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Oscar nominees being announced TOMORROW, Feb. 11 at 8:30am in LA, by Marisa Tomei and being broadcasted live on all 3 networks. The Oscars themselves are on March 23, this year's 75th anniversary show will be hosted by the very funny STEVE MARTIN. (If they couldn't get Billy Crystal, this was a cool option too.)

[EDIT: This year's show may be particularly interesting to watch, given celebrities' tendencies to get political during the Oscars if there is war going on. Watch for people like George Clooney, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey to make some kind of statement...]

I have a SYSTEM for figuring out the Oscar winners, and for the past 4 years, I've been unbeatable in my predictions (between the people I've played with). Unfortunately, I've never won anything cool for my guesses, like in a big contest or anything...but...I can't calculate using my system until I know who is nominated!

Here are some nominations I hope we see tomorrow (not necessarily to be confused with who I actually think will be nominated):

(Sound, visual effects, editing, screenplay adaptation, score, costumes, art direction, Willem Dafoe for supporting. Tobey won't get it, but wasn't he great!!!)

Lord of the Rings
(Sound, visual effects, editing, screenplay adaptation, costumes, art direction, Peter Jackson for directing, possibly best picture.) I will be HIGHLY surprised if any acting nominations are involved...UNLESS...they decide to nominate Gollum for best support. That would turn the whole awards show on its ear. I'll be very upset if anyone nominated Orlando Bloom.

Harry Potter
(All the technicals mentioned above for the other screenplay adaptation, and I want with all my heart for Richard Harris to GET and WIN best supporting actor. Kenneth Branagh was pretty great too.)

One Hour Photo
(Best support, Robin Williams)

The Hours
(Best original screenplay, best actress Nicole Kidman, best support Meryl Streep, best makeup)

About Schmidt
(Best actor, Jack Nicholson)

My Big Fat Greek Wedding
(Best original screenplay. Best actress Nia Vardulos. Best score. Best picture. Best hunk, John Corbett. Wait. Wrong thread, that one belongs on the Laminated List, not the Oscar nominations.)

(Best original screenplay. Best score.)

Gangs of New York.
(Best support, Daniel Day Lewis. Best actor, Leonardo DiCaprio. Best original song, U2.)

Far From Heaven.
(Best actress, Julianne Moore. Best support, Dennis Quaid. Best picture. Best director and best editing.)

(Best song, best score, best picture, best director, best costumes. Best actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, possibly nominated against Renee Zellweger in the same category. Best support Richard Gere. Best support Queen Latifah.)

Anyone else????? Guess we'll see tomorrow, and then, let the games begin!!!!
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I'd like to see The Pianist nominated for best picture, but doubt this will happen since Roman Polanski was involved with it. I would LOVE to see Adrien Brody nominated for his performance in it. He's such a great actor, and I'm glad that he finally got this huge role and so much acclaim for it.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding could get a nomination for best picture, no? And I'll second your nomination for John Corbett as best hunk. Smiler

Far From Heaven should get nominated for best cinematography. Wasn't that movie gorgeous? Julianne Moore was great as well, but I was a little disappointed in Dennis Quaid (possibly because I kept reading that it was "the performance of his career," and I think he's done better).
What a horrible year for the Oscars. Most of these nomiations are for movies all about Gloom and Doom, and I can't help but think of this as an echo of the American climate: "the year of the middle-aged, white conservative voter." Steve Martin will be the only reason to watch the show, and the critics will come down very hard on him because so much of his humor is "too high concept" (not dumbed down enough).

Oscarus Annus Horribilus...Par example:

Best actor: Jack Nicholson, and four middle-aged white guys running against Jack Nicholson. No contest.

Best picture: A violent, testosterone-driven gangster flick. A sexist, violent, testostereone-driven fantasy flick. An overrated movie that glorifies and romanticizes murder and publicity, supplies men with two solid hours of T&A, and annoyingly bursts into song every five minutes (and we have to watch Richard Gere DANCE, for corn's sake...). A movie about the holocaust, directed by a well-publicized child molester. And of course, a movie rafe with female bisexuality, lesbianism and prosthetic noses hedges out an arguably better movie with a closeted gay man and a bi-racial relationship in the plot. And nothing remotely "fun" like Greek Wedding or spiderman. Frowner This is one category where I'm not particularly sure I CARE who wins this year.

Best support. I don't care that they dissed Richard Gere...but dissing Richard Harris and Dennis Quaid reaches a level of WRONG I haven't seen in awhile. That said, John C. Reilly was the best thing about Chicago, and he totally deserves this award but will lose it to someone named Chris. (Walken or Cooper...either one.)

In two major cases, they nominated something completely deserving and then set it up to lose...

Best supporting actress. Queen Latifah, who channelled the spirit of Billie was INCREDIBLY validating to see the movie industry nominate a role where an overweight woman was given a sensual role full of zest and life (rather than the typical "psycho," "matron," or "laughingstock" typically assigned to plus-sized women). Queen Latifah was beautiful, sexy, WONDERFUL. And they set her (the only person of color nominated for acting, by the way) up to lose by putting her against Meryl Streep and T&A girl, Catherine Zeta-Jones. Very upsetting.

Original Screenplay. Nia got her nomination for Greek Wedding, and I cheered out loud. But this is a year where most of the "best screenplay" types were original, not adaptation. So she's gonna get rooked, too. (Speaking of adaptation: um, SPIDERMAN? um, HARRY POTTER? um, LORD OF THE RINGS???? What the....)

Best actress. I cannot STAND Renee Zellweger...but oddly, her annoying qualities worked completely in her favor in "Chicago." I think the one to beat though is Nicole Kidman, and I hope she wins it for a variety of reasons. Would have been very nice to see Nia in there, even if she wouldn't have won.

As great as "Ice Age" was, and as much of a shoe-in as that is, what a slap to the people at Disney, and for the second year in a row. There wouldn't even BE an "animated full-length feature" category without Walt Disney, yet Disney will lose the statue for the first two years (having had Monsters, Inc. lose to Shrek last year).

I'm going to shock my husband now. I hope Eminem wins best song this year, because he's the only one nominated without any political-type thing going on. Paul Simon could get the hippie vote. Bono could get the humanitarian vote. But Eminem did something raw, something real, something about both himself and the movie that speaks to both the frustrated youth situation and the frustrated American situation, no holds barred. And a win for Eminem in this regard would certainly go with the themes that seem to be dominating the award nominations.

Best Elfman, not anywhere. And the fact that the score for "Signs" didn't make it, is sad. Frowner John Williams and a bunch of other people including Philip Glass.

NO LOTR nomination for costumes? For makeup? Directing? They must really be expecting Episode 3 to clean up next year. And what a loss for George Lucas, in the technical area, to have Star Wars NOWHERE. They also dissed Spielberg this year, who actually invented a new type of camera shot in "Minority Report."

One thing I was VERY glad to see: they weren't tasteless enough to nominate Sum of All Fears for anything, even technical.

I have to run this SORRY LIST through my "system" before I can make my official predictions. And you know what, I'm tempted to share my system with you guys because there are a few too many wildcards that could throw it this year for me, anyway. And that way, you'd all win your office pools...what do you guys think? Share my system?
I'm kinda interested in knowing the system, Heidi, and not to win any office pools - I don't work - but more for my own curiosity...

And Kill Eye, I think you and Heidi are right. (And Heidi, my own husband would never let me hear the end of it, if he knew.) Best Original Song should go to Eminem - I mean, am I the only one who cannot get that track out of her head? (And I am SO not an Eminem fan...) Big Grin
K. I'm setting myself up for a failure of spectacular proportions here (because Murphy's Law dictates that this will be the one year my "system" won't work...). But here it is (and may God, man, and Steven Spielberg have mercy on my soul). I guess it's *sorta* scientific, but can vary based on a couple of the factors, which is why we could use the same system and come up with different picks. No it goes.

My Oscar System has five main factors, three of which are fixed and two of which are variable, and could change even during the course of the Oscars broadcast. Each of these factors is weighed equally (20%), with veto rights given to factors #4 during the Broadcast on March 23, and #5 on March 23 prior to the start of, OR during the Broadcast.

1. SAG, Golden Globes, Sundance.

The SAG is a peer-conferred award...the Golden Globes are a popular-masses-conferred award...the Sundance awards are conferred by the snooty, hoity-toidy "film enthusiast" types. Figure out who won those three awards in all categories. Watch for the names and the movies that pop up in all three places. This increases the likelihood of winning an Oscar, in my opinion.

2. The Ebert Test.

Some people wear WWJD bracelets, but when it comes to movies, I ask, "What Did Roger Ebert Say?" I agree with Ebert in roughly 90% of his reviews, but of the cases where he and I disagree, the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences tends to fall on the side of Ebert. (Case in point, Spider-Man. I LOVED Spider-Man, but Ebert had issues with look at how many nominations it didn't get.) Ebert raves about actor, mentions the word Oscar, or gives movie three stars or higher, and you're looking at a serious contender.

3. Oscar Legacy.

For every nominee, look up: How many times has this person been nominated, and how many times have they won? Chances are, if this particular person is older, actually dead, or has been passed over several times...look out.

Take Randy Newman...passed over 14 times until he took Best Song last year. (In that particular case, though, it was a Factor Five Veto that caused me to guess further for explanation.) John Williams, who has won 22 Oscars for Best Score, has a lesser likelihood this time unless it's one of those ones like "Indiana Jones" that sticks in your head for years. (Not so, this time.)

FACTOR FOUR...variable during Oscar broadcast.

"The Common Thread Theory"

There are usually one or two common threads in the movies that win Oscars any given year, I've noticed. For instance, you have "the year of the mentally challenged" where all the actors who win do so through having to play a mentally ill character. Or, you'll have "the year of the historical drama," "the year of the epic," "the year of the woman," "the year of the Jew," "the year of gay pride," etc.

Base? I agree it certainly sounds that way...but...check it out by looking at the Legacy section of I think there's something to this. Last year was "year of escapism" coupled with "year of the African-American." This year could go "year of the gangster" or "year of the sexist" very easily, but we won't be able to tell until during the show, when the first four awards are over. It always follows a theme, you just have to find it in the first 45 minutes of the show. Know the theme, and you know where the voters' heads were.

FACTOR FIVE...more predictable at the time of, or even during, Oscar broadcast.

"Personal and Political Factors."

The voters are human. It would be nice to think that they base their votes solely on a performance alone, but because you can find common themes, we know that it's also subjective. Therefore, pay attention to tabloid headlines, and gossip rags like People and PageSix.

To further explain my Factor Five veto that caused me to change my vote to Randy Newman, and get it right: the Oscars initiated a new category last year for Full-length Animated feature. By all rights Walt Disney's advancements made this category possible...yet "Shrek" (a movie that parodized Disney CEO Michael Eisner at several points) managed to beat out Disney's "Monsters, Inc." A major slap in the face to Disney, there was one other category where "Monsters, Inc." was nominated: Randy Newman for Best Original Song. The win was not SOLELY because Randy Newman had been passed over 14 times, but it was also a guilt award to pacify Disney. (Gossip headlines shortly before the broadcast about Michael Eisner's contract, and before that, about the whole Shrek-parody-nastiness.)

One example this year is...Nicole Kidman. While her performance may or may not be the best of the year, she was very publicly dumped a year ago by Tom Cruise, and has had tons of painful publicity and public sympathy from that. If she won now, she would be "single mom puts her life back together and triumphs despite sadness," in a role that helped her work through the despondency, and the public would LOVE to see her win for that reason.

Now, there are ALWAYS two or three awards that are total wild-card upsets (cough...Jim Broadbent...cough), but it hasn't generally affected my ability to win the pool. I have an uncanny ability that infuriates my husband to no end, with unexplainably correct guesses on things like Foreign Film, Documentary, and Animated Short. Wink

SO....LET'S PLAY...Who's in? (Gets out abacus and starts calculating...)
Heidi, why aren't we reading you in national newspapers and magazines?!?!
The station I listen to in the mornings features appearances by Mike Rich who was a dj there for ages before he wrote the screenplays for "Finding Forrester" and "The Rookie". He was on today talking about the nominations and he was gushing on and on ad nauseum about "Chicago". I'd much rather read your opinions than listen to his fatuous blathering.
sacrednavel, I would love nothing more than to be a professional entertainment critic, because that way I could combine my love of writing with my love of music and movies without ever having to leave the sanctity of my computer. Wink Not sure how to even go about that, but I did cover those topics for both school and college papers. I would SO DIG being able to do that, only with the sarcasm of a Dennis Miller or a Joe Queenan!

[RE: Chicago. Don't get me wrong, there were a LOT of things to love about that movie...the editing between the "fantasy vaudeville" and "reality" sequences was FLAWLESS, the costumes were great, the choreography was stunning and often very clever. Catherine Zeta-Jones has me re-considering a Cleopatra haircut, she was simply fabulous, and I can't pay enough compliments to Queen Latifah and John C. Reilly.

But there IS such a thing as too much singing and dancing to disrupt an otherwise entertaining story. I put this into practice today by spontaneously bursting into vaudevillian-style song when I had a conversation with someone or did something ordinary, ("I'm.....picking up the phone, picking up the phone, ha-cha! Picking it up, I'm gonna pick it right up!" Tap, tappa tap, tappa tap, tappa tap... "PICK up-click-THE phone-click-RIGHT Now.....YEAH!") and you know what? Everyone either laughed like crazy or wants to kill me! Ask my husband. I really tried it, it's the truth, and I don't think I'm ever allowed to go to the movies again. Wink

Richard Gere's performance was at best, a parody and at worst, overrated. And, I wondered, other than the fact that it was a theatrical re-hash, was there any real reason why the story needed to take place in Chicago, or during Prohibition, other than for flash potential? Because you could base it in, say, Detroit in say, modern times, and you could call it, say, "8 Mile."]
I'll be posting my picks soon...but this year, I have to be like 10x more careful with them because I have put my money where my mouth is...

I work fulltime as a charity fundraiser and decided to turn my thing for movies into a fun, easy way to get some extra $ for my charity. Smiler People send in their Oscar ballots with a $10 donation. Whoever guesses the most, gets 10% of the take (because I have to expend under 15% of the take to satisfy IRS requirements for charities). If the winner guesses more right than our regional office's official movie buff (er, ME), they get an extra 2%.

sooo...the stakes are up!
Heidi, I'm trying to figure out if you liked Chicago or not. Smiler You wanted it to be nominated, but then called it an "overrated movie that glorifies and romanticizes murder and publicity, supplies men with two solid hours of T&A, and annoyingly bursts into song every five minutes". Damnit, if Chicago wasn't Fun I don't know what is. Not because of the women, but because of the music and the wicked dark humour in showing the media eating up the sensationalism.

I don't see any reason to watch the Oscars anyway. It's an overly long production which hands out awards, as you note, for all sorts of reasons OTHER than who was actually best. I only watch to see what the stars are wearing. I can be that superficial Wink .

To me there is too much back slapping and back handers at a lot of awards ceremonies (the same goes for a lot of music awards)

Isn't it just horrible how the cameras love doing close ups of the losers? They have to grit their teeth and smile when they probably want to spit.
Good points, Chris..and as far as deciding whether or not I liked Chicago, you're not the only one confused. I'm divided, I agree. I did like it, AND did not like it. I liked it for the reasons I said I liked it, AND did not like it for the reasons you've re-stated.

So I guess overall, that places me squarely in the middle, and it's fair to say the bottom line for me is the themes were so serious that it forced me to take the movie as a whole more seriously than you're technically supposed to take a movie musical.

Does it have categories where it absolutely deserves to be recognized? Yes. Was it the best picture of the year? To my mind, no. (But, that said, it looks like a kids' birthday party compared to the subject matter in a couple of the other movies nominated for best picture...)

I WANTED Chicago nominated for best supporting actor/actress categories based on performances alone (John C. Reilly and Queen Latifah), and not on the overriding themes of the movie. I also think film editing and costumes are deserving categories, based on the merit of the category alone and not allowing the movie's topic or themes to distract my opinion.

Another important distinction to make is that I don't always vote for what I think deserves to win or even who I'd prefer to see win, but what I think WILL win, based on my aforementioned "system." When I listed all the nominations I thought Chicago was likely to get, that was not a list of nominations I wanted to see but a list of what I thought, realistically, the AMPAS might bestow.
the 'main' results of this weeknds BAFTA's, the 'british oscars' were:-

Best film
The Pianist

Best director
Roman Polanski - The Pianist

Best actor in a leading role
Daniel Day-Lewis- Gangs of New York

Best actress in a leading role
Nicole Kidman - The Hours

Best actor in a supporting role
Christopher Walken - Catch Me If You Can

Best actress in a supporting role
Catherine Zeta Jones - Chicago

someone suggested that the 'best film not in the english language' award should go to 'scooby doo'

no sign of polanski at this ceremony either. i think michael caine was expecting best actor for 'the quiet american'. he looked a bit grumpy throughout. what was a bit baffling about our awards is that quite a few of the films nominated aren't on general release yet or have just come out in the past week or so. they move in mysterious ways.

Thanks for posting these, Doc!

More and more I'm sensing The Pianist as the biggest dark horse, not just because Polanski himself survived the Holocaust (his mother, though, died in the gas chamber), but because he has made a different kind of Holocaust movie.

Other Holocaust movies have suggested that survivors escaped due to heroism or some incredible act of sacrifice on someone's part...while Polanski (someone who arguably has the right to differ) argues that survivors were random and survived due to luck, people's sympathy, and being in the right place at the right time. He took great pains to make his main character an utterly ordinary person, whose unusual ability to play the piano wasn't itself enough to save him.
OK, before the broadcast, here are my picks (but as you understand, I may change a couple during the broadcast, so my husband will have to vouch for what I got right).

Best Actor: Jack Nicholson
Best Supporting Actor: Chris Cooper
Best Actress: Nicole Kidman
Best Supporting Actress: Catherine Zeta-Jones
Best Animated Feature: Ice Age
Best Art Direction: Chicago
Best Cinematography: Chicago
Best Costumes: Chicago
Best Directing: Martin Scorsese
Best Documentary: Bowling for Columbine
Best Short Documentary: Twin Towers
Best Editing: Chicago
Best Foreign Language: Hero
Best Makeup: The Time Machine
Best Score: Catch Me If You Can
Best Song: The Hands That Built America by U2
Best Picture: Chicago
Best Animated Short: Mike's New Car
Best Live Action Short: Johnny Flynton
Best Sound: Spider-Man
Best Sound Editing: Lord of the Rings
Best Visual Effects: Lord of the Rings
Best Screenplay, Adapted: The Hours
Best Screenplay, Original: Greek Wedding

Notes on picks, briefly:

I am pretty confident in my actor and actresses, and best picture picks, but director and cinematography were really tough. In the case of director, three directors totally deserve it and it may come down to when in the war process the votes were finalized...and while Polanski is a strong dark horse, Scorsese gets my vote because HE'S NEVER WON. (If I'm wrong on screenplay, I might have to change directors.)

Cinematography is tough because Chicago will win ONLY if the director is passed over, but Cin is handed out first...otherwise, Far From Heaven did some very interesting, compelling stuff.

With my SONG vote I am casting for who I THINK will win, not for who I think deserves it most (Eminem).

With my ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY vote, my yearly throwaway is going to Nia because I love her, but I think she'll lose to Gangs of New York. Every year I have to cast one vote for someone I know will probably lose, but who I passionately feel deserved it...but then, last year my passionate throwaway was Randy Newman, and then he WON!!!! So we'll see. I'm sticking with Nia because she's great, not because she'll win.

I feel really sorry for Steve Martin, because levity when the stars are bailing and the red carpet has been rolled up, is gonna be tough. But you know what, if it had to be someone and couldn't be Billy Crystal, I'm glad it's him because he's gracious and sincere as well as silly. I'll be waiting to see which stars get political in which directions and what happens when the producers squash it with orchestra music.

Who else is gonna guess??????
I predict that Nicole Kidman will be the most fabulous looking and that Lara Flynn Boyle will look like hell even in a less-goofy outfit than the tutu because she's so skeletal.

I predict little in the way of anti-war or anti-administration sentiment due to respect for the troops.

I hope the predictions of restraint in fashion don't too much come to pass - the Oscars are a showcase. Toning it down makes about as much sense as dimming Las Vegas Blvd and sending everybody home. last tweak, because Roger Ebert posted his picks late, and two of my previous guesseses (according to aforementioned system) were thrown off by the addition of the Ebert Factor.

So...therefore...replace Jack Nicholson (previously awarded twice) with Daniel Day-Lewis (only awarded once, echoed by our local movie guy and a couple of other awards in the meantime). Ebert also raised a good point I forgot...Daniel Day-Lewis has made a kick-butt return to the screen after leaving acting altogether for since his Oscar-winning performance in 1989, having gone into the ladies' shows business. (Did he develop a fetish when making "My Left Foot?" hmmmm.....)

I also need to change my vote in Foreign Film from the Chinese entry "Hero" to "Nowhere in Africa," which Ebert gave an incredibly rare FOUR STARS in his review, which appeared only this week.

Notice that Ebert touches on another point I've made here previously...that the AMPAS vote reflects the best headlines, not necessarily the actual best pictures...I couldn't disagree more with Ebert when he says Lilo and Stitch will take Best Animated...that movie SUCKED, though he may be right on the point that since Disney got passed over last year in a category it pretty much single-handedly invented, we'll see if they get a "gimme" for an inferior pic this time.

As for politics, I think we're going to see some. I think some folks WILL tone it down as Jane suggested, but I think others won't be able to, because the Oscars is the most watched awards show of the year, getting about a billion viewers worldwide. Some folks who have already spoken out on this issue (in whichever direction) won't be able to pass up a chance to represent their opinion, even in more muted tones, in front of that many people. It's a pretty good bang for your activism buck,after all....

There WILL, however, be celebration as this is the Oscars' 75th anniversary. And this year's "montage of people the movie industry lost last year" will be sad for the inclusions of James Coburn and Richard Harris, and may even go so far as to add a moment of silence for the troops. It will be awkward and terrible to have to receive war updates every hour from ABC.

Fashionwise, I agree with Jane in my hope that some people are still over the top. There are always a few who always look amazing (Kidman, Halle Berry), a few who unexpectedly look amazing unexpectedly, and a few fashion disasters (cough...J Lo...cough). I know I'll be disappointed if I can't watch Steven Cocojaru being catty about the dresses beforehand. He's often more entertaining than the fashions themselves.

Let's see how this year goes. Again, I may have another couple I change at the VERY last minute, based on how a few of these other ones pan out.

that was a shocker. i totally expected U2 to win, not because i like U2 (which i kinda don't), but it just seems that every award they're nominated for is handed to them.
so, kudos to em. that said, i did like paul simon's song.

i am absolutely STOKED that michael moore, chris cooper, adrien brody, roman polanksi and pedro almodovar won.
i especially loved adrien brody's speech.

nice way to end/begin my week.

Final tally for me......12. I'm always happy with anything in double digits, but have yet to top 14 (from 2001). Last year I only guessed 9, so redeemed myself a little. Wink Just wow.

Was that a mighty performance from U2 or what?

Biggest upsets: Adrien Brody, some bad anime flick beating out Ice Age (but at least that piece-a crap Lilo & Stitch didn't win), Roman Polanski edging Scorsese.


Mike Moore: an opinion stated badly discredits others who hold that opinion. Went too far for propriety. Everyone else who went there, did so graciously, at least.

Best Acceptance speech: Adrien Brody. Talk about verklempt!!!!

Guy I felt sorriest for: the guy who was stuttering and got chopped off by the orchestra. That was just WRONG.

Um, like is Nicole Kidman totally always like a bimbo? For real?


Peter O'Toole: "Always the bridesmaid never the bride, MY FOOT...I finally HAVE one!!!"

Steve Martin: "Everyone else here was dressed by Armani, but Sean Connery was dressed by Red Lobster." Another one of MANY good jokes from him I remember...talking about what a great year it's been for Jack Nicholson, who got to sit in a hot tub with Kathy Bates, but then, who hasn't been naked in a hot tub with Kathy Bates?

...and when the producer for Best Picture Chicago wondered who else he should thank, and Hilary Swank yelled out, "THANK YOUR WIFE!!!" This was hilarious because when Swank won her best actress Oscar in 2001 for "Boys Don't Cry," she forgot to thank husband Chad Lowe and was roundly criticized for it in the press...

The thing where Steve Martin talked about "movie stars I've slept with who have been too gracious to tell anyone" was really danged funny, too.


Several stars notably missing...Kevin Spacey? Mel Gibson? hmmmmm.....

We didn't realize that the cinematographer from Road to Perdition had recently died. Had I known that, I would have re-cast that vote. Another that should have been predictable was Frida for makeup.

It was really, super cool to see Julie Andrews, Olivia deHavilland, and Kirk and Michael Douglas up there together. As always, there were some in the "dead people montage" who I didn't realize died, and then in the "past winners" lineup, several stars I thought were dead who are still alive!!!

Pro-peace seemed to be the overriding vibe in the room, and that was cool with me...though at least 3 celebs were sporting American flags in support...Marty Ingels, Matthew McConaghey, and Sean Astin.

Funniest line from 7-year-old daughter during broadcast: "Mommy, when is U2 gonna take his glasses off?"


Best dressed: the lady who shared the stage with Mickey Mouse, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Connolly, Colin Farrell, Sean Connery, Selma Hayek.

Worst dressed: Heather Graham, J Lo (who last year had a great dress and bad hair, and this year went with great hair and a horrible dress...), Julianne Moore (looked like a fish).

Facial hair or stubble seemed to be IN this year, with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Denzel Washington. Skunk-haired guy beating Nia Vardalos: not cool.

Worst accessorizing: Meryl Streep's necklace, and Harrison Ford wearing a creepy cuff-link shaped like Calista Flockhart...
Yay! Adrien!!!

He's the best! I'm SOOOOO happy that he won! I was yelling at the TV - "Oh my god! He won! He won!" *laughs*

And what a terrific, emotional acceptance speech - I got all choked up.

I've been raving about this guy to everyone I know for YEARS. Ever since I saw him in "Summer of Sam," I was blown away and I've made sure I've seen everything of his that I could get my hands on.

Other films of his that are definitely worth seeing are "Liberty Heights" and "Bread and Roses."
Go Heidi! Excellent predictions!

My new theory is that they used security as an excuse to keep Joan and Melissa off the red carpet. I appreciated them just as much calling 'em from the second floor of the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel - and nobody had to talk to 'em!

I loved seeing all the color and great frocks! If anybody "toned down" they were at least as dressed as they ought to have been for this showcase

Joan seemed a little rattled by the change in plan, but Melissa was more than up to the challenge.

I swear this year's cut 'em off strategy was a mic that sank into the floor - didja notice that anybody who wanted to go on was forced to crouch lower and lower?

Michael Moore did not think he would win - he is so incisive and he deserves to rant.

My dream job's in the e-mail today from West Hollywood - it's like Hollywood but further west with better delis and style. And further west. I'm a little thinking about having a commuter relationship with Bako.

I was knocked out when the awards ended promptly at 9pm (pacific time) - war time austerity or serendipity or fortuitousness- you be the judge!

Oh, and should I forsake Bako for We-Ho?
Originally posted by Heidi in Pittsburgh:
Um, like is Nicole Kidman totally always like a bimbo? For real?

Unfortunately, yes. It's seen as fashionable for girls/women to act as she does, amongst the milieu she grew up in (upper-middle-class Sydney) and undeniably amongst the Hollywood set.

No, I'm not being catty (I think Nicole deserved the award, she's certainly developed as an actress)... just offering my observations as an Australian who has befriended some of these Sydney richy types... usually to my regret. The joke in Sydney seems to be always about the "westies", aka those from the working-class areas, but personally, having befriended each sort, I prefer honesty and directness over ditziness any day.
Agree Kia, she's a magnificent actress. I was just surprised to see what a ditz she seemed to be when she was playing herself. But to be fair, I'm guessing I'd be a ditz in that particular situation, too...I was just glad to see her win so well after being dumped on her arse so heinously last year by Tom Cruise. It's like, revenge of the single mom, and I was like, YOU GO, GIRL!!!!!

I want to know where InStyle magazine gets off calling Sean Connery one of the WORST dressed? He looked the perfect Scottish gentleman, totally distinguished. And they called J-Lo one of the BEST, in that hideous lime-green tablecloth!!!! I forgot to add Nia and Kathy Bates to the list of Best Dressed's I turned in earlier. And come on, hasn't Jack Nicholson's coolness with the sunglasses thing finally passed him by? I totally agreed with InStyle's best and worst hair list, but think they should have added Cliff Robertson and Christopher Walken to "Worst Hair." Wink

You'll note that many of the folks who were best dressed in my opinion are showing up as "badly dressed" on some lists. S'OK, I usually always have tastes that run contrary to whatever is popular. Everyone seems to be in agreement over Hilary Swank's butt-ugly dress, though...

Heidi's Top 10 2003 Oscar Moments

10. Martin Scorsese leading the standing O for Roman Polanski, in the ultimate good sportsmanship move...tied with Meryl Streep looking honestly, heartfelt-ly happy for Catherine Zeta-Jones. (Julianne Moore, though, had dagger eyes...)

9. Mike Moore bringing all the documentary nominees onstage with him (nevermind what he did afterward, I just thought bringing them all up like that was really cool).

8. U2. Nuff said.

7. Peter O'Toole's speech.

6. Steve Martin's Red Lobster joke.

5. Adrien Brody shutting the orchestra up and giving the most meaningful, heartfelt Oscar speech of the year.

4. Hilary Swank yelling "Thank your wife!"

3. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Queen Latifah doing a diva duet.

2. Douglas and Douglas.

1. Adrien Brody kissing Halle Berry.

(You'll notice this differs a bit from the InStyle list. InStyle also had a list of the most memorable moments in past Oscar history which inexplicably left out Jack Palance and the one-armed pushups!)
Originally posted by Heidi in Pittsburgh:
[qb]Steve Martin: "Everyone else here was dressed by Armani, but Sean Connery was dressed by Red Lobster"[/qb]
i don't get that heidi, red lobster???? is it a US thing? can you explain or will it lose something in the translation?

i've taped the highlights and only managed to see half an hour or so so far but i did chuckle a lot when steve martin said "and now the man who shares the same name as the actor who played the first james bond..... sean connery".

and sean did look like the knees of the bees, top man.

oh, and i noticed catherine zeta jones' mid atlantic accent of late transformed back into welsh. how 'umble of her.
Red Lobster is a chain of seafood restaurants with a "seafaring" theme and decor. (Home of the $19.99 lobster...) That joke was essentially Steve Martin saying Sean Connery looked like he stepped off a not-very-classy pirate ship.

I thought it was really, really funny because Red Lobster is hardly the type of place one could EVER picture someone as poised and distinguished as Sean Connery, and it was so funny seeing ANYONE rip on Sean Connery...because you just don't DO that!!!!
Well, re: Mike Moore, everyone on this list knows I have similar positions to his. And I think he was certainly courageous and passionate and that it was a great thing to do when he pulled the other nominees up there too.


I think it would have been more effective had he toned it down. For instance, Chris Cooper, Susan Sarandon and especially Adrien Brody got their points across well and respectfully enough without upsetting anyone. (It was a question of the occasion, not his position....IMHO)

Had he said something about being up there in solidarity because they are documentary filmmakers filming nonfiction in fictitious times, and then made a calmer statement sort of like "we protest the war against Iraq and want the world to know that not all Americans support our president's policy..." he probably would not have gotten booed and still would have gotten his headlines.

I just think he took it WAY too far in light of those particular circumstances. I mean, I'm a radical peacenik, but I'm a radical peacenik who reveres the Oscars and was offended.

i see what you mean, heidi.
and i'll PM you the rest of my reply in a bit because, well, the moderators here won't have it.

instead of making it seem like the entire place was booing him, moore clarified for a journalist or two who spoke to him at LAX just before he went home.
basically, 5 people up in the balcony booed, and the people below them were telling them to shut up. that's the commotion you heard.

and, that's actually what i thought had happened because it made no sense to me that a standing ovation would moments later be met with screams of opposition.

*send off a PM*
i think i would have had a lot more respect for those celebrities and their sincerity if they followed the example set by marlon brando 30 years ago and made their point by getting up on stage and simply refusing their awards.

(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).

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