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quote:
Originally posted by dr hfuhruhurr:
[qb](in fact marlon didn't even bother going that year and got a native american to refuse it for him if i remember correctly, as he was protesting about hollywoods treatment of native americans).[/qb]
FYI - Sacheen Littlefeather (the woman who accepted for Marlon Brando) was later found to be a struggling actress and not of Native American descent...Just thought I'd make that clear.
Queen Latifah absolutely deserved that award (she stole the show), but they set her up to lose by who they put her up against (Catherine Zeta-Jones, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore an Kathy Bates...). That's why in my picks, I voted for CZJ. My preference was absolutely QL.

QL getting nominated was not just a victory for women of color (she was the only black person nominated this year), but in my mind, a bigger victory for voluptuous women. FOR A CHANGE, they took a larger woman and made her something alluring, something clever and beautiful rather than a psycho, a matron or a laughing-stock (essentially, roles always played by Kathy Bates). I would have liked to see the academy reward THAT, too. (Don't get me started...)

RE: Polanski...he and the girl (who is now grown, happily married and living in Hawaii) have since settled things legally and made peace with the past. She has even been interviewed and said she believes it's bygone and should be dropped, and the academy should evaluate him solely on his work and not on the past. So even the victim has forgiven him and thinks they ought to just let it go and allow him to come back to the states if only to pursue his career...
quote:
Originally posted by Heidi in Pittsburgh:
[qb]
RE: Polanski...he and the girl (who is now grown, happily married and living in Hawaii) have since settled things legally and made peace with the past. She has even been interviewed and said she believes it's bygone and should be dropped, and the academy should evaluate him solely on his work and not on the past. So even the victim has forgiven him and thinks they ought to just let it go and allow him to come back to the states if only to pursue his career...[/qb]
Yes, I know she and Polanski are at peace with it all and she believes he should be forgiven, and I likewise am glad that the Academy could leave morals out of it and reward artistic achievement alone because that was the right decision. But essentially, the woman is out of the equation. He skipped town after being found guilty and was awaiting sentencing. It's between him and the law now. I'm not making any judgements here either way - all I'm saying is that despite everybody's amicable 'let bygones be bygones' attitude, law enforcement's position hasn't changed. There is still an outstanding warrant for his arrest and they want him if he comes back. Friends of Polanski's like Jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford have been quietly lobbying for years to find a way for him to come back to the US, but the authorities will not give any quarter in the matter. It's a shame.
quote:
Originally posted by dr hfuhruhurr:
[qb]how does julieanne moore, probably americas finest actress for years now, keep missing out on old uncle oscar? catherine zeta jones???? nicole kidman???? hmmmm.

she's very highly regarded over here in the UK and rightly so.[/qb]
The secret to success in the US is to have a celebrity marriage and/or divorce.
quote:
Originally posted by Kill Eye:
[qb]
quote:
Originally posted by dr hfuhruhurr:
[qb]how does julieanne moore, probably americas finest actress for years now, keep missing out on old uncle oscar? catherine zeta jones???? nicole kidman???? hmmmm.

she's very highly regarded over here in the UK and rightly so.[/qb]
The secret to success in the US is to have a celebrity marriage and/or divorce.[/qb]
good point. well perhaps she can come over here and jump the broomstick with moi. i'm world famous here in north shields. lets see what the tabloids make of that and maybe, next year, she'll win best actress for ....who knows, ace ventura, pet detective 3 : the hamsters revenge. her co star, richard gere, may be up for best actor.

seriously though julianne, do come over here and marry me. x.
Announced today...BILLY CRYSTAL RETURNS AS OSCAR HOST!!!!!!

How cool is that!?!?! He is *THE* Oscar host, you know? I really liked Steve Martin, but a lot of his humor is just too high concept for people. Steve's great for when Billy says no. BUT...Billy is the BEST at exploiting Oscar moments as they occur (remember the great Jack Palance incident?).

Anyway....WHEEEEEE!!!!! 2004 will be ONE GREAT SHOW!
TODAY WE HAVE IT....the first step toward the Johnny Depp Oscar Nod! He was just nominated for the People's Choice Awards for Best Movie Actor, against Denzel Washington and Mel Gibson. in other words, he's been TOTALLY set up to win because it's public voting, and those other two are "old guys" who haven't done much this year...and that plus the People Magazine's "sexiest guy thing," dude is a SHOE-IN for that PC award, savvy? Wink One of my criteria in predicting Oscar WINNERS....that's winners and not merely nominees....has to do with tabloid/popular buzz. So basically, provided the Golden Globes recognize him in some way, he'll not only get a nomination, but he could even get a WIN based on my current (and fairly accurate, I must boast) system (see prior posts). I need to say for the record that I want with all my heart Oscar to smile on our Johnny for creating one of the most memorable performances in movie history. (Even EBERT concedes that!!!! And of course, his comments are part of my system too....)

Also...Time Magazine has predicted (using whatever methods they use) the list of most likely Best Picture contenders: Lord of the Rings (which is amazing considering that reportedly, most MPAA folks favor this BEFORE EVEN HAVING SEEN IT!), Cold Mountain, Mystic River, Seabiscuit, Master & Commander, Lost in Translation, In America. Big Fish has also been mentioned being that it's a total 180-degree genre flip for director Tim Burton (which MPAA historically rewards). Omitted from this list is one I think could be a dark horse, based on the fact that it did something totally new: Elephant. My most logical Best Pic guesses at this point DO include LOTR, Cold Mountain and Mystic River...but historically, there has only been room for one epic, and so while Seabiscuit and Master & Commander may be rewarded with nominations and awards for acting, directing, tech awards and screen adaptation, you will NOT see them hedge out LOTR. Lost in Translation may result in an acting nomination for Bill Murray, but I'm not sure the picture as a whole is strong enough to warrant a Best Pic nomination. Best animated: Nemo, no contest.

(Note on Cold Mountain...obviously, I haven't seen this one yet, but can point to the Oscar-prone cocktail of Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger and Jude Law and suggest that sight unseen, a Civil War drama starring these three, timed as it is, will spell automatic consideration.)

If there is ANY JUSTICE AT ALL in Oscardom, Peter Jackson will get his statue for direction this year. The MPAA has avoided him two years in a row, presumably because the guy had more chances...but...this has GOT to be his year and damn them if it ain't. He has done things the movie industry has never before seen, plus, he represented one of the biggest studio risks in history that seriously paid off!

By all accounts, you WILL see LOTR walk off with several this year. I'll reserve further comment until December 17. Wink However....reports are that in New Zealand, sniffling and other crying noises could be heard throughout the theater during certain parts of the movie (which means this preggo chick will be TOAST...) and that Peter Jackson emerged pleased that people laughed, gasped, cried "when they were supposed to."

(By the way, can you tell that my "Oscars Watch" has officially begun? It usually does, with the holiday season, because that's when the studios put the full court press on for the movies which they're hoping will win...that will continue between now and January.)
OK folks...one of the factors in my system is the Golden Globes, and the nominees just came out today:

BEST MOTION PICTURE � DRAMA
COLD MOUNTAIN
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
MASTER AND
MYSTIC RIVER
SEABISCUIT

[My call: LOTR]

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE � DRAMA
Cate Blanchett (Veronica something-or-other)
Nicole Kidman (Cold Mountain)
Scarlett Johanssen (Girl With a Pearl Earring)
Charlize Theron (Monster)
Uma Thurman (Kill Bill)
Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen)

[My call: Cate Blanchett. Kidman already had her year, and Scarlett has cross-nominations.]

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
Russell Crowe (Master and Commander)
Tom Cruise (The Last Samurai)
Ben Kingsley (The House of Sand and Fog)
Jude Law (Cold Mountain)
Sean Penn (Mystic River)

[My call: Not sure. Need to see Cold Mountain...Without having seen it, I say that Ben Kingsley is superior and Sean Penn is too controversial for many to reward.]

BEST MOTION PICTURE - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM
BIG FISH
FINDING NEMO
LOST IN TRANSLATION
LOVE ACTUALLY

[My call: Unfair to place Finding Nemo and Lost in Translation in this category...and it will throw things around. Nemo grossed the best, Love Actually was cleverest, Beckham is the Cinderella story and the dark horse...and then, Tim Burton did a 180 in genre for Big Fish, something critics like to reward. So this one is totally up for grabs in my book, though I think they'll reward LIT in areas other than this one.]

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Jamie Lee Curtis (Freaky Friday)
Scarlett Johanssen (Lost in Translation)
Diane Keaton (Something's Gotta Give)
Diane Lane (Under the Tuscan Sun)
Helen Mirren (Calendar Girls)

[My call: People nominated in two categories usually don't win anything because those votes are split. So I say, either Keaton or Mirren.]

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE -MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Jack Black (School of Rock)
Johnny Depp (Pirates)
Bill Murray (Lost in Translation)
Jack Nicholson (Something's Gotta Give)
Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa)

[My call: Of course, I WANT Johnny to get this, not just because he deserves it but also because Pirates got passed over in EVERY other category. He will have a very hard time of it though, against Bill Murray and Billy Bob. Jack Nicholson was playing himself, which isn't a stretch, but he's a favorite with critics. Jack Black was more of an appreciation nomination than a serious one. I hate to do this, because I really hope I'm wrong, but I'm calling it Bill Murray.]

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS (FRENCH CANADA)
GOOD BYE, LENIN (GERMANY)
MONSIEUR IBRAHIM (FRANCE)
OSAMA (AFGHANISTAN)
THE RETURN (RUSSIA)

[My call: The Afghanistan picture, because it's timely and undoubtedly very poignant.]

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Maria Bello (The Cooler)
Patricia Clarkson (Pieces of April)
Hope Davis (American Splendor)
Holly Hunter (Thirteen)
Renee Zellweger (Cold Mountain)

[My call: Zellweger lost the Oscar last year, so this will be a chance to reward her now. ]

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Alec Baldwin (The Cooler)
Albert Finney (Big Fish)
William H. Macy (Seabiscuit)
Tim Robbins (Mystic River)
Peter Sarsgaard (Shattered Glass)
Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai)

[My call: Macy and Robbins were both critically acclaimed, but this award belongs to Watanabe. Definitely. ]

BEST DIRECTOR - MOTION PICTURE
Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation)
Clint Eastwood (Mystic River)
Peter Jackson (LOTR)
Anthony Minghella (Cold Mountain)
Peter Weir (Master and Commander)

[My call: DUH!!!!!!! LOTR.....]

BEST SCREENPLAY - MOTION PICTURE
Sofia Coppolla (Lost in Translation)
Richard Curtis (Love Actually)
Brian Helgeland (Mystic River)
Anthony Minghella (Cold Mountain)
Jim, Naomi and Kirsten Sheridan (In America)

[My call: This is one where I'd like to see Richard Curtis rewarded, but comedies don't usually do well here. The Sheridans, however, drew on personal experience and family tragedy, and lived the life. So my call is for them, because they did it for its own sake and were not a director pushing their own material.]

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE - MOTION PICTURE
ALEXANDRE DESPLAT (GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING)
DANNY ELFMAN (BIG FISH)
HOWARD SHORE (LOTR)
GABRIEL YARED (COLD MOUNTAIN)
HANS ZIMMER (THE LAST SAMURAI)

[My call: Have to see Cold Mountain to be sure, and read more about Pearl Earring. No call yet, not enough info. Though, I'm hopping mad that the Pirates score didn't make it here because it's so good it sticks in your head!!!!!]

BEST ORIGINAL SONG - MOTION PICTURE
�THE HEART OF EVERY GIRL� � MONA LISA SMILE
Music by: Elton John, Lyrics by: Bernie Taupin
�INTO THE WEST��LOTR
Music & Lyrics by: Howard Shore, Fran Walsh, Annie Lennox
�MAN OF THE HOUR��BIG FISH
Music & Lyrics by: Eddie Vedder
�TIME ENOUGH FOR TEARS��IN AMERICA
Music & Lyrics by: Bono, Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer
�YOU WILL BE MY AIN TRUE LOVE��COLD MOUNTAIN
Music & Lyrics by: Sting

[My call: Oh boy...TOUGH RACE!!!! And GO, EDDIE!!!! I'm going to do a gut call on this one though and say Bono because he deserved an Oscar last year and lost, because he's kind of like rock royalty, and because he would have been the perfect one to do a song for a movie about Irish immigrants.]

Globes air January 25....
My usual system may have just been flushed for this year...READ ON!!!! This today from E!Online...

"If the Globes can't impede Return of the King's expected Oscar coronation, perhaps that's because the Globes results won't figure at all into this season's Oscar voting. Because of the newly compressed award-show timetable, the Academy's nomination polls will close on January 17--eight days before the Globes are presented in a live NBC telecast. In past years, Academy voting on nominees extended into February."

The Globes are boradcast on January 25, and the Oscar nominees are released on January 27 (after the ballots have been due on the 17th...) with the awards show on February 29. Sooooo....this year, my system has to throw out the Globes. To quote Captain Jack Sparrow...."That's interesting. That's VERY interesting!"

(The E! article actually predicted Ben Kingsley in "House of Sand and Fog" as the Globes Best Actor, since the movie got no other nominations in the Globes or any of the critics' association awards. It gives me a major sense of inner glee when an actual movie critic agrees with something I've said!!!)

BTW...results from the Southeast Critics' Association named LOTR:ROTK Best Picture and Director, Sophia Coppola for Best Screenplay in "Lost in Translation" with Bill Murray as Best Actor (at the expense of Johnny Depp, as feared...); Best Screenplay Adaptation to "Mystic River" with Tim Robbins as Best Supporting Actor. "Cold Mountain" got Best Support for Renee Zellweger and Naomi Watts won Actress for a movie I've never heard of.

WHAT THIS MEANS: In recent years, there have been three or four movies which have made up 70% or more of the major award nominations...so far this season with the Globes and other awards, it appears that multi-nominated films (LOTR:ROTK, Mystic River, Cold Mountain, etc...) are making up less than 60% of the overall number of nominations. What you're likely to see on January 27, when Oscar nominees are announced, is a more even spread this particular year, because apparently 2003 was an unusually good year for movies.

The Oscar nominees and winners may depend on something as sleazy as the studios' PR campaigns, so that might have to be my "replacement factor" and it will involve more homework than usual.

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