74th Academy Awards (2001): Winner Predictions



The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
A Beautiful Mind
Moulin Rouge
A Man Thing (Meska Sprawa)
Children Underground
For the Birds
Monster’s Ball
Pearl Harbor
The Man Who Wasn’t There
Training Day
Vanilla Sky

Predictions are in the order I think they have a chance of winning the award (except the short film categories, which are unranked and each listed as “Toss Up”). I have added notations to each indicating how strong I think they are a contender.

Winner Prediction (c-Win Pred Date Set) — Chance at Win —
Other Nominees — Chance at Win —

Best Picture

  • A Beautiful Mind (c-3/24) — Even —
  • The Lord of the Rings — Even–
  • Moulin Rouge — 3:2–
  • Gosford Park — 5:2–
  • In the Bedroom — 10:1–

Will Win: A Beautiful Mind – I know this will sound odd, especially after just changing my vote two days ago, but here goes. It’s about 5:00pm Central time and I had decided just a little while ago to ask my Tarot deck if Lord of the Rings would win best picture. I used a standard three card spread and the solution card came up “Failure.” I knew I had to change my vote, so I have. I hate to say this, but Beautiful Mind will probably be the winner unless Moulin Rouge still surprises us all to take best picture.
Should Win: The Lord of the Rings – Rings is the greatest fantasy epic of all time and while I love Moulin Rouge, Rings is by far superior. It’s fun, its exciting and it takes the genre to a legitimate, whole new level.

Best Animated Feature

  • Shrek (c-12/29) — Even —
  • Monsters, Inc. — 3:2–
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius — 10:1–

Will Win: Shrek – Shrek is one of the few critically-acclaimed films of the year and it’s even animated. Academy voters have kids who’ve probably watch the thing over and over on DVD, which could hurt its prospects towards Monsters’ favor, but in the end, enough should go for it to elect it the winner.
Should Win: Shrek – While I haven’t seen Jimmy Neutron, Shrek is easily the better of the other two. Monsters is wonderful, but Shrek is so much funnier and has generally more bite.

Best Director

  • Ron Howard – A Beautiful Mind (c-3/22) — Even —
  • Robert Altman – Gosford Park — Even–
  • Peter Jackson – The Lord of the Rings — Even–
  • Ridley Scott – Black Hawk Down — 7:2–
  • David Lynch – Mulholland Drive — 20:1–

Will Win: Ron Howard – Another hard choice and I’ve wavered back and forth, but after the Academy ignored him for Apollo 13, I think Ron Howard has an excellent chance, but the best part of ABM isn’t its direction and Howard certainly has a long career ahead of him. However, Altman doesn’t. Altman is the kind of director that everyone has or wants to work with. He’s the epitome of an actor director and with the largest body of the Academy being actors, he might be able to squeak a win out; however, his anti-Hollywood stance will probably lose him the award. Jackson could easily be the victor as well and if he wins, it could be good news for the film.
Should Win: Peter Jackson – To take such a project and make it into a magnificent work of art, keep true to the spirit of the book and reign in a three-film production simultaneously, Jackson certainly deserves this award.

Best Actor

  • Denzel Washington – Training Day (c-2/25) — Even —
  • Russell Crowe – A Beautiful Mind — 3:2–
  • Sean Penn – I Am Sam — 2:1–
  • Tom Wilkinson – In the Bedroom — 5:2–
  • Will Smith – Ali — 12:1 —

Will Win: Denzel Washington – Washington has Julia Roberts championing him for a second trophy (will become the first black actor ever to accomplish this feat) and he’s well respected. Crowe got one last year and the Academy is very stingy with back-to-back honors and I don’t think bad-boy Crowe can accomplish a victory, but could manage to benefit from a Smith-Washington vote split.
Should Win: Russell Crowe – Crowe was definitely good and much better than last year’s completely undeserving nod for Gladiator, but among these nominees he is the only one I’ve seen and he did give a great performance this year.

Best Actress

  • Halle Berry – Monster’s Ball (c-3/22) — Even —
  • Sissy Spacek – In the Bedroom — Even–
  • Nicole Kidman – Moulin Rouge — 3:2–
  • Judi Dench – Iris — 10:1–
  • Renee Zellweger – Bridget Jones’ Diary — 20:1–

Will Win: Halle Berry – Another category I’ve been waffling on. After the SAG awards, Berry seemed to be on a track towards Oscar, but while the Academy loves to make history and may just pick Berry to do it, Spacek is a long-time, Academy-friendly choice and will likely win if Miramax keeps behind her. Watch out for a surprising win for Nicole Kidman who took great risks in taking on Moulin and was even better in The Others and a vote here could represent a vote for her brilliant overall work this year.
Should Win: Halle Berry – Berry was terrific. She successfully blended humor and compassion, fear and loathing and never failed to ignite the screen when she was on it. While I prefer the non-nominated Kidman in The Others, Berry is a terrific replacement.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Ian McKellen – The Lord of the Rings (c-3/10) — Even —
  • Ben Kingsley – Sexy Beast — Even–
  • Jim Broadbent – Iris — 3:2–
  • Jon Voight – Ali — 7:2–
  • Ethan Hawke – Training Day — 10:1–

Will Win: Ian McKellen – They ignored McKellen for Gods and Monsters over the fiasco that was Roberto Benigni, Kingsley has an award, Broadbent was better in Moulin Rouge, Hawke is too new and Voight, while respected won’t win for a charicature. McKellen is the strongest player, he’s well respected, actors love him and he’s got that knightly title they appreciate so much.
Should Win: Ian McKellen – He did great work bringing a rather iconic figure to the screen. He’s virtually unrecognizable with his other work and while Kingsley was great, McKellen was better.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Jennifer Connelly – A Beautiful Mind (c-2/25) — Even —
  • Helen Mirren – Gosford Park — 3:2–
  • Maggie Smith – Gosford Park — 5:2–
  • Marisa Tomei – In the Bedroom — 7:2–
  • Kate Winslet – Iris — 10:1–

Will Win: Jennifer Connelly – The choice of Connelly is surprising, but in the light of the Academy ignoring her in the far superior Requiem for a Dream, Connelly is sitting pretty for this award as she has proved she’s not just beautiful, she’s talented.
Should Win: Maggie Smith – Not the best of categories, however Smith did give the better performance in Gosford Park, she was her witty, snappy self and that gives her points. Mirren was also good, but only barely looses to Smith.

Best Original Screenplay

  • Memento (c-1/7) — Even —
  • Gosford Park — Even–
  • Amelie — 3:2–
  • The Royal Tenenbaums — 5:2–
  • Monster’s Ball — 10:1–

Will Win: Memento – This is probably the toughest of my choices. While I think the Academy will want to award the very original Memento, Gosford Park is the only Best Pic nominee in the category and isn’t likely to triumph in very many places. The problem though, is that the script isn’t Gosford’s strong suit, but for Memento it is.
Should Win: Memento – Anyone who can take a story, craft it from end to beginning and have it make sense deserves kudos in my book.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • A Beautiful Mind (c-2/25) — Even —
  • The Lord of the Rings — Even–
  • In the Bedroom — 3:2–
  • Shrek — 3:2–
  • Ghost World — 10:1–

Will Win: A Beautiful Mind – The film is going to have to win major awards to justify its winning Best Picture and this will be one that falls into that category. Despite other better selections, its WGA win virtually seals the deal, but an ABM backlash was rumbling through Hollywood for a little while and may have played out by now, but could hurt its chances.
Should Win: The Lord of the Rings – Rings take a very complex book that has so much potential and pares it down to a film-length movie that feels as exciting as the book itself.

Best Original Song

  • “Vanilla Sky” – Vanilla Sky (c-3/10) — Even —
  • “May It Be” – The Lord of the Rings — Even–
  • “Until” – Kate & Leopold — 3:2–
  • “There You’ll Be” – Pearl Harbor — 5:2–
  • “If I Didn’t Have You” – Monsters, Inc. — 10:1–

Will Win: Vanilla Sky – Paul McCartney is beloved by so many from his days as a Beatle and the loss of his devoted wife a few years ago. He’s the kind of person the Academy loves to honor and like last year’s winner, he’s a legend.
Should Win: May It Be – With other legend Sting in the race, it could be a tough battle and with the well-liked Enya in the race, it’s worse. Enya’s song fits its film far better than any of the other choices and is MUCH better written than the likely winner.

Best Original Score

  • The Lord of the Rings (c-12/29) — Even —
  • A Beautiful Mind — 3:2–
  • A.I. — 4:1 —
  • Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone — 7:1 —
  • Monsters, Inc. — 10:1–

Will Win: The Lord of the Rings – Shore’s agreement to give up four years devoted solely to scoring Rings wins him points with many voters. That kind of dedication is very much adored in Hollywood and could end up being the deciding factor for Best Picture.
Should Win: The Lord of the Rings – Rings is brilliant. It’s textured, original, pseudo-historic and never one-ups the story, which is what good scores are for…support.

Best Editing

  • Moulin Rouge (c-3/10) — Even —
  • Memento — Even–
  • The Lord of the Rings — 3:2–
  • Black Hawk Down — 3:2–
  • A Beautiful Mind — 5:2 —

Will Win: Moulin Rouge – While Memento is a favorite among some voters, its prospects are dwindling and it has a much better shot at the Original Screenplay honor. Rouge, while for some it’s took frenetic, a lot of voters admire the way it takes the freneticism and creates a magnificent pace that doesn’t feel rushed and still gets the story across.
Should Win: Memento – Memento did great work with a story that goes from end to beginning and keeping it so that it was easy to understand the story and keep track of what was going on.

Best Cinematography

  • The Man Who Wasn’t There (c-12/29) — Even —
  • The Lord of the Rings — 3:2–
  • Moulin Rouge — 5:2–
  • Black Hawk Down — 7:2–
  • Amelie — 10:1–

Will Win: The Man Who Wasn’t There – The black-and-white ambience, seldom seen in modern filmmaking, is very well supported by Academy voters. They know how difficult it is to light a black-and-white scene and give it depth and vivid color without having the color to use.
Should Win: The Man Who Wasn’t There – The film is beautiful to behold and while I love Rings and Moulin equally in their cinematography, Man Who Wasn’t just does it better.

Best Art Direction

  • The Lord of the Rings (c-9/9) — Even —
  • Moulin Rouge — Even–
  • Gosford Park — 3:2–
  • Amelie — 5:2–
  • Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone — 7:1 —

Will Win: The Lord of the Rings – There’s a lot of contention in this category over Rings vs. Moulin. Moulin has a terrific design, but is too scattered and too current. Rings had to create a completely fictional world and make it look like it was historic. Kudos are abounds for the team and I think they’ll end up with the award.
Should Win: The Lord of the Rings – I said it all above. It takes a lot to create something that looks historic and fantasy films often fail to capture the realism, but Rings broke all the stereotypes.

Best Costume Design

  • Moulin Rouge (c-12/29) — Even —
  • The Lord of the Rings — 3:2–
  • Gosford Park — 2:1–
  • Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone — 7:1 —
  • The Affair of the Necklace — 20:1–

Will Win: Moulin Rouge – The Academy loves period pieces and while Tolkien has a shot at an upset, one of the best things about Moulin Rouge was its beautiful costumes. It should win, but may face a nasty Lord of the Rings juggernaut.
Should Win: Moulin Rouge – This is tough. I was torn between Rings and Moulin and chose Moulin because I very much liked the costumes and they were much showier than Rings’.

Best Makeup

  • The Lord of the Rings (c-2/25) — Even —
  • Moulin Rouge — 4:1 —
  • A Beautiful Mind — 7:1 —

Will Win: The Lord of the Rings – It has dozens of Orcish characters in heavy makeup as well as taking actors like Ian McKellen and John Rhys-Davies and making them virtually unrecognizable. The others are very minimal character makeup, nothing terribly impressive.
Should Win: The Lord of the Rings – There is terrific makeup work in Rings and it hands down beats all of the other nominees.

Best Sound Mixing

  • The Lord of the Rings (c-3/11) — Even —
  • Moulin Rouge — Even–
  • Black Hawk Down — 3:2–
  • Pearl Harbor — 2:1–
  • Amelie — 10:1–

Will Win: The Lord of the Rings – The Lord of the Rings blends music and sound effects seemlessly and Academy voters love that. They also love big effects films in this category. Moulin Rouge has a strong potential in this category, but suffers from the Evita curse as voters don’t normally pick musicals. Black Hawk Down and Pearl Harbor cancel each other out as war films. Amelie is the token Miramax nominee and has virtually no shot at winning.
Should Win: The Lord of the Rings – While I love the blend of effects and music in Moulin Rouge, The Lord of the Rings is so much better organized and blended.

Best Sound Editing

  • Pearl Harbor (c-2/25) — Even —
  • Monsters, Inc. — 3:2 —

Will Win: Pearl Harbor – Monsters, Inc. is an animated film that shocked a lot of people by getting nominated and could win as a sympathy for other voters selecting Shrek as Animated Feature, but most voters will look at the bombast of Pearl Harbor and check it off without even thinking about the other competitor.
Should Win: No Opinion – I have only seen Monsters, Inc. and can’t fathom why it was nominated over the more brilliant Lord of the Rings and the non-finalist The Others.

Best Visual Effects

  • The Lord of the Rings (c-12/29) — Even —
  • A.I. — 3:2–
  • Pearl Harbor — 4:1 —

Will Win: The Lord of the Rings – The Lord of the Rings has it all. It has well-blended effects that don’t look like visual effects as well as plenty that are obvious enough to intrigue Academy voters. With being the Top nominee, it also helps, but the only film that really stands a chance of upsetting is A.I., which is also heavily effects laden. Unfortunately, Science Fiction almost never does well.
Should Win: The Lord of the Rings – The Lord of the Rings managed to take visual effects to a new artistic level by blending them into the overall flow of the film and not making the audience feel exploited by them. The effects are seemless, necessary and quite enjoyable.

Best Foreign Film

  • France – Amelie (c-12/29) — Even —
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina – No Man’s Land — Even–
  • India – Lagaan — 3:1 —
  • Argentina – Son of the Bride — 5:1 —
  • Norway – Elling — 7:1 —

Will Win: Amelie – The Miramax virtually seals the deal, but with Academy members likely growing tired of the Miramax push may go for the equally critically-lauded No Man’s Land.
Should Win: Amelie – Amelie is funny, endearing and well worth the time of watching. It is the only one in the list I’ve seen, but it is still a beautiful story.

Best Documentary Feature

  • Children Underground (c-2/25) — Even —
  • Promises — Even–
  • Lalee’s Kin: The Legacy of Cotton — 3:2–
  • War Photographer — 3:2–
  • Murder on a Sunday Morning — 5:2 —

Will Win: Children Underground – Academy members, especially those who have time to go out and watch every nominee, will love the idea of Children in hard situations. Lalee’s Kin could also bear the same kind of support and with the very pro-African American support this year, it could be a spoiler, but any of the others could come from behind to stun both of these through split voting.
Should Win: No Opinion – I have seen none of the selections.

Best Documentary Short Subject

  • Sing! (c-2/25) — Even —
  • Artists and Orphans: A True Drama — 3:2–
  • Thoth — 3:1 —

Will Win: Sing! – This is a tough category with every nominee a likely winner, but when it comes to teaching children about media forms, even song, will capture a lot of Academy members’ hearts, but beware…Artists and Orphans also deals with children in performing arts and the two could cancel out and give Thoth the victory.
Should Win: No Opinion – I have seen none of the selections.

Best Animated Short Film

  • For the Birds (c-2/25) — Even —
  • Stubble Trouble — 3:2–
  • Fifty Percent Grey — 2:1–
  • Strange Invaders — 5:2–
  • Give Up Yer Aul Sins — 3:1 —

Will Win: For the Birds – Disney/Pixar is a hard campaigner and with it being seen by far more voters than any other and being one funny short, Academy voters will find themselves hard-pressed to vote against. Pixar’s won previously, so it’s very likely to triumph again.
Should Win: For the Birds – Sadly, it’s the only one I’ve seen, but it’s very funny and a terrific choice for selection in this category.

Best Live-Action Short Film

  • A Man Thing (Meska Sprawa) (c-2/25) — Even —
  • Copy Shop — Even–
  • The Accountant — 3:2–
  • Speed for Thespians — 3:2–
  • Gregor’s Greatest Invention — 2:1 —

Will Win: A Man Thing – The subject matter is perfect for Academy voters. The short is about child abuse and while it is in a foreign language, that has not stopped previous nominees from taking Oscar gold.
Should Win: No Opinion – I have seen none of the selections.

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