If any year can be viewed as being predictable in terms of Oscars, this is it. Of course I can be wrong, but it has never been a less competitive year than the 2003 season that was Hollywood. So here goes.
Best Picture: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
No other film trilogy in history comes close to what Peter Jackson achieved here. The Oscar will be in recognition of all three films and deservedly so.
The only tough category, but Bill Murray will most likely win for his beautifully realised performance in Lost in Translation. An Academy favourite, he is far more popular than Penn, whose 21 Grams probably wouldn’t have been as enjoyed by the older, more conservative voters.
Charlize Theron. Again, what a formidable and remarkable performance. The Academy loves it when beautiful women prove they can really act after all. One cannot imagine anyone coming close.
Best Supporting Actor
A tough one as usual, but Tim Robbins for Mystic River. Again, this is a solid actor who has paid his dues in Hollywood, and gives one of his finest performances to date here.
Best Supporting Actress
Renée Zellweger for missing out on Chicago, no other reason. The pick in this category is the weakest, with the best performance being Shohreh Aghdashloo in House of Sand and Fog, but the chances of a win by this actress is unlikely. Zellweger has also proven herself.
Peter Jackson, no contest here and enough said.
Animated Film: Finding Nemo is bold, inventive, hilarious and a technical marvel. This little fish tale is a well-deserved Oscar winner.
Lost in Translation. In a Rings-free year, Sofia Coppola’s film would have been the one to beat in many categories, but she deserves this one. It’s a perfect piece of screenwriting, and so very human in its comedy and pathos.
A toss up between The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King, a genuinely tough book to adapt, and Mystic River but Return of the King remains another hot favourite here.
We’ll find out if the Rings rule come Oscar night, or if the whole affair will be lost in translation.
Paul Fischer is originally from Australia. Now he is an interviewer and film critic living in Hollywood.
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