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Oscar Playoffs: The Contenders

Oscar nomination predictions 1/26/04 (retrieved and reposted 1/27/04)
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Thanks to Gunther, I've managed to redo the page after accidentally saving over it this morning. The predictions that turned out to be correct are highlighted.

What I Learned From the Golden Globes:

I have been severely underestimating Lost in Translation.

I severely underestimated Diane Keaton, but because I'm hard-headed, I'm going to believe I actually underestimated the HFPA's fondness for Diane Keaton.

Johnny Depp, whose critical popularity had surged in the last couple of weeks, will probably be nominated tomorrow. He probably won't win.

As Gunther on the tagboard put it, Bill Murray earned his Globe with that acceptance speech. Sean Penn, on the other hand, couldn't be arsed to show up ("family business"). I feel pretty good buzz for Penn as of yet, but goodwill for Bill Murray could snatch the Oscar right out from under him. And the best part? Sean Penn wouldn't even give a damn.

Charlize Theron is unstoppable. Which is what we all said about Sissy Spacek last year. Shut up, man.

Remember, now, that the voting for Oscar noms closed at least a week before the Globes were presented; they won't have any influence on the nominations coming out tomorrow morning, but they can still make a difference. I mean, if So-and-So didn't get nominated, yeah--he's screwed. But take the Bill Murray-Sean Penn example. Or, for example, if people are outraged, outraged! that Cold Mountain was shafted, we could see a correction when people start to vote for the nominations. People can still vote in reaction to the Globes. So remember that.

That said, now I have to wipe my mind clean of the Globes and guess what AMPAS is up to. Great.

Best Picture
Return of the King
Cold Mountain
Mystic River
Master and Commander
Lost in Translation

I think Miramax has enough money to shove Seabiscuit out of the way.
If Cold Mountain does get shut out here, expect all hell to break loose down in Harveyland. (Seriously, did you see the look Harvey Weinstein gave Peter Jackson when Jackson thanked him last night? For his support "there in the beginning," i.e., basically for letting the movies go to a studio that actually knew what to do with them? Somebody hand me a sweater, it's gettin' a little frosty in here.)

Best Actor
Sean Penn
Ben Kingsley
Bill Murray
Johnny Depp
Jude Law

For some reason, I don't see Russell Crowe making the cut. I think there's a weird sense of Crowe having an abundance of riches--it would be better to let Depp in, who's known as a brilliant oddball and a generally nice guy. This is, after all, a group of voters who switched from Scorsese to Polanski and Crowe to Washington due to personal affronts.

Best Actress
Jennifer Connelly
Diane Keaton
Nicole Kidman
Charlize Theron
Naomi Watts

I would have put Scarlett Johansson in, but the FYC ads are touting her for supporting.

Supporting Actor
Alec Baldwin 
Albert Finney
William H. Macy
Tim Robbins  
Ken Watanabe

This is one of those categories where all I know is, Tim Robbins is winning.

Supporting Actress
Patricia Clarkson 
Hope Davis 
Holly Hunter  
Scarlett Johansson
Renée Zellweger

I dunno. Zellweger, Clarkson, and Johansson for sure.

Best Director
Peter Jackson
Clint Eastwood

Anthony Minghella
Peter Weir
Sofia Coppola

The big shocker will be if Minghella is left out--well, not that big, or we wouldn't see it coming. Cold Mountain has really been flagging the last few weeks in terms of critical buzz; we might see Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) or maybe Jim Sheridan (In America) sneak in. If Minghella is snubbed, well--the writing will be on the wall for Miramax. Jackson, Eastwood, and Coppola are all but certain.

Original Screenplay
Lost in Translation
In America

21 Grams
The Last Samurai
Love Actually

I don't know. Flying blind again here. Really, the one I'm not sure about is The Last Samurai.

Adapted Screenplay

Cold Mountain
Mystic River
Master and Commander
Return of the King
American Splendor

If they decide to go completely populist,
Seabiscuit will probably edge American Splendor or Master and Commander out.

I could predict more, but really--I could only guess a few very certain things, not entire categories. Return of the King will do well in technical nominations, I think, considering that it's been deemed eligible for score and makeup (unlike Two Towers last year). I'll be very interested to see the nominations for categories like makeup, costume, and effects, personally. I'll post them on this page as soon as they come out tomorrow morning--7:30 CST, but give me a few minutes.

Oscar Watch
How Digest prognosticators fared:

Brassy: 9/13
8/13 (corrected)

Actual Golden Globe Winners

Best Film (Drama)
Return of the King
Best Film (Comedy)
Lost in Translation
Best Director
Peter Jackson, ROTK
Best Actor (D)
Sean Penn, Mystic River
Best Actress (D)
Charlize Theron, Monster
Best Actor (C)
Bill Murray, Lost in Translation
Best Actress (C)
Diane Keaton, Something's Gotta Give
Best S. Actor
Tim Robbins, Mystic River
Best S. Actress
Renee Zellweger, Cold Mountain
Best Screenplay
Lost in Translation
Best Score
Howard Shore, ROTK
Best Song
"Into the West," ROTK
Best Foreign Language Film