Monday, February 12, 2001

Oscars 2001: Nominee Predictions

If members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences enjoy a challenge, they need not to look any further than their first big task of the year: nominating for this year's already-anticipated Academy Awards ceremony. The reason? Never before had the movie industry seen such a diverse supply of endeavors at its disposal, especially in the last few months of 2000, when every other decent release in theaters was either highly nostalgic or incredibly original. Who could have ever foreseen, for example, a movie like "Cast Away" being released just within weeks of something like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?"

But most intriguingly, 2000 was the definitive year for a variety of film actors; both familiar favorites and fresh faces enjoyed some of the healthiest exposure on film during these twelve months than we had ever seen. The list of this year's top actresses alone serves as proof of that notion: in a list that contains Hollywood royalty like Ellen Burstyn and Julia Roberts, we also saw successful performances from newcomers like Björk and Laura Linney (not to mention return performers like Renee Zellweger and Kate Winslet).

With the duty falling on Academy voters to sift through all of this variety and pick their favorites of the year, those of us on the outside anxiously await the results, all of which are scheduled to be announced in the early morning hours of Tuesday, February 13th. In the meantime, however, avid movie fans are likely to be contemplating their own list of nominees, so that when the results are announced, they can compare both lists to see how closely they predicted the Academy's final votes.

The list below is hardly a carved-in-stone result, but it does offer some logical insight into the direction Academy voters will likely be leaning towards.

Likely Nominees:
Almost Famous
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Long Shots:
Billy Elliot
Erin Brockovich
Nurse Betty
Thirteen Days
Wonder Boys

Likely Nominees:
Cameron Crowe, Almost Famous
Ang Lee, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Ridley Scott, Gladiator
Steven Soderbergh, Erin Brockovich
Steven Soderbergh, Traffic
Long Shots:
Darren Aronofsky, Requiem For A Dream
Curtis Hanson, Wonder Boys
Philip Kaufman, Quills
Neil LaBute, Nurse Betty
Robert Zemeckis, Cast Away

Likely Nominees:
Javier Bardem, Before Night Falls
Russell Crowe, Gladiator
Michael Douglas, Wonder Boys
Tom Hanks, Cast Away
Geoffrey Rush, Quills
Long Shots:
Christian Bale, American Psycho
Jamie Bell, Billy Elliot
George Clooney, O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Colin Farrell, Tigerland
Ed Harris, Pollock

Likely Nominees:
Joan Allen, The Contender
Björk, Dancer In The Dark
Ellen Burstyn, Requiem For A Dream
Laura Linney, You Can Count On Me
Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich
Long Shots:
Gillian Anderson, The House Of Mirth
Julliette Binoche, Chocolat
Cate Blanchett, The Gift
Brenda Blethyn, Saving Grace
Renee Zellweger, Nurse Betty

Likely Nominees:
Jeff Bridges, The Contender
Willem Dafoe, Shadow Of The Vampire
Benicio del Toro, Traffic
Albert Finney, Erin Brockovich
Bruce Greenwood, Thirteen Days
Long Shots:
Alec Baldwin, State And Main
Billy Crudup, Almost Famous
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Almost Famous
Gary Oldman, The Contender
Joaquin Phoenix, Gladiator

Likely Nominees:
Judi Dench, Chocolat
Kate Hudson, Almost Famous
Frances McDormand, Almost Famous
Julie Waters, Billy Elliot
Kate Winslet, Quills
Long Shots:
Rosemary Harris, Sunshine
Helen Hunt, Cast Away
Connie Nielsen, Gladiator
Sarah Jessica Parker, State And Main
Julia Stiles, State And Main

Likely Nominees:
Almost Famous – Cameron Crowe
Cast Away – William Broyles, Jr.
Dancer In The Dark – Lars von Trier
State And Main – David Mamet
You Can Count On Me – Ken Lonergan
Long Shots:
Billy Elliot - Lee Hall
The Cell – Mark Protosevich
The Contender – Rod Lurie
Erin Brockovich – Susannah Grant
Shadow Of The Vampire – Steven Katz

Likely Nominees:
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Hui-Ling Wang
O Brother, Where Art Thou? – Ethan Coen
Quills – Doug Wright
Traffic – Stephen Gaghan
Wonder Boys – Steven Kloves
Long Shots:
American Psycho – Mary Harron
Gladiator – David H. Franzoni
Pollock – Gregory White Smith
Requiem For A Dream – Hubert Selby Jr.
Thirteen Days – Philip D. Zelikow

Likely Nominees:
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Peter Pau
Dancer In The Dark – Robby Müller
Gladiator – John Mathieson
Quills – Rogier Stoffers
Traffic – "Peter Andrews"
Long Shots:
Billy Elliot – Brian Tufano
Cast Away – Don Burgess
The Cell – Paul Laufer
The Claim – Alwin H. Kuchler
Tigerland – Matthew Libatique

Likely Nominees:
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Tim Yip
Gladiator – Keith Pain, Jille Azis, Elli Griff, Sonja Klaus and Crispian Sallis
How The Grinch Stole Christmas – Lauren E. Polizzi, Dan Webster and Merideth Boswell
Quills – Steven Lawrence, Mark Raggett and Jill Quertier
Shadow Of The Vampire – Chris Bradley and Assheton Gorton
Long Shots:
Before Night Falls – Antonio Muño-Hierro
The Cell – Guy Dyas, Geoff Hubbard, Michael Manson, Tom Feden and Tessa Posnansky
O Brother, Where Art Thou? – Richard L. Johnson and Nancy Haigh
The Patriot – Barry Chusid and Victor J. Zolfo
Thirteen Days – Ann Harris, Tom Taylor and Denise Pizzini

Likely Nominees:
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Tim Yip
Gladiator – Janty Yates
O Brother, Where Art Thou? – Mary Zophres
Quills – Jacqueline West
Shadow Of The Vampire – Caroline de Vivaise
Long Shots:
The Cell – Eiko Ishioka and April Napier
Chocolat – Renee Ehrlich Kalfus
How The Grinch Stole Christmas – Rita Ryack
The Legend Of Bagger Vance – Judianna Makovsky
Sunshine – Györgyi Szakács

Likely Nominees:
Cast Away
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Mission: Impossible 2
Long Shots:
American Psycho
Charlie’s Angels
The Patriot
The Perfect Storm
The Sixth Day

Likely Nominees:
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Tim Squires
Dancer In The Dark – François Gedigieri and Molly Marlene Stensgaard
Mission: Impossible 2 – Tony Ciccone, Steven Kemper and Christian Wagner
Requiem For A Dream – Jay Rabinowitz
Traffic – Stephen Mirrione
Long Shots:
Billy Elliot – John Wilson
The Cell – Robert Duffy and Paul Rubell
The Perfect Storm – Richard Francis-Bruce
Thirteen Days – Conrad Buff
Vertical Limit – Thom Noble

Likely Nominees:
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Long Shots:
The Cell
Get Carter
Requiem For A Dream

Likely Nominees:
The Cell
The Perfect Storm
Long Shots:
Hollow Man
What Lies Beneath

Likely Nominees:
Gladiator – Paul Engelen
Quills – Peter King
Shadow Of The Vampire – Ann Buchanan and Katja Reinert
Long Shots:
The Cell – Edouard F. Henriquez
The Patriot – Wendy Bell
Requiem For A Dream – Louie Zakarian

Likely Nominees:
Dancer In The Dark – "I’ve Seen It All," Björk
The Emperor’s New Groove – "My Funny Friend And Me," Sting
Meet The Parents – "A Fool In Love," Randy Newman
The Perfect Storm – "Yours Forever," John Mellencamp
Wonder Boys – "Things Have Changed," Bob Dylan
Long Shots:
The Road To El Dorado – "Someday Out Of The Blue," Elton John
The Next Best Thing – "Time Stood Still," Madonna & William Orbit

Likely Nominees:
Almost Famous – Nancy Wilson
Chocolat – Rachel Portman
How The Grinch Stole Christmas – James Horner
O Brother, Where Art Thou? – T-Bone Burnett
Wonder Boys – Christopher Young
Long Shots:
Best In Show – Jeffrey C.J. Vanston
Chicken Run – Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell
Nurse Betty – Rolfe Kent
Saving Grace – Mark Russell
State And Main – Theodore Shapiro

Likely Nominees:
Cast Away – Alan Silvestri
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Tan Dun and Yo-Yo Ma
Dancer In The Dark – Björk
Gladiator – Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard
Traffic – Cliff Martinez
Long Shots:
Billy Elliot – Stephen Warbeck
The Contender – Larry Groupé
The Legend Of Bagger Vance – Rachel Portman
Quills – Stephen Warbeck
Requiem For A Dream – Kronos Quartet and Clint Mansell

Likely Nominees:
Dark Days
The Eyes Of Tammy Faye
The Life And Times Of Hank Greenberg
One Day In Septebmer
Reckless Indifference
Long Shots:
The Art Of Amália
In The Arms Of A Stranger

Likely Nominees:
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Long Shots:
The Terrorist

Top Conteners/Projected Totals:
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: 11
Gladiator: 10-13
Traffic: 9
Quills: 8-10
Almost Famous: 6-8
Dancer In The Dark: 6
Cast Away: 4-7
Wonder Boys: 4-6
Erin Brockovich: 3-5
O Brother, Where Art Thou?: 3-5
Requiem For A Dream: 2-7
The Cell: 1-8
Billy Elliot: 1-7
Thirteen Days: 1-5
Nurse Betty: 0-4

Even though "Traffic" looks like the obvious Picture winner even as this is written, it is unlikely that the film will sweep away with the most nominations. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Gladiator" are likely to be the victors in that department, with both Soderbergh's film and "Quills" coming in close, and "Almost Famous" bringing up the rear. And if "Billy Elliot," "Cast Away" and "Requiem For A Dream" are not overlooked in their potential categories, they could prove to be serious competition, especially because of their growing fan bases in and around Hollywood.

Technical categories will be more difficult to correctly predict, but money is on "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" to persevere here since it is unlikely to pull through with major nominations. Meanwhile, "The Cell," last year's prime visual extravaganza, can either be graciously rewarded or completely forgotten here, depending on the Academy's memory span.

The dark horse everyone will be watching for is "Dancer In The Dark," which can take up to six nods if Academy members play their cards right. But don't be too surprised if Björk, the film's main star, doesn't get the Best Actress nomination she so rightfully deserves.

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