Oscars: 2004 Predictions


Best Picture:
Million Dollar Baby
runner-up: The Aviator

Best Director:
Clint Eastwood - Million Dollar Baby
runner-up: Martin Scorcese - The Aviator

Best Actor:
Jamie Foxx - Ray
runner-up: none

Best Actress:
Hilary Swank - Million Dollar Baby
runner-up: Imelda Staunton - Vera Drake

Best Supporting Actress:
Natalie Portman - Closer
runner-up: Cate Blanchett - The Aviator

Best Supporting Actor:
Clive Owen - Closer
runner-up: Morgan Freeman - Million Dollar Baby

Best Original Screenplay:
Vera Drake
runner-up: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Best Adapted Screenplay:
runner-up: Million Dollar Baby

Best Animated Film:
The Incredibles
runner-up: Shrek 2

Best Foreign Film
The Sea Inside
runner-up: The Chorus

Best Cinematography:
The Aviator
runner-up: House of Flying Daggers

Best Editing:
The Aviator
runner-up: Ray

Best Costume Design:
The Aviator
runner-up: Finding Neverland

Best Art Direction:
The Aviator
runner-up: Finding Neverland

Best Original Score:
Finding Neverland
runner-up: The Passion of the Christ

Best Original Song:
Phantom of the Opera - "Learn to Be Lonely"
runner-up: The Chorus - "Look to Your Path"

Best Sound:
runner-up: The Incredibles

Best Make-up:
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
runner-up: The Passion of the Christ

Best Sound Editing:
The Incredibles
runner-up: Spider-Man 2

Best Visual Effects:
Spider-Man 2
runner-up: I, Robot

Are the studios already campaigning and pushing actors in categories they don't belong? I can't think of any other reason why Jamie Foxx would be considered as a supporting actor for "Collateral." He was certainly more of a protagonist than Cruise.

I'm not sure what to think about Streep in "Manchurian Candidate." She's an actress that the Academy loves, of course, and she's playing against type here. But do you think her against-type role would make the Academy excited that she's taking chances, or do you think it would make the Academy confused and frightened of this new Meryl Streep? This situation must have some precedent, but I can't think of any for the life of me.

Actually, both of these questions can be answered with one movie:

Training Day

Ethan Hawke = lead
campaigned as supporting

Denzel Washington = nice and Academy loved
wins for evil role

Meryl is winning great reviews for her work, and the Academy will take any excuse to nominate her. She's not a sure thing, but she's a very big contender.

I'm pretty sure that they'll be campaigning Foxx as supporting to avoid cancelling out with his role in Ray, the Ray Charles biopic. Also, two leads are hearder to pull off, and Tom Cruise is more of a sure thing.

Guys, I remember the days when underscores worked in spacing lists...I also remember when articles were automatically formatted exactly as they were written. How do I manage to put spaces between paragraphs without the underscore showing?

I miss the simple times when candy was a nickel, and millionaires threw silver dollars from zepplins. Why do teenagers dress so crazy? There are too many demycrats in office! I'm afraid to go to sleep....

Underscores should still work when the lists aren't highlighted. If you want to be sneaky, just use all the underscores you want, save, and then edit one non-underscored line, and it should look the way you want (though only the one line will show up in Recent Activity).

You can put spaces between paragraphs by typing BR in between a < and a >. It will put more than one line of space though.

It puts

that much space.

One of the longest-standing items on my "to fix" list is how screwy some things look with highlighting on (especially how it hoses underscore behavior).

Stumpy's solution to this problem is to just create such lists as articles instead. You don't need to use underscores in articles, and since it looks like you're suppressing the bullets on every line anyway, maybe that would be the way to go.

Lol, I tried to clone your list, but then realized I haven't seen many 2004 films and don't plan to before the 2004 oscar nominations arrive.

But man, looking over this list, 2004 is shaping up to be a pretty bad year! Let's hope the second half of the year is MUCH better than the first (they usually are, but this time it'll have to be WAAAAAY better).

If Fahrenheit 9/11 WINS any awards (even best documentary), it will only cement my belief that the Oscars have become just another political platform (as if the last two years weren't any indication).

And if Spider-Man 2 or Shrek 2 win any awards, I'll be pissed off (I'm fairly certain both Shark Tale and The Incredibles will be better animated films than Shrek 2).

Oh God I hope that The Incredibles is better than Shrek 2.

I haven't seen very many of these movies, most of this is based on early "buzz" behind the films. A great site to visit to see very fun and extensive Oscar predictions is www.thefilmexperience.net. I've found it invaluable.

Wait a minute, are you saying that The Fog of War and Bowling for Columbine aren't great films? Because we may have a little discussion on our hands if so.

Oh, and the first half of the year was FULL of good stuff. Eternal Sunshine, Dogville, Before Sunset, Spider-Man 2 (despite your qualms, I thought it was wonderful entertainment), Mean Girls, Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Harry Potter...they've not been bad so far.

Also, I have yet to see Goodbye Lenin, Spring, Summer..., Hero, Colaterall, Garden State, and a number of other acclaimed films.

Hmmm? I never said Fog of War and Bowling for Columbine aren't great films. I said Fahrenheit 9/11 wasn't.

Eternal Sunshine is the best movie I've seen thus far. Dogville is a 2003 release, isn't it? Or is it eligible for 2004 academy awards? Haven't seen Before Sunset, Mean Girls, or Kill Bill 2, Harry Potter, but I doubt they'd compare (in my book) to Return of the King, Lost in Translation, Finding Nemo, American Splendor, Monster, In America, or Mystic River of last year.

I do intend to eventually see all those above, though (possibly not Potter).

See, I didn't find Spider-Man 2 to be a great movie OR great entertainment. I was endlessly bored and frustrated by the hours of silly soap-opera melodramatic dialogue, and the ending was a huge dissapointment. And Kirsten Dunst sucks at acting. And... well, I could go on forever.

When you said that the last two years were very political, I assumed you were referring to the past two documentary winners. Sorry!

Dogville is a 2004 American release, and therefor counts as a 2004 Academy contender. Most of my lists go by American date, so I include it.

Last year, my favorites were Return of the King, Elephant, Kill Bill: Vol 1, Lost in Translation, and Peter Pan. I thought last year was actually a pretty awful year for movies. This year has a much stronger start.

Spider-Man 2 was so completely tongue-in-cheek in so many ways, that the dialogue didn't bother me. Also, if a movie is based on a comic book, and comic books (especially Spider-Man) are essentially serialized soap operas, what's the problem with having a soapy movie?

Heh. I don't think any Spiderman comic book contained Aunt May's 20-minute speech that felt like a recitation of a college essay responding o the question, "What does it mean to be a hero?" The comic writers' hands would cramp up. :-)

Well, they would have if it weren't for carpal tunnel.

For people that like soap operas, there's no problem at all. For people like me, I vastly preferred the X-Men movies. And, if you including ALL comic books (not just superhero ones), my favorites (and mostly non soap-opera type) are here.

I had a blast with last year (but Peter Pan sucked). I thought it was better than 2000 and 2002. To each his own.

I'm afraid Dogville can't be considered for a 2004 award. It was released in France first, and the USA later, in 2003.

Well, it was released in the US in 2004, and the Oscars go by American release date. The only time foreign release dates apply is when the film is considered for Foreign Language Film.

Do film festival release dates count?

No, the rules are a week stint in either LA or New York. So, basically, it has to be a minor release, not just screening.

Predictions are fun and all, but you really never know... because would anybody have predicted Johnny Depp for Pirates of the Carribean before that movie opened? I wonder what surprises this year's movies will still bring?

Well, there was quite a buzz surrounding his performance building from about 2 weeks before the movie came out, once a few critics had seen the movie.

But yeah, I see your point.

There may have been buzz a few weeks before the movie's release, but earlier in the year people were predicting it would be an enormous bomb and criticizing Johnny Depp for selling out. Which is why I find it so great that it was such a success...

True, but that's sorta the fun. Out of left field nominations are the best. It would be incredibly boring if I scored 100%.

have you done this before? If so, how well did you do?

I tend to do pretty well. If you check my profile, you'll see predictions from the past two years.

Some of them were 100%, some were 20%, but I pay attention to awards and buzz, so I generally do pretty okay.

Great list! I think 'The Aviator' is definetly a hot candidate for 'Best Picture' and 'Best Director' (will Scorsese finally get his Oscar?).
I can't wait till the nominations are announced.

The Aviator "buzz" has been faltering recently. But then again, I've also changed my mind about Closer and have slightly dimmed my view on The Passion's chances after having seen it.

This list will updated pretty soon. Lots of changes...

Has Sideways been getting a lot of Oscar buzz? That makes me happy. I REALLY wanna see that movie, even now that it's gotten 1 bad review out of 106 to blemish it's formerly 100%-fresh record.

And why is three stars considered rotten anyway? It's the same rating he gave to The Incredibles.

Yeah, I agree. The Houston Chronicle review seemed favorable to me. However, now it's up to 2 bad reviews out of 112, and the review by those idiots at salon.com is definitely bad. Ah, well. There are so many incompetent movie critics in America that it's tough for even the best movies to get shut-outs.

As you know, it has gotten fantastic reviews, and Alexander Payne is a very well respected presence in Hollywood.

This may be his breakout movie, and this also maybe the "indie" slot of the year.

Yeah, I saw the great reviews the movie has been getting, but that certainly doesn't always mean Oscar buzz. And of course, Payne's About Schmidt had some buzz going in but ended up with nothing, and that had Academy favorite Jack Nicholson to boot. I dunno, but I hope you're right!

The Station Agent didn't have the distinction of being the best reviewed film of the year, nor did it have such a well-respected helmer behind it. About Schmidt ended up with two noms, but it was not getting the same kind of reviews that Sideways is. About Schmidt was seen as Jack's show, while Sideways appears to be loved across the board.

Right now, reports from California say that the screenings of the film are going well, and I can definitely see it picking up some critics awards. All of these things combined will probably give it a strong enough push to brak through at least a couple of categories. My BP prediction is a little out on a limb, however.

True, The Station Agent wasn't the best-reviewed film of 2003, but the real best-reviewed film of 2003 had even less Oscar buzz. I think that while Oscar winners tend to be well-reviewed, small distinctions about exactly how well-reviewed they are rarely matter to the Academy. In fact, if you look at Rotten Tomatoes' Best-Reviewed Films of 2003 list, you'll find the Best Animated Feature winner and the Best Documentary winner in the top 10, but you have to go down to #18 and #21 to find films with any buzz for the important awards. And after that, you have to go way down to #44. That's pretty much it for the top 50, and while there were some more Oscar contenders in the bottom 50, I think any connection between Oscar competition and reviews is tenuous at best.

Now, if you're talking about RT's weighted averages, which I believe take into account how many reviews were written (somewhat penalizing indies with more limited releases), you've got #2 and #3 being big contenders as well as #21 and #25, but even with this system that is clearly more skewed towards bigger films, Oscar contenders don't do too well.

This may seem like going to great lengths to refute a small component of your argument, but I was curious myself to see how the best-reviewed movies compared to the top Oscar contenders. That is a good point about Schmidt, too. But if the boring Oscars from last March are any indication, I wouldn't place any bets on Sideways quite yet. On the other hand, who knows? Maybe they'll surprise us like they did in March 2003.

Oh AAA, don't toy with me like that! Julie Delpy?? Really?? I mean, she was amazing in Before Sunset, but I never thought she'd get an Oscar nod! I really want to believe you, but first tell me, what caused you to make this prediction?

Well, here's the way I see it:

This year, Best Actress is a strange category. Instead of a glut of performances (such as in Best Actor), we have a dirth of likely nominees. Everyone is predicting the last slot to go to either Uma or Catalina. However, looking at past years, I think that this huge gap between the #4 contender's likelihood and the #5's will result in a major surprise.

The other reason I am predicting this way is that everyone is predicting (by everyone, I mean Oscarwatch's boarders and some print columnists) the same contenders in every single category. Anyone who looks back at past nominees will tell you that the final concensus predictions are NEVER, NEVER, NEVER 100%. So, I have to put myself out on a limb in some categories. Julie Delpy's talk has never died down, despite being ignored by every single awards group...therefore, I believe that she may still have a chance to land at #1 on a few ballots.

Really, I'm just gonna be kicking myself when Catalina gets the slot.

Well, I was about to say that it's rare for a performance with virtually no buzz at all to get nominated, but that's exactly what happened last year with Keisha, and that was for Best Actress too. The Academy is pretty fickle sometimes. Who knows, maybe they actually all loved Before Sunset and it'll get a Best Picture nom too!

Well, maybe not. But I really hope you're right in predicting that longshot.

I definitely had last year's Best Actress contenders in mind when I made this list. If you remember, it wasn't just Keisha that shocked. Somehow, Samantha Morton managed to snag a nomination, even though her performance had been soundly ignored.

So, tomorrow must hold some surprises. Let's hope they're good ones.

I'm gonna take your predictions for this. Is that OK?

I'll post my winners predictions soon.

Don't even threaten me with that Vera Drake over ESotSM shit. I don't wanna hear it. Shut up.


I know, I know...I don't want it either (though, to be fair, I haven't seen Vera Drake), but it's obvious that the movie had a lot more support than expected, and this could be the consolation prize.

Guess how much, on a scale of 1 to 10, I don't care about the red carpet. That's right, 10 Bazillion.

Beyonce's French ain't so hot either.