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The Nominations are In

The Academy staged its annual Nominations Bonanza this morning, and unlike the predictability of most years, a couple of surprises were unveiled. Herein are some first impressions:
  • Johnny Depp's impersonation of a fey Keith Richards landed him a nod for Best Actor, thereby green-lighting a slew of theme-park-ride adaptations. Great.

  • Bill Murray finally gets some goddamn respect for his work in "Lost in Translation."

  • "Whale Rider's" Keisha Castle-Hughes probably won't win Best Actress, but her nomination is a shock unto itself. Incidentally, Keisha Castle-Hughes did not play Rudy on "The Cosby Show." Just so we're clear.

  • All of Universal's last-minute campaigning for "Seabiscuit" did the trick as the horse-with-a-heart-of-gold flick received a Best Picture nomination.

  • "Cold Mountain" was snubbed from the Best Pic category, which means Miramax has to settle for a joint credit on "Master and Commander." Harvey Weinstein likely sees this as a grave injustice, but in truth it's karmic payback for "Shakespeare in Love's" egregious win over "Saving Private Ryan" in 2000. Suck it, Harvey.

  • Here's an interesting piece of Oscar trivia: Sofia Coppola is the first American woman ever nominated for Best Director. She's only the third woman to be nominated in Oscar history.
Now that you've endured my uninformed analysis, here are the major category nominees (the full list is available at the Academy's Official Site).

Best Picture
"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
"Lost in Translation"
"Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World"
"Mystic River"

Best Director
Fernando Meirelles for "City of God"
Peter Jackson for "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
Sofia Coppola for "Lost in Translation"
Peter Weir for "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World"
Clint Eastwood for "Mystic River"

Best Actress
Keisha Castle-Hughes in "Whale Rider"
Diane Keaton in "Something's Gotta Give"
Samantha Morton in "In America"
Charlize Theron in "Monster"
Naomi Watts in "21 Grams"

Best Actor
Johnny Depp in "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"
Ben Kingsley in "House of Sand and Fog"
Jude Law in "Cold Mountain"
Bill Murray in "Lost in Translation"
Sean Penn in "Mystic River"

Best Supporting Actress
Shohreh Aghdashloo in "House of Sand and Fog"
Patricia Clarkson in "Pieces of April"
Marcia Gay Harden in "Mystic River"
Holly Hunter in "Thirteen"
Renee Zellweger in "Cold Mountain"

Best Supporting Actor
Alec Baldwin in "The Cooler"
Benicio Del Toro in "21 Grams"
Djimon Hounsou in "In America"
Tim Robbins in "Mystic River"
Ken Watanabe in "The Last Samurai"

The Oscars will be handed out on Sunday, Feb. 29 on ABC. Do yourself a favor and avoid all the pre-show nonsense. It'll just make you cranky. -- Mac Slocum

Posted by Mac on January 27, 2004 10:02 PM
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