Well, the Oscar nominations are finally up, which means its time for my annual pick list. So you’re probably wondering: am I any good at this? Well, not really. Out of my picks last year, I got 2 outright picks correct and one dark horse pick. But hey, isn’t it fun to see me get it wrong again?
Will Win: Bill Murray – Lost in Translation was Bill Murray’s best acting job. He was phenomonal. He deserves the nod, people like him, and everyone was talking about him in this role.
Should Win: Bill Murray–great performance, and he deserves it.
Dark Horse: Johnny Depp. His performance made Pirates of the Caribbean, and is probably why the movie was so popular. Why the dark horse nod, then? Probably because Pirates made too much money, and really isn’t that good a movie. So Bill will probably take it.
Should Win, but Wasn’t Nominated: Elijah Wood – I thought Elijah was kind of overshadowed, acting wise, in the first two Rings movies, but by ROTK, he was Frodo Baggins.
Will Win: Charlize Theron – Hollywood loves to see the pretty girls make themselves look ugly (see Nicole Kidman’s win last year).
Should Win: Keisha Castle-Hughes – she’s part of what made Whale Rider such a great movie.
Dark Horse: Keisha Castle-Hughes – Whale Rider wasn’t widely seen, but the people who did see it loved it. If there are enough voters who feel that way, Castle-Hughes might win out.
Should Win, but Wasn’t Nominated: Scarlett Johansson — it was her give and take with Bill Murray that made Lost in Translation wonderful. It’s a shame she didn’t get a nomination.
Best Supporting Actor:
Will Win: Ken Watanabe — everyone I know who’s seen Last Samurai, and every review I read of the movie praised his performance to the skies. He gave a moving performance in a movie a lot of people saw, so I think he’ll pull the win.
Should Win: Tim Robbins — Politics aside, he’s one of my favorite actors, and Mystic River is one of his best performances.
Dark Horse: Benicio Del Toro — I didn’t see 21 Grams, but Benicio is a popular actor, and he might pull out a win for this one.
Should Win, but Wasn’t Nominated: Sean Astin — is there any question about this? Sean Astin was exactly what Samwise Gamgee is supposed to be. He turned in the performance of a career and didn’t even get nominated. That’s a shame.
Best Supporting Actress:
Will Win: Marcia Gay Harden — Mystic River got a lot of critical acclaim, and I think that that will be rewarded. The other nominees suffer from movies that either weren’t widely seen, or weren’t as critically acclaimed as their creators hoped.
Should Win: I actually can’t judge this, because I’ve only seen Mystic River out of all the nominees.
Dark Horse: Without seeing the movies, my instinct says that probably Renee Zellweger has the best chance of pulling the upset.
Should Win, but Wasn’t Nominated: Catherine O’Hara — her interaction with Eugene Levy in A Mighty Wind added a level of poignancy to what would otherwise have been a fun, but not particularly memorable, movie.
Will Win: Peter Jackson — he’ll get his due for his perseverence and achievement in making Lord of the Rings.
Should Win: Peter Jackson — and he deserves it, too.
Dark Horse: Sophia Coppola — Lost in Translation was a breathtaking movie, and Sophia might steal Peter’s thunder.
Should Win, but Wasn’t Nominated: — Not applicable. Jackson deserves it!
Will Win: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King – I’m honestly not sure this is even a question. LOTR has been shafted in the past couple of years, in part because I think the Academy wanted to see if the quality of the films was going to hold up. Well, they did.
Should Win: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King – Seeing as how it was the best movie of last year, it should win.
Dark Horse: Lost in Translation – in my opinion, this is the only movie good enough to give ROTK a run for its money. In any other year, it probably would be my favorite of the year.
Should Win, But Wasn’t Nominated: Not applicable to this category. ROTK was the best!