January 15, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 58  

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Direction and support are key

The hardest category to predict, since any of the contenders could just as easily not be nominated as win. The most likely nominees are Tim Robbins (Mystic River) and Albert Finney (Big Fish), who might be favoured just because he’s getting older and because of his past five unsuccessful nominations. Others include Alec Baldwin (The Cooler), who voters might feel deserves a nod for a long career, Ken Watanabe, who stole virtually every scene in The Last Samurai and Peter “SARStock” Sarsgaard, (the little-seen Shattered Glass). Sean Astin also represents the best chance Return of the King has for an acting nomination.

predicted nominees: Astin, Baldwin, Finney, Robbins, Watanabe

Renée Zellweger (Cold Mountain) is the favourite to claim her Oscar after being nominated the past two years. Other nominees include past winners playing hysterical mothers: Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River) and Holly Hunter (Thirteen). Shohreh Aghdashloo made such an impression as Ben Kingsley’s wife in House of Sand and Fog that she’s a likely nominee despite being a near-total unknown with little film experience. The fifth slot is a battle between critical darlings Hope Davis (American Splendor) and Patricia Clarkson (Pieces of April), though it’s possible Oscar favourite Emma Thompson might sneak in for her part in the Love Actually ensemble.

predicted nominees: Aghdashloo, Davis, Harden, Hunter, Zellweger

Even if Lord of the Rings doesn’t win Best Picture, it’s almost guaranteed Peter Jackson will win the Oscar for pulling off the seemingly impossible task of bringing J.R.R. Tolkien’s books to the big screen. Sofia Coppola will likely be the third female Best Director nominee in history, getting the nod for Lost in Translation, and past winner Clint Eastwood (Mystic River) is a virtual lock for a nomination. The last two slots are between another former winner, Anthony Minghella (Cold Mountain), Gary Ross (Seabiscuit), the highly respected Peter Weir (Master and Commander) and Jim Sheridan (the audience favourite In America).

predicted nominees: Coppola, Eastwood, Jackson, Minghella, Sheridan



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