'CHICAGO' HAS IT COMING
SPLICEDwire's 2003 Oscar Scorecard

OSCAR WIN PREDICTIONS
 YEAR-END FODDER
WHAT: 75th Annual Academy Awards
WHEN: Awards on 3.23.2003


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 OSCAR NOM INTERVIEWS
Adrien Brody Adrien Brody
Best actor nominee for
"The Pianist"
Salma Hayek Salma Hayek
Best actress nominee for
"Frida"
Nicholas Cage as Charlie Kaufman Charlie Kaufman
Screenplay nominee for
"Adaptation"
David Hare David Hare
Screenplay nominee for
"The Hours"
Stephen Daldry Stephen Daldry
(from 2000)
Best Director nominee for
"The Hours"
David Hare Michael Moore
Documentary nominee for
"Bowling For Columbine"
Bill Condon Bill Condon
(from 1998)
Screenplay nominee for
"Chicago"
Hit musical poised to kill at 75th Academy Awards Sunday night

By Rob Blackwelder

Hollywood's impression of "Chicago" as the savior of the movie musical should become complete on Sunday night when the film walks away from the Academy Awards with at least five Oscars, including Best Picture. The view from my crystal ball sees statuettes going home with director Rob Marshall and star Renée Zellweger as well, and prize wins in the Editing and Sound categories. Plus there are a few other categories in which "Chicago" could come from behind to trump my predicted winners if the film picks up a lot of momentum over the course of the night.

Want to know who will take home Best Actor and the rest of the 75th annual Academy Awards? Read on...

 Best PICTURE nominees
  "Chicago"
  "Gangs of New York"
  "The Hours"
  "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"
  "The Pianist"

 Predicted WINNER

  "Chicago"

Why: Brilliantly reinventing the stage play that inspired it, and boasting a cast full of flawless and surprising performances, you can just feel the heat coming off this revitalization of the musical -- a genre that exemplifies Hollywood at its most showbiz-y. It has box office and critical momentum -- and it has the most nominations by a significant margin, which historically places the film squarely in front-runner position. The only real chance to spoil belongs to "The Hours," which may pull votes from Academy members who think that literary adaptations equal prestige and that Best Picture winners have to be "serious" films.

What SHOULD win: "Chicago"

 Best DIRECTOR nominees
  Rob Marshall, "Chicago"
  Martin Scorsese, "Gangs of New York"
  Stephen Daldry, "The Hours"
  Roman Polanski, "The Pianist"
  Pedro Amoldóvar, "Talk to Her"

 Predicted WINNER

  Rob Marshall, "Chicago"

Why: Because "Chicago" will win Best Picture and because while the Academy would love the chance to make it up to Martin Scorsese for never voting him an Oscar, too many people in the industry were disappointed in "Gangs of New York."

Who SHOULD win: Marshall

 Best ACTOR nominees
  Adrien Brody, "The Pianist"
  Nicholas Cage, "Adaptation"
  Michael Caine, "The Quiet American"
  Daniel Day-Lewis, "Gangs of New York"
  Jack Nicholson, "About Schmidt"

 Predicted WINNER

  Jack Nicholson, "About Schmidt"

Why: This race was always between Day-Lewis and Nicholson, but while the former has pulled ahead after winning the Screen Actors' Guild award, many consider his performance over-the-top. On the other hand, Nicholson, who is known for being over-the-top, gives the greatest departure performance of his career. Never has he been more nuanced and less "Jack" than as lonely Midwestern retiree Warren Schmidt.

Who SHOULD win: Michael Caine

 Best ACTRESS nominees
  Salma Hayek, "Frida"
  Nicole Kidman, "The Hours"
  Diane Lane, "Unfaithful"
  Julianne Moore, "Far From Heaven"
  Renée Zellweger, "Chicago"

 Predicted WINNER

  Renée Zellweger, "Chicago"

Why: Although it once seemed Nicole Kidman might have this Oscar locked up, Zellweger -- whose best performance of her career was once thought to be eclipsed by the song-and-dance nature of "Chicago" -- has ridden the film's momentum to a SAG win and a ton of new critical praise. The clinch factor: Kidman's part in "The Hours" is much smaller -- is she really the lead actress in a triptych that featured Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore as well?

Who SHOULD win: Julianne Moore

 Best SUPPORTING ACTOR nominees
  Chris Cooper, "Adaptation"
  Ed Harris, "The Hours"
  Paul Newman, "Road to Perdition"
  John C. Reilly, "Chicago"
  Christopher Walken, "Catch Me If You Can"

 Predicted WINNER

  Chris Cooper, "Adaptation"

Why: Because Cooper is so completely submerged in his portrayal of the surprisingly complex flower-poacher yahoo in "Adaptation" that you almost believe he actually knocked out his front teeth for the part. But Christopher Walken's touching and determined performance in "Catch Me" and John C. Reilly's show-stopping "Mr. Cellophane" number have those two stars running very, very close behind.

Who SHOULD win: Cooper

 Best SUPPORTING ACTRESS nominees
  Kathy Bates, "About Schmidt"
  Julianne Moore, "The Hours"
  Queen Latifah, "Chicago"
  Meryl Streep, "Adaptation"
  Catherine Zeta-Jones, "Chicago"

 Predicted WINNER

  Kathy Bates, "About Schmidt"

Why: Best Actress is the tightest race between two nominees, but this category is almost up for grabs. Streep, Moore and Zeta-Jones are generating tons of buzz. But Bates is such a startling breath of fresh air in "About Schmidt" that I think she has the advantage. And no, it's not because of her "brave" nude scene.

Who SHOULD win: Streep

 Best ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY nominees
  "Far From Heaven," Todd Haynes
  "Gangs of New York," Jay Cocks, Steven Zaillian & Kenneth Lonergan
  "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," Nia Vardalos
  "Talk to Her," Pedro Amoldóvar
  "Y Tu Mamá También," Alfonso & Carlos Cuarón

 Predicted WINNER

  "Talk to Her"

Why: The beloved Pedro Amoldóvar was nominated for best director but doesn’t stand a chance. The Academy would love to reward him for a career of increasingly mature and interesting films, and thus this will be his consolation prize.

What SHOULD win: "Far From Heaven"

 Best ADAPTED SCREENPLAY nominees
  "About A Boy," Peter Hedges, Chris Weitz & Paul Weitz
  "Adaptation," Charlie Kaufman & Donald Kaufman
  "Chicago," Bill Condon
  "The Hours," David Hare
  "The Pianist," Ronald Harwood

 Predicted WINNER

  "The Hours," David Hare

Why: The Academy loves literary adaptations, the script is a complex work and captures the spirit of a book that was considered unfilmable. And since the film will lose Best Pic to "Chicago," here's a chance for the voters to make their adoration known.

What SHOULD win: I couldn't possibly decide between "Adaptation," "Chicago" and "The Hours."

 Best ANIMATED FEATURE nominees
  "Spirited Away"
  "Lilo & Stitch"
  "Ice Age"
  "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron"
  "Treasure Planet"

 Predicted WINNER

  "Ice Age"

Why: Even though "Spirited Away" was almost universally praised, in the short life of this category it has been squarely established as having nothing to do with artistic or storytelling merit and everything to do with box-office. "Ice Age" made the most money, therefore it will win.

What SHOULD win: None of them are good enough to win an award.

 Best DOCUMENTARY nominees
  "Bowling For Columbine"
  "Daughter From Danang"
  "Prisoner of Paradise"
  "Spellbound"
  "Winged Migration"

 Predicted WINNER

  "Daughter from Danang"

Why: Because the academy doesn't have the courage to give this award to their real favorite, the controversial "Bowling."

What SHOULD win: Can't say. I've only seen one nominee.

 Best FOREIGN FILM nominees
  "El Crimen del Padre Amaro" (Mexico)
  "Hero" (China)
  "The Man Without a Past" (Finland)
  "Nowhere In Africa" (Germany)
  "Zus & Zo" (The Netherlands)

 Predicted WINNER

"Nowhere in Africa"

What SHOULD win: Can't say. Again, I've only seen one.

 Best CINEMATOGRAPHY nominees
  "Chicago"
  "Far From Heaven"
  "Gangs of New York"
  "The Pianist"
  "Road to Perdition"

 Predicted WINNER

  "Road to Perdition"

What SHOULD win: "Road to Perdition"

 Best EDITING nominees
  "Chicago"
  "Gangs of New York"
  "The Hours"
  "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"
  "The Pianist"

 Predicted WINNER

  "Chicago"

What SHOULD win: "Chicago"

 Best SOUND nominees
  "Chicago"
  "Gangs of New York"
  "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"
  "Road to Perdition"
  "Spider-Man"

 Predicted WINNER

  "Chicago"

What SHOULD win: "Chicago"

 Best SOUND EDITING nominees
  "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"
  "Minority Report"
  "Road to Perdition"

 Predicted WINNER

  "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"

What SHOULD win: No clue.

 Best VISUAL EFFECTS nominees
  "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"
  "Spider-Man"
  "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones"

 Predicted WINNER

  "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"

What SHOULD win: "Rings"

 Best ART DIRECTION nominees
  "Chicago"
  "Frida"
  "Gangs of New York"
  "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"
  "Road to Perdition"

 Predicted WINNER

  "Gangs of New York"

What SHOULD win: "Frida"

 Best COSTUMES nominees
  "Chicago"
  "Frida"
  "Gangs of New York"
  "The Hours"
  "The Pianist"

 Predicted WINNER

  "Gangs of New York"

What SHOULD win: "Frida"

 Best MAKEUP nominees
  "Frida"
  "The Time Machine"

 Predicted WINNER

  "Frida"

What SHOULD win: "Frida"

 Best ORIGINAL SCORE nominees
  "Catch Me If You Can," John Williams
  "Far From Heaven," Elmer Bernstein
  "Frida," Elliot Goldenthal
  "The Hours," Philip Glass
  "Road to Perdition," Thomas Newman

 Predicted WINNER

  "Catch Me If You Can"

What SHOULD win: "Catch Me"

 Best ORIGINAL SONG nominees
  "Burn It Blue" from "Frida"
  "Father & Daughter" from "The Wild Thornberrys"
  "The Hands That Built America" from "Gangs of New York"
  "I Move On" from "Chicago"
  "Lose Yourself" from "8 Mile"

 Predicted WINNER

"The Hands That Built America"

What SHOULD win: "Lose Yourself" because it's an intregal part of the film.








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