Friday, March 22, 2002
Friday, March 15, 2002
Hollywood's biggest night of the year is slowly but surely creeping up on us movie fans, fueling lengthy discussions about not just the year's most recognized motion picture achievements, but movies, awards and celebrities in general. It is a time of widespread anxiety for the film industry, clouded by uncertain outcomes and saturated with speculation. And those who have the potential of being called into the spotlight to accept an Oscar no doubt quiver with fear and excitement.
Any avid moviegoer will tell you how the attempt to make predictions of Oscar victors has become a coveted American pastime, but few of them will be able to express in words how addictive, frustrating and time consuming it actually is. That concept has never been more apparent than this year, as a careful look over the 74th Academy Awards voting ballot is an instant invitation to hours of piercing headaches.
The elaborate guessing game that tends to befuddle even the most successful predictors is even more of an obstacle this time around than it has been in years past. In recent memory, viewers, critics and analysts could at least depend on "weak spots" (or nominees who seemed susceptible to being forgotten) in major categories to help narrow their predictions down. Now, in a year when five seemingly invulnerable pictures have been grouped in the ceremony's most coveted category, the opportunity to close the gap has become much more difficult.