March 12, 2019 at 6:13 am #1202813509
Gosford PartMarch 12, 2019 at 10:25 am #1202813814
Helen MirrenOctober 6, 2019 at 11:34 am #1203124188
Here are my guesses…
Best Picture: While a film like The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring doesn’t usually appear to be in the academy’s wheelhouse, I think it does make the most sense as the runner-up. It led the nominations that year and tied with A Beautiful Mind for the most wins of the night. However, I could see a case for Gosford Park given the prestige factor behind that. Plus, it apparently had much more snob appeal than Moulin Rouge!, which missed both directing and screenplay. Though between those two films, I think older academy members at the time were probably more into Gosford Park because I’m not sure if they were ever going to get something like Moulin Rouge!. Although I think we can all agree that In the Bedroom was the only nominee that never had any chance of winning.
Best Director: While I could see a case for Robert Altman given that he was the overdue veteran on his sixth and (seventh) nomination(s) for Gosford Park, I’m leaning more towards Peter Jackson. His work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy overall does fit the mold of the big technical achievements we’ve been seeing win Best Director nowadays. Though if this Oscar race was taking place today, we’d probably see a split. A Beautiful Mind wins Best Picture while Peter Jackson wins Best Director for The Fellowship of the Ring. That way in the end, Ron Howard would still have an Oscar as a producer on the former film.
Best Actor: It was definitely Russell Crowe. How could you possibly sweep through all the major precursors and not be considered the runner-up? Of course, Russell’s meltdown at BAFTA pretty much stopped him from winning this category two years in a row and paved the way for Denzel Washington to pull an upset for Training Day. Personally, I would’ve given Russell Crowe his Oscar for A Beautiful Mind and have Tom Hanks win the year before for Cast Away.
Best Actress: Given how Sissy Spacek swept through a lot of the critics awards for In the Bedroom early on in the season, it looked like she probably could’ve been the film’s best shot at an Oscar. While Nicole Kidman did win the Golden Globe in Comedy/Musical for Moulin Rouge!, she did not receive an individual nomination at SAG, and only received a Best Actress nomination at BAFTA for The Others. Meanwhile, Judi Dench was able to win there for Iris. While I can see people writing that off as an obvious win since “she’s British”, please keep in mind that BAFTA is a very important industry award. After all, we have seen several times before that BAFTA can be absolutely nothing to sneeze at when it comes to the Oscars.
Best Supporting Actor: Ian McKellen appeared to have had a rocky road to the Oscars that year. He wasn’t nominated by the Golden Globes nor Critics’ Choice. He was nominated for The Fellowship of the Ring at BAFTA as lead. The only major precursor where McKellen was nominated as supporting was SAG, where he also managed to win. Of course, that might’ve been a case of the actors branch wanting to award the industry veteran, which we have seen happen several times before. In any case, I’m leaning more towards Ian McKellen as the runner-up, although Gandalf isn’t the kind of role that is usually in the academy’s wheelhouse.
Best Supporting Actress: While Jennifer Connelly did manage to win Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice, and BAFTA for A Beautiful Mind leading up to the Oscars, she was nominated as lead at SAG. Therefore, Helen Mirren was able to win there for Gosford Park in her absence from that category. So it appears to me that had Jennifer Connelly not been in contention for Best Supporting Actress, Mirren probably could’ve taken it.
Best Original Screenplay: While Memento did win the combined Best Screenplay award at Critics’ Choice, Amélie had much more support from the academy in terms of nominations, so I’m leaning more towards the latter. Especially given that it had won the BAFTA in this category.
Best Adapted Screenplay: A Beautiful Mind had won every major precursor in this category leading up to the Oscars with the exception of BAFTA, which went to Shrek. I have a feeling that might’ve been the runner-up.
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