Monday, March 01, 2004

Oscar Shocker!

Everyone who was supposed to win..... won!!! I don’t think this has ever happened before in the history of the Oscars! No upsets! No surprises! No dark horse victories!
The one thing everyone is always sure about around Oscar time is that at least one of the presumed victors will be upset by someone who comes out of left field at the last minute. This year that could have been Johnny Depp who surprised everyone by winning the Screen Actors Guild award for best actor just a few weeks ago. Or it could have been Keisha Castle-Hughes, the cute little 13-year-old from Whale Rider for best actress. Or it could have been Shohreh Aghdashloo swiping a sure thing away from Renee Zellwegger in the best supporting actress category. It could have been any number of films coming from behind to overtake front-runner Lord of the Rings in its nearly a dozen categories. Some people thought Rings might fold just like Howard Dean in the Iowa caucuses.

But none of that happened and that may have been the biggest surprise of all.
The Lord of the Rings romped to a record 11 victories (tied with Ben-Hur and Titanic) leaving very little Oscar gold to be split between the other contenders.
Master and Commander picked up two Oscars in the only two technical categories where Rings wasn’t nominated. Mystic River won two acting awards. Lost in Translation got a single Oscar for original screenplay and Seabiscuit was shut out. Finding Nemo, of course, won for animated feature. The only other films to garner a trophy were Cold Mountain and Monster in the other two acting categories.

TV Pundits are declaring this year’s Oscar ceremony as “boring” due to the lack of controversy and scandal. No left-wing political rants! No sudden flash of nudity! No fistfights or brawls! What is the world coming to??
Frankly, I quite enjoyed the show. I thought Billy Crystal was funny and none of the tributes - Bob Hope, Katherine Hepburn, Blake Edwards, Gregory Peck - were too drawn out. The musical performances where also good.
It’s no surprise that I am thrilled with the results. I still think that Rings should have gotten at least one acting nomination - they won the ensemble acting award at the SAGs - but I can’t complain about an 11-Oscar sweep. This was obviously pay-back from the Academy for having passed over LOTR the first two go arounds.

As for predicting the Oscars this year, I did surprisingly well. I entered at least two online contests and predicted a LOTR sweep and all of the acting noms. I went 21 for 24 missing only the cinematography, animated short and documentary short categories. Still don’t know if I won anything.

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