ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Who will take the top three?
It’s a race between Sean Penn (Mystic River) and Bill Murray (Lost in
Translation). Murray got kudos for breaking from his usual comic persona, but
the feeling seems to be that it’s time for the highly respected Penn
to win his first Oscar. Sir Ben Kingsley (House of Sand and Fog) is a perennial
nominee and will likely be recognized again. The last two spots are up in the
air between such big names/women’s dreamboats as Russell Crowe (Master
and Commander), Tom Cruise (Last Samurai) and Jude Law (Cold Mountain). There’s
also Gazette darling Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean), but his role might
not be considered serious enough for consideration.
predicted nominees: Crowe, Kingsley, Law, Murray, Penn
The Oscar is Charlize Theron’s to lose. Her against-type role as a serial
killer in Monster was called “one of the great performances in cinema
history” by no less than Roger Ebert. Her only obstacle is that not enough
people will see the movie, but the Academy loves actresses who ugly themselves
up for a role (i.e. Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman). Speaking of Kidman, she’s
a likely contender again for Cold Mountain, though it’s unlikely she’ll
win back-to-back Oscars. Other nominees will include Diane Keaton (Something’s
Gotta Give), Scarlett Johansson for Lost in Translation and the wide-open fifth
spot will hopefully go to Naomi Watts in the acting showcase 21 Grams.
predicted nominees: Johansson, Keaton, Kidman, Theron, Watts
Return of the King is prepared to bring the Lord of the Rings trilogy its first
Best Picture Oscar. It stands as the popular and critical favourite, though
it’s fighting against almost 80 years of Academy history in never awarding
fantasy films. If LOTR doesn’t win, which would cause an army of Gandalf
fans to rush the stage in nerd Armageddon, expect the title to go to the
more conventional Civil War epic Cold Mountain or the critically acclaimed
crime drama Mystic River. The indie film darling Lost in Translation and
the underdog Seabiscuit will come from behind to take the last two slots.
predicted nominees: Cold Mountain, LOTR: Return of the King, Lost in Translation,
Mystic River, Seabiscuit