The 2003 Oscar Nominations
BEST ACTOR: One of the hardest awards to pick from this year. All the actors gave great performances and from the previous awards given out this year, there is no forerunner. One aspect I like about other awards is they don't pick a particular performance, but an actors entire year of performances. If that is the case, I believe the actor most deserving of a best actor award this year is Richard Gere. I've never been a Gere fan. There is something very annoying about both his screen persona and his personal life. Having said that, Gere gave wonderful performances in 3 wide ranging films over the last year; Uncovering a "true" mystery in "The Mothman Prophecy", as a jealous husband in "Unfaithful" and as a tapping dancing fool in "Chaicago". He is most deserving, as long as he doesn't get to give an acceptance speech!
*Adrien Brody in THE PIANIST: An absolutely huanting performance.
*Nicolas Cage in ADAPTATION: A wonderful duel performance as a pair of opposite twins.
*Michael Caine in THE QUIET AMERICAN: Might be awarded this as a lifetime acheivement award.
*Daniel Day-Lewis in GANGS OF NEW YORK: One of the few glowing points of this film. We just don't see enough of this actor. I'll choose him as my winner.
*Jack Nicholson in ABOUT SCHMIDT: Yeah, he was good and all the critics love him, but personally I'd put him further down in this pack.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Like the best actor award, these are all great performaces. There were hope that Serkis would be given a nomination. Serkis was the reference for the digital character Gollum in "Lord of the Rings: Two Towers", but no such luck. I didn't think Hollywood was ready for thinking that progressively. I mean last year was the first time an African American woman won, (Best Actress) right!
*Chris Cooper in ADAPTATION: A great character actor. The leader of my two forerunner.
*Ed Harris in THE HOURS: Only on screen for a brief time, but a hunating performance.
*Paul Newman in ROAD TO PERDITION: Hollywood always likes nominating their golden classics
*John C. Reilly in CHICAGO: Like Cooper, a wonderful character actor. Reilly has gotten to the point where I'll see a movie just becuase he's in it. Only his first nomination, so he'll have other oportunities at this.
*Christopher Walken in CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: My other forerunner. Like Caine in the best actor category, Walken may receive this as a lifetime acheivement award. Luckily, this work is deserving of the award on it's own. Thirty years have past since Walken's last nomination. He's a mainstay in Hollywood and does wonderful work. He's my personal pick.
BEST ACTRESS:Like my comments about the Best Actor award, if this was for the best combination of performances throughout the year, the prize would be given to Julianne Moore. Her roles in "Far From Heaven" and "The Hours" earned her a nomination for both. The question is, will she even win one? Meryl Streep would be second for her performances in "The Hours" and "Adaptation" (See below).
*Salma Hayek in FRIDA: Huge kudos for Salma. She was great in this performance (a far cry from "Wild Wild West"), and she managed to get this film made when so many other "more powerful" actresses couldn't. Hopefully, this nomination is award enough.
*Nicole Kidman in THE HOURS: Her second straight year with a nomination. I'm not sure if this role is enough for a win though.
*Diane Lane in UNFAITHFUL: Here's my frontrunner. This movie was better then it should have been mainly because of Lane's performance. She really pushed herself far and it showed. She'll be awarded for it!
*Julianne Moore in FAR FROM HEAVEN: Probably the most deserving for her performances throughout the year. She's become the Meryl Streep of her generation.
*Rene Zellweger in CHICAGO: Her second straight year with a nomination. Did a great job, but still not the role to push her over the top.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: An interesting mix of ladies. For some reason this is always the category which surprises me the most. The Academy always goes with unusual picks for the supporting roles. With that said, here's my opinions.
*Kathy Bates in ABOUT SCHMIDT: Yeah, she's naked in a hot tub. So what. This film didn't do as much for me as it did for the rest of the critics. It just seems like one of those films that you'll forget about by next year (if you haven't already).
*Julianne Moore in THE HOURS: Another great job, but she should have the Best Actress award.
*Queen Latifah in CHICAGO: I'm happy for this one, and she should be too. There's always been something about Latifah that I liked.
*Meryl Streep in ADAPTATION: I think this award is down to the final 2 ladies. Streep deserves it for an amazing performance in a career of amazing performances.
*Catherine Zeta-Jones in CHICAGO: The other frontrunner, but I perfer the former actress.
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: The academy finally added this category and the animated film seems to have digrest.
*ICE AGE (20th Century Fox) Chris Wedge: Sorry didn't see it. It looked funny and well done, but it looked like Shrek in the snow.
*LILO & STITCH (Buena Vista) Chris Sanders: I know a lot of critics liked this film, I honestly fell asleep.
*SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON (DreamWorks) Jeffrey Katzenberg: It looks nice, but didn't interest me too much so I didn't see it.
*SPIRITED AWAY (Buena Vista) Hayao Miyazaki: One of the cinema's legends. Disney should take some notes. The person who should win. Of course the movie that should have won last year wasn't even nominated.
*TREASURE PLANET (Buena Vista) Ron Clements: A movie that shouldn't have been made.
*CHICAGO (Miramax) Art Direction: John Myhre
Set Decoration: Gord Sim : If there's a "Chicago" bandwagon, they'll win, but I think there are more worthy films.
*FRIDA (Miramax) Art Direction: Felipe Fernandez del Paso
Set Decoration: Hannia Robledo : A nice job, but it should be happy with all the nominations.
*GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax) Art Direction: Dante Ferretti
Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo: A beautiful job, one of my personal frontrunners.
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (New Line) Art Direction: Grant Major
Set Decoration: Dan Hennah and Alan Lee: My choice for a winner. The art direction for this entire epic is breathtaking, but I don't think it will win.
*ROAD TO PERDITION (DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox) Art Direction: Dennis Gassner
Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh: A nice job, but I think it was the acting and cinematography that made the art direction look even better.
*CHICAGO (Miramax) Dion Beebe: Some nice visuals . If there's a bandwagon, it could take this too.
*FAR FROM HEAVEN (Focus Features) Edward Lachman: Just one of those films that did a good job with everything, but won't win anything, except perhaps Best Actress.
*GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax) Michael Ballhaus:
*THE PIANIST (Focus Features) Pawel Edelman: Nice job, no chance!
*ROAD TO PERDITION (DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox) Conrad L. Hall: One of the masters who died this past year. This is the last time to reward him for his amazing work. He will be greatly missed. My winner!
COSTUME DESIGN: A contest between two films, especially since "Lord of the Ring" wasn't even nominated.
*CHICAGO (Miramax) Colleen Atwood: My winner. A lot of people looking real good!
*FRIDA (Miramax) Julie Weiss: Nice job, no chance!
*GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax) Sandy Powell: My other frontrunner, but it will be a close second.
*THE HOURS (Paramount and Miramax) Ann Roth: Nice job, no chance!
*THE PIANIST (Focus Features) Anna Sheppard: Nice job, no chance!
DIRECTING: Another contest against the same 2 films.
*CHICAGO (Miramax) Rob Marshall: He's won a few awards already, but even if the bandwagon is on for "Chicago", he's going against a legend who has never won.
*GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax) Martin Scorsese: The frontrunner, mainly because he's thought of so highly in Hollywood (and rightly so) and has never won. Personally, I don't think this as one of his great films, but the project means so much to him and what he does in the next few years, that I wouldn't have a problem if he won. But remember Marty, you don't have to be considered great and have a best director Oscar, just ask, Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock!
*THE HOURS (Paramount and Miramax) Stephen Daldry: Back in the pack.
*THE PIANIST (Focus Features) Roman Polanski: Hollywood still hates him for being a fugitive.
*TALK TO HER (Sony Pictures Classics) Pedro Almodvar: Received the kiss of death by not having the film nominated for a best picture.
*BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE Michael Moore and Michael Donovan : I'm amazed they even nominated Moore. Give the award to him just to hear him speak.
*DAUGHTER FROM DANANG Gail Dolgin and Vincente Franco
*PRISONER OF PARADISE Malcolm Clarke and Stuart Sender
*SPELLBOUND Jeffrey Blitz and Sean Welch
*WINGED MIGRATION Jacques Perrin
FILM EDITING: Like many of these categories, it's down to 2 films.
*CHICAGO (Miramax) Martin Walsh: One of the awards I think this film deserves straight out.
*GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax) Thelma Schoonmaker: If the academy is honoring Marty, they might do the same for Thelma who's a big part of what makes Scorsese tick.
*THE HOURS (Paramount and Miramax) Peter Boyle
Did a really nice job of combining 3 storylines together through editing.
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (New Line) Michael Horton: I'd like to think that this film can win an Oscar or two, but it's not looking good.
*THE PIANIST (Focus Features) Herv de Luze
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: One of the categories the academy really screwed up this year. The two best foreign films aren't even nominated here due to the academies stupid rules, although they are both nominated in other categories, "Y TU MAMē TAMBIN" and "TALK TO HER" for screenplay and "TALK TO HER" for director. I will never understand their stupid rules!
*EL CRIMEN DEL PADRE AMARO Mexico
*HERO People's Republic of China
*THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST Finland
*NOWHERE IN AFRICA Germany: Your winner
*ZUS & ZO The Netherlands
MAKEUP:: Where is "Lord of the Rings"?
*FRIDA (Miramax) John Jackson and Beatrice De Alba: Give it to them just because I thought "The Time Machine's" makeup sucked!
*THE TIME MACHINE (DreamWorks and Warner Bros.) John M. Elliott, Jr. and Barbara Lorenz: Shouldn't even have a nomination!
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
*CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (DreamWorks) John Williams
*FAR FROM HEAVEN (Focus Features) Elmer Bernstein
*FRIDA (Miramax) Elliot Goldenthal
*THE HOURS (Paramount and Miramax) Philip Glass
*ROAD TO PERDITION (DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox) Thomas Newman
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN and FAR FROM HEAVEN are two of my favorite pieces of film music last year, so IÕm thrilled to see them nominated. But where the fuck is Howard Shore?
MUSIC (SONG): When are they gonna do away with this terrible category? At least cut it out of the telecast and save yuorself and the people around the world a half an hour of their lives! Some good musicians with some subpar songs. The best in the category, I'm afraid to say, is Eminem.
*Burn It Blue from FRIDA (Miramax)
Music by Elliot Goldenthal
Lyric by Julie Taymor
*Father and Daughter from THE WILD THORNBERRYS MOVIE (Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies)
Music and Lyric by Paul Simon
*The Hands That Built America from GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax)
Music and Lyric by Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen
*I Move On from CHICAGO (Miramax)
Music by John Kander
Lyric by Fred Ebb
*Lose Yourself from 8 MILE (Universal)
Music by Eminem, Jeff Bass and Luis Resto
Lyric by Eminem
BEST PICTURE: Well, you can knock off "Lord of the Rings" because Jackson wasn't nominated for best director, a kiss of death for a best picture win. It looks like Miramax will have another Best Picture Oscar.
*CHICAGO (Miramax): The bandwagon will finish up on this win.
*GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax): The other frontrunner. A few too many problems for me personally.
*THE HOURS (Paramount and Miramax) : has lost much of it's steam going into Oscar month. I also don't think of it as a best picture. But I thought that of "A Beautiful Mind" from last year. In fact, I still do!
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (New Line) Received the kiss of death.
*THE PIANIST (Focus Features): Will not have won anything all night, so it won't win this.
SHORT FILM -- ANIMATED: Hey, I've actually seen one of these this year. Pixar was smart to include this short film along with the Monster's Inc. DVD.
A Platige Image Production
*THE CHUBBCHUBBS! (Columbia)
A Sony Pictures Imageworks Production
A Filmakademie Baden-Wrttemberg GmbH Production
Chris Stenner and Heidi Wittlinger
*MIKE'S NEW CAR (Buena Vista)
A Pixar Animation Studios Production
Pete Docter and Roger Gould
A Yamamura Animation Production
SHORT FILM -- LIVE ACTION
*I'LL WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE É (J'ATTENDRAI LE SUIVANT É)
*THIS CHARMING MAN (DER ER EN YNDIG MAND)
SOUNDI believe this is a race between "Chicago" and "LOTR". I'd like to think it's "LOTR's" award, but I'm afraid "Chaicgo" will win this as well.
*CHICAGO (Miramax) Michael Minkler, Dominick Tavella and David Lee
*GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax) Tom Fleischman, Eugene Gearty and Ivan Sharrock
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (New Line) Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges and Hammond Peek
*ROAD TO PERDITION (DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox) Scott Millan, Bob Beemer and John Patrick Pritchett
*SPIDER-MAN (Sony Pictures Releasing) Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell and Ed Novick
I believe this is "LOTR's" award to lose. Let's hope it can win something.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (New Line) Ethan Van der Ryn and Michael Hopkins
MINORITY REPORT (20th Century Fox and DreamWorks) Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom
ROAD TO PERDITION (DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox) Scott A. Hecker
*THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS: Should get a special Oscar for Gollum alone!
*SPIDER-MAN: Nothing too special.
*STAR WARS EPISODE II ATTACK OF THE CLONES: Lucas prides himself on special effects, especially since he can't write a story anymore. The last Star Wars lost this award to "The Matrix", how funny it will be when it loses to "Lord of the Rings"!
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY The screenplay Oscars are always some of the hardest to pick because this is the only nomination that many of these films receive. Many times, the academy likes to award a film just for that reason, while another film or two are sweeping up all the rest. The original screenplay has no big frontrunner
FAR FROM HEAVEN (Focus Features) Written by Todd Haynes: A film that did everything well. It might win this award to recognize this fact.
MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (IFC/Gold Circle Films) Written by Nia Vardalos: Well, after seeing how bad the TV sitcom is, many the screenplay is one of the elements that made this film so lighthearted and entertaining. The older members are still talking about it. Could take home the prize.
GANGS OF NEW YORK (Miramax) Screenplay by Jay Cocks and Steve Zaillian and Kenneth Lonergan
Story by Jay Cocks: Didn't impress me too much.
TALK TO HER (Sony Pictures Classics) Written by Pedro Almodvar: Might win just because Pedro is considered one of the greats of the movie world.
Y TU MAMē TAMBIN (IFC Films) Written by Carlos Cuaron and Alfonso Cuaron: Although this screenplay told a great coming of age story, some of the sexual issues might be a little too much for older members.
ABOUT A BOY (Universal) Screenplay by Peter Hedges and Chris Weitz & Paul Weitz: Didn't do much for me. I think this film was a little too overrated.
ADAPTATION (Sony Pictures Releasing) Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman: My dark horse pick. This unusal script is so different from anything written in decades. I'd also love to see what Charlie says about his co-writer Donald (Who is actual a fictious character from the film). This is my personal choice.
CHICAGO (Miramax) Screenplay by Bill Condon: Did a great job of bringing this stage production to the screen and I think it will continue the Oscar sweep.
THE HOURS (Paramount and Miramax) Screenplay by David Hare: Did a great job of creating a screenplay out of a book that seemed impossible to film, but I don't think it's ahead of "Chicago".
THE PIANIST (Focus Features) Screenplay by Ronald Harwood: Back in the pack.