Oscar Nomination Predictions - 2004

  • Best Picture
  • The Aviator
  • Finding Neverland
  • Million Dollar Baby
  • Ray
  • Sideways
  • Dark Horse - Kinsey, I guess, but this group of five seems like a lock.

  • Best Director
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Marc Forster
  • Mike Nichols
  • Alexander Payne
  • Martin Scorsese
  • Dark Horse - Zhang Yimou. Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but think about it. Of the last four years, three times a random foreign film director has shown up on the noms to surprise everyone. The other year, David Lynch showed up. Besides, the Academy loved Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Zhang has not one but two CTHD-esque movies out there this year. I wouldn't be surprised if he bumped off Forster or Nichols.

  • Best Actor
  • Johnny Depp
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Jamie Foxx
  • Paul Giamatti
  • Liam Neeson
  • Dark Horse - Javier Bardem. He could replace Giamatti. Many seem to be clamoring for Bardem, but I haven't heard much about him or the film. I'm gonna predict the Academy passes over The Sea Inside.

  • Best Actress
  • Annette Bening
  • Imelda Staunton
  • Hilary Swank
  • Uma Thurman
  • Kate Winslet
  • Dark Horse - Catalina Sandino Moreno could surprise us all. Uma's on shaky ground.

  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Alan Alda
  • David Carradine
  • Thomas Haden Church
  • Morgan Freeman
  • Clive Owen
  • Dark Horse - Peter Sarsgaard could bump off Alda or Carradine. Not much buzz for any one of these three.

  • Best Supporting Actress
  • Cate Blanchett
  • Laura Linney
  • Virginia Madsen
  • Natalie Portman
  • Kate Winslet
  • Dark Horse - Minnie Driver. Given Phantom's bad reviews and bad director, I don't have it being nominated for anything, but Minnie could get a nom.

  • Best Original Screenplay
  • The Aviator
  • Bad Education
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • The Incredibles
  • Kinsey
  • Dark Horse - Vera Drake could bump off Bad Education, which is on shaky ground due to its NC-17 rating. I think the Academy might come through for Almodovar anyway.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Closer
  • Finding Neverland
  • Million Dollar Baby
  • The Motorcycle Diaries
  • Sideways
  • Dark Horse - The Very Long Engagement. The screenplay awards always have plenty of acclaimed foreign and / or indie films.
Author Comments: 

Comments / arguments welcome.

Boo: No nom for Giamatti, no nom for Closer's screenplay, no nom for Nichols, nom for Jamie Foxx for Collateral (he was pretty good, but it wasn't a supporting performance, and he doesn't deserve a double nomination)
Yay!: Nom for Before Sunset's screenplay, nom for House of Flying Daggers's cinematography
Whuh?!: Mike Leigh instead of Marc Forster, Eastwood for Actor instead of Neeson, Shark Tale instead of Polar Express, no Sky Captain anywhere

Hopefully they're just pulling a 2002, where the nominations were not that exciting but the awards had some great suprises.

Well, this post pretty much makes my Oscar reactions superfluous! I was quite surprised at the level of support behind Vera Drake, which, like Million Dollar Baby, still has not opened in my city yet.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs