Silver Chips Online Oscar predictions

Feb. 22, 2005, midnight | By Grace Harter, Danny Scheer, Joanna Pinto-Coelho | 17 years, 4 months ago

As evidenced by its sweep of the Golden Globes, "The Aviator" is coming into the 2004-2005 Academy Awards with a strong reputation and nominations in 11 categories. Blessed with a seasoned and talented cast and crew, "The Aviator" has all the pivotal elements of a great motion picture: amazing cinematography, a classic story, remarkable art direction, a famous and diverse retinue of leading and supporting actors and actresses, as well as a masterful director and group of accomplished producers. Though its fellow contenders for the title, "Finding Neverland," "Million Dollar Baby," "Ray" and "Sideways" are all exceptional films, none of them have quite the scope and the depth of "The Aviator."

Jamie Foxx is very powerful and moving as the legendary musician Ray Charles in "Ray." Foxx was able to nail the singer's southern twang as well as his signature jerky movements while tickling the ivories. He tackled the humorous aspects of the film, like Charles' biting wit, as well as the tougher bits, like when Charles is succumbing to drugs or working hard to overcome his addiction. Typically, the Golden Globes are a good indicator of an actor's chance at winning the Oscar. Foxx's win at the Globes puts him well ahead of the pack.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE: Kate Winslet for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
Kate Winslet has earned her nomination this year for Best Actress for her role as Clementine in Michel Gondry's "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Winslet adds an endearing human touch to Clementine, whose multi-colored hair and eccentric lifestyle would normally annoy most people. Besides her talented character acting, Winslet fit perfectly in "ESOTSM." Without her, the film would seem colorless. Winslet animates Kaufman's creative screenplay, creating a completely unique character that could not be found anywhere else. Now, it will be up to Winslet to receive the honors her movie deserves.

In "Million Dollar Baby," Morgan Freeman plays retired champion boxer Eddie "Scrap-Iron" Dupris, who toils at his former trainer's gym, the gym where future champions are trained. It has been a long time since Dupris basked in the light of his glory days, so when he gets the opportunity to encourage someone who once shared his dream – Hilary Swank as Maggie Fitzgerald – Dupris puts his whole heart into it. Freeman matches Dupris' restrained passion and compassion, creating a character full of depth. Without Freeman's sincere portrayal, Dupris would otherwise fall into some old, offensive black-man stereotype. Thomas Haden Church may be the favored nomination from the famous "Sideways," but Freeman deserves the Oscar.

Gentle and supportive, Tatiana Rusesabagina is a safe island in a sea of blood-soaked carnage and color-driven hate in the reality-based film "Hotel Rwanda." To fill the shoes of an amazing person requires an amazing actress. Sophie Okenedo fits perfectly into Rusesabagina's shoes, helping to complete the morbid and frank authenticity of "Hotel Rwanda." It is clear that no other actress could mimic Okenedo's graceful and powerful performance of such a moving and painful story; Okenedo has definitely got a chance to succeed.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING: Martin Scorsese for "The Aviator”
This year, Martin Scorsese is expected to finally gain long-awaited recognition for all his contribution to the film industry. The legendary director has been nominated for four Oscars previously but has never garnered a win for any of his films. "The Aviator" is a soaring epic in which Scorsese was able to coax tremendous acting from his characters and to accomplish visually astonishing cinematography involving aerial shots and gargantuan airplanes. This is the year that Scorsese will finally take home a much-deserved statue.

BEST WRITING, SCREENPLAY WRITTEN DIRECTLY FOR THE SCREEN: Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Pierre Bismuth for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" has no equal in its category. Original, witty and excruciatingly touching, Charlie Kaufman's "Eternal Sunshine" transcends all other nominated screenplays. On the list of films scammed by this year's nominations, "Eternal Sunshine" has got to be on the top of the list. The storyline of "ESOTSM" is about two lovers who bitterly try to erase each other from their minds and ultimately try to reverse the erasing exceeds any romance flick in the past decade. The plot later advances to imaginative places like repressed and convoluted memories and forms into a construed timeline. Regardless of the plot's schizophrenic behavior, "ESOTSM" remains a truly engrossing and touching film. Not in so long has such a movie told such an impassioned story, and it would be a travesty if "Eternal Sunshine” just went on unnoticed.

"Sideways" is a notoriously witty and sincere film. The critics love the creative man behind "Sideways," Alexander Payne. Payne has also written and directed two other popular pieces "Election" and "About Schmidt." "Sideways" involves two middle-aged men who travel down to Napa Valley to satisfy their bugging mid-life crises. "Sideways” seems to have hit a nerve among middle-aged viewers. The only thing Payne has to worry about is the competition, "Motorcycle Diaries" and "Finding Neverland," both of which don't have as huge arrows pointing them in the Oscar's golden direction.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES, ORIGINAL SCORE: John Williams for "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"
Nominated for dozens of awards in his illustrious career as a classical composer, John Williams is one of the most sought-after composers of our time. According to the International Movie Database, Williams was given the 2001 Oscar nod for his score for "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and was awarded both the BMI film music award and the Broadcast Film Critic's Association award for his score for "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" in 2002. Williams' compositions for "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" are no less moving, mysterious and grand than their two prequels and have already won Williams a Grammy nomination for Best Soundtrack as well as three nominations and one win in the World Sountrack awards in 2004 and 2005. One can only expect that Williams will win another prestigious award come Oscar Night 2005.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS: John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara, John Frazier for "Spiderman 2”
It's only fitting that the Oscar for best achievement in visual effects goes to a superhero movie, and a startlingly amazing superhero movie at that. "Spiderman 2," one of the top-grossing films of all time, ensnared and wowed moviegoers with all of its web-slinging, violent good guy/bad guy entanglements atop New York City's tallest buildings and Doc Ock's four rampaging tentacles. Its visual effects team, comprised of John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinera and John Frazer, deserves this Oscar win hands down.

Without any more "Lord of the Rings" films in the running, the Oscar for best achievement in costume design can only deservedly go to a film of similarly epic proportions: "Troy." With armies of hundreds of extras to clothe, Bob Ringwood rose quite proportionally to the occasion with authentic-looking costumes reminiscent of the battle gear and royal garb of ancient Greece.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION: Rick Heinrichs and Cheryl Carasik for "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events"
"Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" is not only visually striking, but it was also a surprisingly well-made children's film. Though its storyline was not quite Oscar-caliber, "A Series of Unfortunate Events" should be awarded an Oscar for its overall quality. The art and set directors used a series of elaborate stages that mixed the fanciful with the realistic in this quirky and charming film, completely capturing the strange and eccentric nature of this picture. One striking scene took place entirely in a boat on a dark and forbidding lake; as the events in the film became more dismal, the sky overhead began turning the color of ash and fire. By the end of the scene, the entire sky was fiery orange and jet black. The elaborate sets also included a dilapidated house perched on the edge of a cliff and a burnt skeleton of a mansion.

There is a clear winner in this category: "The Incredibles." Not only were the computer effects flawlessly realistic, but the dialogue and characters were clever and hilarious too. The computer-generated movie followed a family of undercover superheroes as they battled a villain determined to destroy them. The jokes were quick and witty, and the humor appealed to both children and adults. It was easily one of the most enjoyable films of 2004-2005 Oscar season. This film also has a clear shot at the Oscar because of the lack of strong competition; "Shark Tale" was a dull rip-off of "Finding Nemo," and "Shrek 2" was just a poor imitation of its predecessor, "Shrek."

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Grace Harter. Grace Harter is currently a CAP senior at Blair. She loves anything British, books, music, movies and of course Silver Chips Online. She'd like to close with a quote from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" that is especially profound (and makes reference to her ultimate favorite … More »

Danny Scheer. Danny Scheer. WHAT??????? YA YA YA YA YA!!!!!! Danny WUVS a lot. Especially poems. That begin with TRANSIBUNT!!!! LOL LOL LOL By the way, Danny likes movies and bands that begin with the letter "B" and "D" and "T" and "J" and "M" and "C" … More »

Joanna Pinto-Coelho. Things you should know about Joanna: 1) She likes to eat bagel lox, her grandma's carrot cake, her mommy's chocolate chip cookies and filet mignon (medium rare). 2) She is half-Brazilian. 3) She is a gainfully employed member of the American workforce. 4) She will … More »

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