75th Academy Awards (2002): Winner Predictions




Catch Me If You Can
Gangs of New York
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Bowling for Columbine
Far From Heaven
Inja (Dog)
Mike’s New Car
Nowhere in Africa
Road to Perdition
Spirited Away
The Hours
Twin Towers

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

  • Chicago (c-1/22) — Even —
  • The Pianist — 4:1 —
  • The Hours — 4:1 —
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers — 7:1 —
  • Gangs of New York — 10:1 —

Commentary: It seems a foregone conclusion that this year will see the first musical to win Best Picture since Oliver! in 1968. The competition is minimal and even its nearest competitors are out of luck.
Will Win: Chicago
Should Win: The Two Towers
I think The Two Towers, like last year’s The Fellowship of the Ring, is better than anything they’ve nominated. Chicago’s in my number four slot of the year, so not a bad choice. The Pianist is slow and unemotional (I didn’t have much sympathy at all…most of my sympathy came from Brody’s performance). The Hours was well written, acted and edited, but that’s it while Gangs of New York should never have been nominated.

Best Animated Feature

  • Spirited Away (c-12/28) — Even —
  • Ice Age — 2:1 —
  • Lilo & Stitch — 3:1 —
  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron — 7:1 —
  • Treasure Planet — 20:1 —

Commentary: Everyone says that Ice Age or Lilo & Stitch will triumph, but the Academy may decide that it can’t be completely pro-American. Spirited Away is the most praised animated film this year and has the critics awards to prove it. The problem is it’s anime and Ice Age and Lilo & Stitch were bigger hits at the Box-Office. This will be the year for the Academy to set its precedent. If it picks Spirited Away, many will laud the Academy and declare the Animated Feature category a success. If they honor a money-making film like Ice Age or Lilo & Stitch, the award will be mired in a controversy over who can make the most money with animation.
Will Win: Spirited Away
Should Win: Spirited Away
The year’s third best movie is also the best Animated Feature of the year. Spirited Away is fantastic and deserves the award.

Best Director

  • Chicago – Rob Marshall (c-1/22) — Even —
  • Gangs of New York – Martin Scorsese — 3:2 —
  • The Pianist – Roman Polanski — 7:1 —
  • The Hours – Stephen Daldry — 7:1 —
  • Talk to Her – Pedro Almodovar — 20:1 —

Commentary: Some say that Scorsese will win for simply being himself. This didn’t help him win for the far superior Age of Innocence. Marshall has the DGA behind him and with Chicago looming to pick up Best Picture, the Academy will likely follow suit.
Will Win: Rob Marshall
Should Win: Rob Marshall
Marshall is the best nominated director, but the best director, Peter Jackson, wasn’t even nominated.

Best Actor

  • Daniel Day-Lewis – Gangs of New York (c-12/28) — Even —
  • Jack Nicholson – About Schmidt — 3:2 —
  • Adrien Brody – The Pianist — 4:1 —
  • Nicolas Cage – Adaptation — 7:1 —
  • Michael Caine – The Quiet American — 20:1 —

Commentary: SAG has chosen Daniel Day-Lewis. In their short history, they have never once failed to see their Best Actor winner go on to take the Oscar. Nicholson’s close, but fading and Brody would need a huge contigent of supporters to win, which I don’t believe he has.
Will Win: Dainel-Day Lewis
Should Win: Nicolas Cage or Jack Nicholson
While Day-Lewis was terrific, Nicholson gave a different performance than he usually does and Cage was outstanding playing two aspects of the same personality.

Best Actress

  • Renee Zellweger – Chicago (c-3/9) — Even —
  • Nicole Kidman – The Hours — 3:2 —
  • Julianne Moore – Far From Heaven — 2:1 —
  • Diane Lane – Unfaithful — 7:1 —
  • Salma Hayek – Frida — 20:1 —

Commentary: Renee won the SAG award and it’s a good bet she’ll win, but the competition here is the tightest of any of the competitions this year. Kidman or Moore could easily steal the trophy away, but with Zeta-Jones likely to win Supporting Actress, it’s unlikely that they would ignore Zellweger.
Will Win: Renee Zellweger
Should Win: Julianne Moore
Without question. She gave the absolute best female performance this year, lead or supporting. The rest in the category (except for Hayek who I haven’t seen, but usually isn’t very good) are wonderful, but Moore is heads above the competition, much like her loss for Boogie Nights so many years ago.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Christopher Walken – Catch Me If You Can (c-3/9) — Even —
  • Chris Cooper – Adaptation — Even —
  • John C. Reilly – Chicago — 3:2 —
  • Ed Harris – The Hours — 4:1 —
  • Paul Newman – Road to Perdition — 7:1 —

Commentary: Another stiff competition with any number of people able to take home the gold. Walken is DreamWorks only major contender this year and since it’s shut-out of the Best Picture race, the company will easily get behind Walken to take home his second Oscar. Cooper could surprise with Adaptations only win, but its support has dried up and Cooper may not be able to repeat his numerous precursors. Reilly could surprise and go all the way with an Acting sweep, but his chances dwindle more each passing day.
Will Win: Christopher Walken
Should Win: Chris Cooper
While it’s possible I could be happy with a core of votes for Cooper, I think it won’t go that way with the DreamWorks machine. If they do pick Cooper, it will be a terrific choice considering his is the best performance on the list.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Catherine Zeta-Jones – Chicago (c-2/3) — Even —
  • Julianne Moore – The Hours — 3:2 —
  • Meryl Streep – Adaptation — 4:1 —
  • Kathy Bates – About Schmidt — 7:1 —
  • Queen Latifah – Chicago — 10:1 —

Commentary: It’s highly unlikely anyone will unseat Zeta-Jones. Moore and Streep are her only competition and after Streep almost decided not to show at the Oscars and Moore being highly popular, but with a film with minimal support, Zeta-Jones has the best opportunity. It also helps to have Oscar-winning hubby Michael Douglas campaigning on your behalf.
Will Win: Catherine Zeta-Jones
Should Win: Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah was outstanding and while Zeta-Jones, Moore, Streep and Bates were all fantastic, Queen Latifah easily knocked out the most surprising and best performance of the year.

Best Original Screenplay

  • Far From Heaven – Todd Haynes (c-11/24) — Even —
  • Talk to Her – Pedro Almodovar — 3:2 —
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding – Nia Vardalos — 2:1 —
  • Gangs of New York – Jay Cocks, Kenneth Lonergan, Steven Zaillian — 7:1 —
  • Y Tu Mama Tambien – Alfonso Cuaron, Carlos Cuaron — 7:1 —

Commentary: Academy members wanting to honor Far From Heaven without the Best Picture nod will look here. The competition is very weak with only one Best Picture nominee in the whole bunch and that film being one of the ones that’s had the most complaints about its screenplay. Almodovar could easily win, but it’s been over 30 years since a foreign screenplay has won and it’s only happened three total times in history. This isn’t likely to be the time. Nia Vardalos could pick up the trophy for My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but its support is limited since there’s been some grousing over its originality.
Will Win: Far From Heaven
Should Win: Far From Heaven
Far From Heaven is easily the best screenplay out of this lot (without having seen the Spanish-language films nominated.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • The Hours – David Hare (c-2/3) — Even —
  • Chicago – Bill Condon — 3:2 —
  • Adaptation – Charlie Kaufman, Donald Kaufman — 3:1 —
  • The Pianist – Ronald Harwood — 4:1 —
  • About a Boy – Peter Hedges, Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz — 10:1 —

Commentary: Adaptation used to be the front runner, but after its support dwindled and The Hours won WGA, attention has been redirected. Chicago also has a very nice chance with a screenplay that adds quite a bit of dialogue from the stage version. Look for The Hours, whose literary pedigree is Virginia Woolf, to take the Top prize.
Will Win: The Hours
Should Win: Adaptation
No competition. I’ve seen all five and only Adaptation truly shines among these nominees.

Best Original Song

  • “I Move On” – Chicago (c-3/9) — Even —
  • “The Hands That Built America” – Gangs of New York — 3:2 —
  • “Father and Daughter” – The Wild Thornberrys — 3:1 —
  • “Lose Yourself” – 8 Mile — 4:1 —
  • “Burn It Blue” – Frida — 20:1 —

Commentary: The last live-action musical to be nominated in this category won the award simply to honor the entire film’s musical talent. Since Chicago doesn’t qualify for any score awards, and like Evita, has a pedigreed composer at the helm, I Move On is a likely winner. The Hands That Built America is the runner-up simply because of U2. The problem is the Academy may not want to honor U2 for this kind of prize. However, they may want to honor music vet Paul Simon for Father and Daugther, despite these latter two songs being the most inferior of the lot I’ve heard.
Will Win: I Move On
Should Win: I Move On
“I Move On” is the best nominated song, but the best song of the year wasn’t even nominated: “Gollum’s Song” was terrific.

Best Original Score

  • Catch Me If You Can – John Williams (c-3/9) — Even —
  • Far From Heaven – Elmer Bernstein — 3:2 —
  • The Hours – Philip Glass — 4:1 —
  • Frida – Elliot Goldenthal — 10:1 —
  • Road to Perdition – Thomas Newman — 10:1 —

Commentary: Williams finally departed from his traditional…sort of. His Catch Me If You Can score was tremendous when you were paying attention during the opening credits sequence, but when you listen to it on soundtrack, the rest sounds just like his previous work. They may not want to honor him for that and instead honor composing legend Elmer Bernstein. It’s also possible that the Academy could look past their problems with Phillip Glass’s score and honor him for his memorable work and for not having allowed him to be eligible for The Truman Show several years back.
Will Win: Catch Me If You Can
Should Win: The Hours
While Williams’ score is good, I like Glass’ Hours score, despite people who said it was an inappropriate tone for the film. However, the true best Score of the year, was Two Towers which took the themes of the first film and added some terrific new and original work.

Best Editing

  • Chicago – Martin Walsh (c-1/22) — Even —
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – D. Michael Horton — 3:2 —
  • The Hours – Peter Boyle — 3:2 —
  • The Pianist – Herve de Luze — 4:1 —
  • Gangs of New York – Thelma Schoonmaker — 5:1 —

Commentary: Chicago looks easiest to triumph in this category thanks to its ACE win. Then again, Gangs of New York also won, but Chicago’s Best Picture status seems likely to triumph. Watch out for The Lord of the Rings whose primary power was in its editing as well as The Hours, which skillfully wove three stories in three different eras together.
Will Win: Chicago
Should Win: Two Towers
The Two Towers was well-paced, balanced two stories and the action sequences were astounding.

Best Cinematography

  • Road to Perdition – Conrad L. Hall (c-3/9) — Even —
  • Far From Heaven – Edward Lachman — 3:2 —
  • Chicago – Dion Beebe — 2:1 —
  • Gangs of New York – Michael Ballhaus — 3:1 —
  • The Pianist – Pawl Edelman — 4:1 —

Commentary: Hall’s passing, may be just the ticket he needed to get Oscar again, but then again, the Academy doesn’t like to honor dead people, thus why no one who’s died has ever received an honorary Oscar. Far From Heaven was the most talked about and honored of the year while Chicago and Gangs of New York are certainly good to look at.
Will Win: Road to Perdition
Should Win: Far From Heaven
Far From Heaven was the best nominated, though Two Towers certainly blew it out of the water.

Best Art Direction

  • Gangs of New York (c-12/28) — Even —
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers — 3:2 —
  • Chicago — 3:2 —
  • Road to Perdition — 4:1 —
  • Frida — 10:1 —

Commentary: Gangs of New York will likely win here simply for its opening sequence showing the squallor of large tenament buildings with hundreds of people crammed in. Lord of the Rings took home the Art Directors Guild award and could be a force to be reckoned with. Chicago is also likely for its real and vaudevillian sets.
Will Win: Gangs of New York
Should Win: Two Towers
A lot of artistic work went into the above films, but Two Towers had the most amazing and time-consuming of crafts.

Best Costume Design

  • Chicago (c-2/11) — Even —
  • Gangs of New York — Even —
  • The Pianist — 4:1 —
  • The Hours — 4:1 —
  • Frida — 10:1 —

Commentary: Chicago is likely to win here simply for its momentum, though the colorful longjohns of the characters in Gangs of New York could earn it the prize. Perhaps even the Pianist, whose only detractor is the win in 1993 for Schindler’s List, which was at the height of holocaust fashion.
Will Win: Chicago
Should Win: Chicago
While Chicago’s the best of those nominated, nothing can Top Two Towers for its amazingly-detailed costume work.

Best Makeup

  • Frida (c-2/11) — Even —
  • The Time Machine — 4:1 —

Commentary: With Time Machine being nearly forgotten and opponents to Academy decisions to disallow several superior choices, Frida with its bevy of nominations seems likely to win this award.
Will Win: Frida
Should Win: Frida
The Time Machine didn’t have very much of ANYTHING that was good, so Frida wins by default, but since I haven’t seen it, I can’t form an opinion. However, the best makeup of the year came from Two Towers, which was declared ineligible simply because it was made at the same time as the first film.

Best Sound Mixing

  • Chicago (c-2/11) — Even —
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers — 3:2 —
  • Spider-Man — 4:1 —
  • Gangs of New York — 7:1 —
  • Road to Perdition — 15:1 —

Commentary: Chicago is a musical and if it didn’t have sound it would be nothing. Likewise, Lord of the Rings was a powerful war movie with terrific sound. Spider-Man is the effects-driven summer film, but will likely fall due to its limited voter-memory.
Will Win: Chicago
Should Win: Two Towers
The best movie of the year had the best of everything and was far more deserving of nominations than any other film this year, especially in the sound department.

Best Sound Editing

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (c-1/22) — Even —
  • Minority Report — 3:2 —
  • Road to Perdition — 7:1 —

Commentary: Two Towers seems the most likely to be honored here simply to give the grand trilogy some recognition. The problem is that Minority Report is also a DreamWorks backed film and could end up stealing the award so that DreamWorks can claim they have something.
Will Win: Two Towers
Should Win: Two Towers
Without question the best Sound Effects of the year.

Best Visual Effects

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (c-9/9) — Even —
  • Star Wars – Episode II: Attack of the Clones — 5:1 —
  • Spider-Man — 7:1 —

Commentary: Two Towers can’t be beat. It has the most ground-breaking visual effects in film history and simply because of its Gollum scenes, it should triumph here.
Will Win: Two Towers
Should Win: Two Towers
Easily the best visual effects in any film ever made, Gollum himself is worth every inch of gold on this Oscar.

Best Foreign Film

  • Germany – Nowhere in Africa (c-2/11) — Even —
  • Finland – The Man Without a Past — 3:2 —
  • Mexico – The Crime of Father Amaro — 3:2 —
  • China – Hero — 4:1 —
  • Netherlands – Zus & Zo — 10:1 —

Commentary: Always tough to predict, Nowhere in Africa is a likely winner, but Man Without a Past, Crime of Father Amaro and Hero all have good shots at the award.
Will Win: Nowhere in Africa
Should Win: No opinion
My favorite foreign film that I’ve seen, 8 Women, wasn’t even nominated.

Best Documentary Feature

  • Bowling for Columbine (c-2/11) — Even —
  • Daughter from Danang — 3:2 —
  • Winged Migration — 2:1 —
  • Prisoner of Paradise — 3:1 —
  • Spellbound — 5:2 —

Commentary: Bowling for Columbine would seem the likely choice, but anti-Moore voters could turn out just to vote against him, this being his first nomination and the film being a hugely pro-gun control documentary. Daughter from Danang is the likely successor if Columbine doesn’t win, though Winged Migration could be just boring enough for Academy members.
Will Win: Bowling for Columbine
Should Win: Bowling for Columbine
A terrific documentary that while pointedly liberal is still a fantastic achievement in documentary.

Best Documentary Short Subject

  • Twin Towers (c-2/11) — Even —
  • Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks — 2:1 —
  • Why Can’t We Be a Family Again? — 5:1 —
  • The Collector of Bedford Street — 7:1 —

Commentary: The Academy would be nuts not to honor a documentary involving the disaster of 9/11. If they don’t honor the film, which is highly unlikely they wouldn’t, it will likely go to the pro-civil-rights film about Rosa Parks’ life.
Will Win: Twin Towers
Should Win: No opinion
I have not seen any of the above.

Best Animated Short Film

  • Mike’s New Car (c-2/11) — Even —
  • The Chubbchubbs! — 2:1 —
  • Mt. Head — 3:1 —
  • Das Rad — 3:1 —
  • The Cathedral — 3:1 —

Commentary: Mike’s New Car features the Monsters, Inc. gang in a short film that is sure to get recognition from the Academy simply from voters who thought that Monsters Inc should have shared in last year’s Animated Feature trophy. Any of the others could easily pick up the trophy.
Will Win: Mike’s New Car
Should Win: No opinion
I have not seen any of the above.

Best Live-Action Short Film

  • Inja (Dog) (c-2/11) — Even —
  • This Charming Man (Der Er En Yndig Mand) — 3:2 —
  • Fait d’Hiver — 2:1 —
  • I’ll Wait for the Next One (J’attendrai le Suivant) — 3:1 —
  • Johnny Flynton — 3:1 —

Commentary: This is one of those, pick a title, kind of categories unless you’ve seen them all, which is unlikely for most Oscar prognosticators. I’m going with the German This Charming Man because of its title, but ANY of these could easily win. Since I’ve heard Inja’s topic is very noble, I think it may be the winner.
Will Win: Inja (Dog)
Should Win: No opinion
I have not seen any of the above.

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