2002 Oscars
MY OSCAR PICKS : Or Why A BEAUTIFUL MIND shouldn’t win

MY OSCAR PICKS : Or Why A BEAUTIFUL MIND shouldn’t win

13 nominations for “Lord of the Rings” and I am glowing like one of those goblets from Burger King!

Yes, I am a “Lord of the Rings” nut and I thought the movie was amazing. That film, single-handedly, made me believe in the possibility of film as a true art form. Maybe I should say this up front so people reading this will understand that, yes I am very biased… How often do you read a movie article when the writer admits that, eh?

Now for my picks ---



BEST PICTURE

  • A Beautiful Mind
  • Gosford Park
  • In The Bedroom
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Moulin Rouge

Let’s start with the big category first because I have the most to say about this one. I adore two of the films nominated (LOTR and Rouge), but I am not putting the odds in their favor. I think “A Beautiful Mind” will win and that troubles me.

Don’t misunderstand me, it’s a good entertaining film, but it’s wrong. It’s wrong in numerous levels (Characters to plot)… Now I have heard the argument that things can be changed for entertainment, but consider this --- when you write a book about a living person you are expected to be factual. Why is film any different? Why does film have the privilege to lie?

When I think of how much was changed about Professor Nash for the sake of entertainment it troubles me and when I consider this winning the big prize (And saying what they did was ok) I am more concerned. What would this say to future movie writers, moviemakers, producers and executives? I don’t want to seem extreme, but if they could change Nash’s life to make it so positive on the screen (By making him a better person with a less troubled past), they could easily do the opposite to someone who doesn’t deserve it.

I can’t support the idea of misrepresenting history for any reason and for that reason, I will always have issues with this film. So even though I think it will win, I am not going to give it my support… But if LOTR wins I will do a little dance!


BEST DIRECTOR

  • A Beautiful Mind, Ron Howard
  • Black Hawk Down, Ridley Scott
  • Gosford Park, Robert Altman
  • The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson
  • Mulholland Drive, David Lynch

Ok, I think all of these men are good directors (I’m not going to bring up Howard’s Grinch movie, since I loved Apollo 13), but consider this- Peter Jackson shot three films.

He didn’t shoot just one; he shot three.

He did what they did three times over. He shot longer, harder and his grit and determination and talent is on that screen more than any of the others because of the sheer amazing factor of what he accomplished.

However, I think Robert Altman will win… Not because he directed the better film, but because he is old… I hope that doesn’t sound cruel. I think Altman is a great director and I always enjoy his films (I adore Kansas City), but he is the sentimental favorite and Hollywood is sentimental.


BEST ACTOR

  • Russell Crowe, A Beautiful Mind
  • Sean Penn, I Am Sam
  • Will Smith, Ali
  • Denzel Washington, Training Day
  • Tom Wilkinson, In The Bedroom

Russell Crowe will win.

Last year I stated he would win for “Gladiator” because he didn’t win for “The Insider” (Which I still believe) and this year he actually had more of a challenging acting performance in his possession. So by default he has to win, right?

I did like Denzel and Tom though too and Denzel did win the AFI award (Which I think was a better predictor of the Oscars than those silly Golden Globes), so who knows? We may be surprised.

But where is Guy Pierce for “Memento”?


BEST ACTRESS

  • Halle Berry, Monster’s Ball
  • Judi Dench, Iris
  • Nicole Kidman, Moulin Rouge
  • Sissy Spacek, In The Bedroom
  • Renee Zellweger, Bridget Jones’ Diary

I love pretending to be a know-it-all, but between you and me, I have no idea…

Nope.

No clue.

This one in my opinion is the most unpredictable award I have ever seen. I even think Renee has a shot at it!

Nicole is my favorite performance in the group; but Berry was great in Ball; Judi is a classic actress (I’ve been a fan ever since I saw her in Henry V); Sissy took the Globe… So don’t bet the farm on this one.

All the odds are up in the air, no matter what your bookie may say.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Jim Broadbent, Iris
  • Ethan Hawke, Training Day
  • Ben Kingsley, Sexy Beast
  • Ian McKellan, Lord of the Rings
  • Jon Voight, Ali

Even though I would again love to see LOTR win (IAN IS GANDALF), I think Ben Kingsley has this one… But like Best Picture, I would love to be proven wrong…

Go ahead, Academy I dare you… Come on!


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Jennifer Connelly, A Beautiful Mind
  • Helen Mirren, Gosford Park
  • Maggie Smith, Gosford Park
  • Marisa Tomei, In The Bedroom
  • Kate Winslet, Iris

Even though Jennifer Connelly wasn’t playing a true representation of Mrs. Nash, you can’t blame her for that. She did a great job in the part.


ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

  • Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius
  • Monster’s Inc.
  • Shrek

Didn’t anyone else notice that they were all computer-animated films?

“Shrek” was good, but without Eddie Murphy’s Donkey, it would have been one long joke about bodily fluids. And no matter what anyone may say about “Shrek,” I think “Monster’s Inc.” is a classic, no question.

Pixar can do no wrong and I think the Academy created this category just to honor them… So while everyone else acts stunned about the “Shrek” upset, remember I told you this first.

Now why isn’t Boo nominated for Best Supporting Actress?


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Amélie
  • Gosford Park
  • Monster's Ball
  • Memento
  • The Royal Tenenbaums

Memento, Memento, Memento, Memento.


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • A Beautiful Mind
  • Ghost World
  • In the Bedroom
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Shrek

If you have read any recent press about the “A Beautiful Mind” controversy you would have heard about how much the person who wrote the biography is upset about the film, about how they changed the research and years of work he put into his book… That fault lies solely on the screenplay writer. He, really, made up his own story about real people and I really don’t respect that… I really don’t… I think he makes us fellow screenplay writers look bad… And isn’t an adapter, in a way, supposed to be true to the book he is adapting?

So even though I think he will win (And I will probably shout obscenities at the screen), I would love to see “Lord of the Rings” win… If you don’t understand the magnitude of what they accomplished, pick up the books and read them… And then consider that they turned those 1000s of pages into three films that ARE also incredible films (If the first is the good, the other two are going to be more amazing because the books are).

I love the books growing up, but they would be Hell to adapt. There is little character growth beyond the hobbits and Gandalf (Seriously, most of the humans are very two-dimensional), My brother said after he read the books that he couldn’t stand Borormir, but after watching the film the character became alive for him. And even though Sean Bean wasn’t nominated, I think the writers should win for adding the humanity the story needed.

They took a difficult story, a busy plot and made a great script that is true to the original story and what else is an adapter supposed to do?


MY FINAL THOUGHT

No matter what happens on Oscar night one thing won’t change—“Lord of the Rings” will outlive any film that beats it.

LOTR will be watched by your grandchildren and your grandchildren’s grandchildren. It will be studied and loved and cherished for decades to come.

Don’t believe me? Tell me what film beat “It’s A Wonderful Life” for the Oscar? It will be the same thing. Frodo is my generation’s George Bailey and his Savings and Loan is the ring of evil. And just like that movie, it will beat the battle of time, no matter what the little gold man says.

If I am wrong, find me in a hundred years and tell me.