange thing is the elements of the film that made it special; score, song, costume and direction, are all the categories it was not nominated for. Received the kiss of death (see above rule).
SHORT FILM -- ANIMATED: Like the Documentary films, these movies are seldom seen by the public.
*FIFTY PERCENT GREY
*FOR THE BIRDS
*GIVE UP YER AUL SINS
SHORT FILM -- LIVE ACTION
*GREGOR'S GREATEST INVENTION
*A MAN THING (Meska Sprawa)
*SPEED FOR THESPIANS
*AMELIE: Sweet sound, but nothing award winning.
*BLACK HAWK DOWN: Great sound that adds to the horror of war, but it was done better in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. Doesn't mean it won't win though.
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING: If the film is sweeping up Oscar night, you might as well hand them this award as well.
*MOULIN ROUGE: Had some real fun stuff in here, including sounds similiar to the old Looney Tunes Cartoons, but other films are higher on the scale!
*PEARL HARBOR: Don't honor this film at all.
SOUND EDITING: I often get confused of the difference between this and the last category. I'm also curious why they even keep this category at all. The last few year's there has only been 2 or 3 films even nominated. Either Hollywood better start working on their Sound Editing, the Academy should combine the two awards, or just do away with this category. Just the thought of Pearl Harbor winning an Oscar makes me cringe!
*MONSTERS, INC.: A fun and enjoyable movie. Give it to them just so Pearl Harbor doesn't win!
*PEARL HARBOR: The thought of this film winning anything but Raspberries is too much to bear!
VISUAL EFFECTS: A little surprised HARRY POTTER isn't here, but it doesn't matter. One of the only "sure thing" awards of the night!
*A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE - Dennis Muren, Scott Farrar, Stan Winston and Michael Lantieri: Nice stuff, but nothing that pushed the field farther or hasn't been done before.
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING - Jim Rygiel, Randall William Cook, Richard Taylor and Mark Stetson: By far, your winner!!!! Pushed the FX field to new heights. Let's see if Lucas and ILM raises the ante even more with the next STAR WARS film!
*PEARL HARBOR - Eric Brevig, John Frazier, Ed Hirsh and Ben Snow: To me, the FX were just too noticable in this film. Besides for the fact, I'd rather watch TORO, TORO, TORO or a documentary on Pearl Harbor and see actual footage!
WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY): The Screenplay Oscars are many times tough to pick, because a lot of good films that get nominated for little else appear here and the Academy wants to award them in some way. These categories are usually filled with all winners and continues to prove how important the Screenwriters are to the motion picture industry!
*A BEAUTIFUL MIND - Written by Akiva Goldsman: A nice job, but has been getting some backlash on what they kept out including problems in the marriage and his homosexual feelings. This will hurt it's chances.
*GHOST WORLD - Written by Daniel Clowes & Terry Zwigoff: One of those special films that received no other nominations, but appeared on most "Best of" lists at year's end. Add to the fact that the orginal source was a comic book makes it something special. Unfortunately, the older Academy might have a problem giving the award to anything coming from a comic book.
*IN THE BEDROOM - Screenplay by Rob Festinger and Todd Field: I know little of the orginal source here, and I think it was more the actors and direction that made this film what it is.
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING - Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson: Jackson and friends did a great job of staying faithful to the book, losing few characters, while keep the film at 3 hours and no more. Super job.
*SHREK - Written by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and Joe Stillman and Roger S.H. Schulman: Should be happy to be nominated. What made this film special was the humor and inside jokes which were improvised or added by the animators. I'm not sure that should really count.
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY): I can't believe PEARL HARBOR wasn't nominated (HAHAHAHAHA) Here's a category that I just won't be upset about. All are just great screenplays. Is there anyway there can be a 5 way tie?
*AMELIE - Screenplay by Guillaume Laurant and Jean-Pierre Jeunet; Dialogue by Guillaume Laurant
*GOSFORD PARK - Written by Julian Fellowes
*MEMENTO - Screenplay by Christopher Nolan; Story by Jonathan Nolan: I'll pick this one, just cause it was so fun to watch the first time.
*MONSTER'S BALL - Written by Milo Addica & Will Rokos
*THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS - Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson