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The 2004 Oscar Nominations

Well the nominations are in with RETURN OF THE KING leading with 11 Nominations, and MASTER AND COMMANDER coming in second with 10 nominations. There were a few surprises, especially in the acting categories, no Nicole, or Tom, or Jennifer, or Russell, not that I'm too upset about any of those. I am sad not to see Scarlett Johhanson for either of her films. City of God had some surprise nominations and Cold Mountian didn't receive as many as originally thought (I still think they got more then they deserved!) I don't think any film will be a huge winner. My guess is Rings will walk away with 5 or 6, mainly from the technical categories. Master and Commander may only end up with 1 or 2 at the most, which will be the same for Lost in Translation, Mystic River and Seabiscuit. In other words, everyone will get a little something. Here are my picks:

BEST ACTOR: First off, I'm happy to not see Tom Cruise here, and the absentance of Russell Crowe is no great loss either. I could do without Jude Law, but happy to see Depp make the list.

Johnny Depp - PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL: I great performance that made the movie. He should be really happy that such a quirky role was even nominated. Hopefully this will continue Depp's unusal role choices.
Ben Kingsley - HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG: Continues to do great things. Go back and look at the roles he's been nominated for, all wonderful. My guess, he's in thrid.
Jude Law - COLD MOUNTAIN: One of these things is not like the others. Jude is so far behind this entire pack.
Bill Murray - LOST IN TRANSLATION: It's a race between these finally 2 actors. My vote would go to Bill, but I think the next actor will win.
Sean Penn - MYSTIC RIVER: Sean is such a great actor, but I don't think this is his best performance. There are a few scenes that are just a little too over the top. I like Murray better, but I think Penn will win because of his previous nominations.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: A great group here. Unfortunately the person out in front of the pack, is the one I'd put at the end. The only thought I have is that the Academy always throws surprises out with the supporting Oscars.

Alec Baldwin - THE COOLER: He really surprises me every once and awhile. A real nice role.
Benicio Del Toro - 21 GRAMS: Continues to perform at the top, but he already has an Oscar.
Djimon Hounsou - IN AMERICA: Good stuff, but because the movie wasn't seen much, he farther down the list.
Tim Robbins - MYSTIC RIVER: The front runner. Although he was good, I think he got this from one long monologue. He has some enemies in Hollywood though and they might pass him by just so he doesn't say anything stupid during his acceptance speech.
Ken Watanabe - THE LAST SAMURAI: One of the great things about this film. Performed circles around Cruise. My personal pick and I'm gonna say the winner.

BEST ACTRESS:I'm not too disappointed to not see Nicole Kidman here. "Cold Mountian" just didn't do it for me. A little surprise Jennifer Connelly didn't make it though. Not as strong of a year as some past.

Keisha Castle-Hughes - WHALE RIDER: A HUGE surprise. If this was a supporting role, the Academy just might give it to her, but...it's not. It's a huge honor to be in this company.
Diane Keaton - SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE: A front runner, but not to me. I'd rather have Scarlett Johhanson here from "Lost in Translation."
Samantha Morton - IN AMERICA: Real nice stuff, but not seen by enough people.
Charlize Theron - MONSTER: It's been called one of the great performances ever, from what I've seen, I agree. My winner and a HUGE shock if she doesn't win!
Naomi Watts - 21 GRAMS: She missed out on a nomination last year, now she's got her nomination. She should be holding one of these in a few year, but not this year.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Again, I'm not real thrilled with the front runner, Renee Zellweger. The role seemed a little too much like she was trying too hard and it's just a corny character.
Shohreh Aghdashloo - HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG: One of those performances that the Academy might award as a supporting role. Wouldn't surprise me if she won.
Patricia Clarkson - PIECES OF APRIL: One of two great performances by her this year, but not enough people saw this.
Marcia Gay Harden - MYSTIC RIVER: Already have a statue.
Holly Hunter - THIRTEEN: A great performance, defiantely has a shot. My winner over Renee.
Renee Zellweger - COLD MOUNTAIN: The front runner, I'd rather see another get it, in fact I'd rather see Scarlett Johhanson here from "Girl with a Pearl Earring" in Renee's place.

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:
BROTHER BEAR: Has no reason being here!
FINDING NEMO: A great movie and it wouldn't have surprised me if it had gotten a best picture nomination. Might be one of Disney's last shots at this before they lose Pixar.
THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE: Nemo was a shoe-in until this film picked up huge critical praise. I haven't seen this yet, but I've heard you either love it or hate it. But I haven't heard anyone who doesn't like Nemo so I'll go with Pixar.

ART DIRECTION: One of the first times in a long time that I just couldn't kick one of these films out. All of these films have amazing art direction and deserves an award. Do you think there can be a 5 way tie?
GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING
THE LAST SAMURAI
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING: I'll pick this just because of it's amazing scale!
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
SEABISCUIT

CINEMATOGRAPHY:: Surprised Lord of the Rings isn't here.
CITY OF GOD: The cinematography is stunning. One of two frontrunners in my book.
COLD MOUNTAIN: I don't think so.
GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING: The cinematography captures the escences of Vermeer's paintings. I'd give it to them, but I think City will win.
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD: In the middle of the pack.
SEABISCUIT: I don't think it has a shot at this.

COSTUME DESIGN: Ngila Dickson is nominated twice here (for LOTR and Samuri) which might cancel herself out. They are probably the best two films in this category so just give it to her for both!
GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING
THE LAST SAMURAI
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
SEABISCUIT

DIRECTING:
Fernando Meirelles - CITY OF GOD: He should be happy for all the nominations.
Peter Jackson - THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING: Don't award Jackson for this film, award him for the amazing accomplishment of the entire Rings trilogy. One of those rare feats that deserves a special award.
Sofia Coppola - LOST IN TRANSLATION: I love her, but if she keeps up she'll be holding one of these soon.
Peter Weir - MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD: Probably the bottom of the list
Clint Eastwood - MYSTIC RIVER: Jackson's only competition. It's sometimes hard to see Eastwood as a great director because he's a great star. It's getting to the point where it's hard to figure out which he's better at. Has a chance to win this, but I would be disappointed.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:: Two frontrunners and both are stunning.
BALSEROS
CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS: Theater owners had problems with this movie because when it ended people stayed in the theater and began randomly discussing this story with complete strangers. Any film that can cause that kind of reaction deserves something. Fascinating and haunting at the same time! Catch it on video.
THE FOG OF WAR: An amazing film showing a high government official questioning his actions during the Vietnam war. Very appropriate to present day history. A winner in a normal year, but I think second this year.
MY ARCHITECT
THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: I just know a little about each. If I had to pick one I'll go with Asylum.
ASYLUM
CHERNOBYL HEART
FERRY TALES

FILM EDITING
CITY OF GOD: Might be the films only award.
COLD MOUNTAIN
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
SEABISCUIT

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:: I haven't seen any of these, and only heard about two of them.
THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS - Canada: Might be the frontrunner because it's from our neighbor to the North and the most seen in this country.
EVIL - Sweden
THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI - Japan: From what I've heard, this should be the winner. Appeared on many top ten lists of critics that don't just include English films.
TWIN SISTERS - The Netherlands
?ELARY - Czech Republic

MAKEUP:
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING: Has no competition
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE):
Danny Elfman - BIG FISH: Didn't really care for it
Gabriel Yared - COLD MOUNTAIN
Thomas Newman - FINDING NEMO: Doesn't stand out in my mind
James Horner - HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG: Nice work, has a chance
Howard Shore - THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING: My pick as the winner.

MUSIC (SONG):: I was a little surprised not to see something from School of Rock here. It's just as good as some of this other crap. I'll go with the Lord of the Rings song.
"Into the West" - THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING - Fran Walsh, Howard Shore, Annie Lennox
"A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" - A MIGHTY WIND - Michael McKean & Annette O'Toole
"Scarlet Tide" - COLD MOUNTAIN - T Bone Burnett & Elvis Costello
"The Triplets of Belleville" - THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE - Benoit Charest, Sylvain Chomet
"You Will Be My Ain True Love" - COLD MOUNTAIN - Sting

BEST PICTURE:
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING: I'm looking forward to the extended edition, so I know it's the classic that it deserves to be. Give it to them!
LOST IN TRANSLATION: I love this film, but think there's 2 other frontrunners.
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD: I don't think it will win anything all night, but not because it's a bad film.
MYSTIC RIVER: Has a good shot, but I would be disappointed.
SEABISCUIT: A nice made film. It would shock me to win this though.

SHORT FILM -- ANIMATED: I haven't seen any of these, but I have a personal pick. Destino is backed by Roy Disney. PLEASE give it to him just so he can shove it in the face of all crap that has Michael Eisner's name on it and help in getting him kicked out of Disney forever!!!!!
BOUNDIN'
DESTINO
GONE NUTTY
HARVIE KRUMPET
NIBBLES

SHORT FILM -- LIVE ACTION: This is the first I've heard of any of these films!
DIE ROTE JACKE (The Red Jacket)
MOST (The Bridge)
SQUASH
(A) TORZIJA ([A] Torsion)
TWO SOLDIERS

SOUND
THE LAST SAMURAI
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING: Give it to them for the Oliphaunt alone!
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL
SEABISCUIT

SOUND EDITING: Surprise not to see Rings and Kill Bill Vol 1 not here. Because of that, I don't have a clue.
FINDING NEMO
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL

VISUAL EFFECTS:
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING: There are so many scenes that come to mind, its a surprise this film wasn't just nominated 3 times!
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Like the supporting roles, these are always the hardest to pick because many good films only get a nomination in the screenply category.

Robert Pulcini & Shari Springer Berman - AMERICAN SPLENDOR: It's only nomination and a great film. I'd like to see this win!
Braulio Mantovani - CITY OF GOD
Fran Walsh, Queen of the Geeks & Peter Jackson - THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING: Wouldn't be upset if this won.
Brian Helgeland - MYSTIC RIVER: Would be disappointed if this wins. It's not really the story that makes this film special, but the direction and acting.
Gary Ross - SEABISCUIT

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Denys Arcand - THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS
Steven Knight - DIRTY PRETTY THINGS
Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson & David Reynolds - FINDING NEMO
Jim Sheridan & Naomi Sheridan & Kirsten Sheridan -IN AMERICA
Sofia Coppola - LOST IN TRANSLATION: Maybe the second easiest award to pick for the night (behind best Actress)



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