Oscar Watch 2005: Predicting the Nominees


By Rex A. Okpodu

Best Actress

Robin Wright Penn (A Home at the End of the World)
Robin Wright Penn also makes the vote for a gay friendly film costarring Colin Farrell. The Academy likes married couples in its circle: Sean Penn won this February and might be presenting the award next year.

Other contenders:
Kate Winslet (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Proof)
Emily Rossum (The Phantom of the Opera)
Nicole Kidman (Birth)
Joan Allen (The Upside of Anger)
Annette Bening (Being Julia)
Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake)
Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace)
Andrey Tatou (A Very Long Engagement)

Longshots'Anne Reid (Mother) and Uma Thurman (Kill Bill Volume II)
Their acclaimed performances might benefit from a major push, especially if mentioned on several critics' Top 10 lists in the late fall.

Best Supporting Actor

Peter Sarsgaard (Kinsey)
Saarsgard should have been nominated for last year's Shattered Glass, and this year he gives a sensational supporting performance as a bisexual young man completely comfortable with his desires in 1940s middle America.
Saarsgard also deserves credit for being one of the few actors brave enough to go full frontal.

Jared Leto (Alexander)
Playing Alexander's lover makes him a contender if the film is a sweeping success and his role is big enough.

Other contenders:
Peter O'Toole (Troy)
Jude Law (The Aviator)
Alec Baldwin (The Last Shot)
Patrick Wilson (The Phantom of the Opera)
Dustin Hoffman (Finding Neverland)
Morgan Freeman (An Unfinished Life)
Jim Broadbent (Vanity Fair)
Jamie Foxx (Collateral)
David Carradine (Kill Bill Volume II)

Longshot'Gary Oldman (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Linney (Kinsey)
The Academy always loves rewarding the supportive and long-suffering wife.

Angelina Jolie (Alexander)
The buzz is that she is great in the role of Alexander's mother and they may nominate her if only just to prove they were not wrong about that first Oscar.

Other contenders:
Irma P. Hall (The Ladykillers)
Kate Winslet (Finding Neverland)
Toni Collette (The Last Shot)
Monica Bellucci (The Passion of the Christ)
Cate Blanchett (The Aviator)
Natalie Portman (Closer or Garden State)
Meryl Streep (The Manchurian Candidate)

Longshot'Sissy Spacek (At Home at the End of the World)
The Academy loves to reward a cameo or small role by a previous Oscar winner.

Original Screenplay

Likely contenders:
Alexander (Christopher Kyle and Oliver Stone)
Bad Education (Pedro Almodovar)
Kinsey (Bill Condon)
Stage Beauty (Jeffrey Hatcher)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry)
The Aviator (John Logan)
Spanglish (James L. Brooks)
Finding Neverland (Allan Knee and David Magee)
The Last Shot (Steve Fishman and Jeff Nathanson)
The Life Aquatic (Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach)

Adapted Screenplay

Likely contenders:
A Home at the End of the World (Michael Cunningham)
The Passion of the Christ (Benedict Fitzgerald and Mel Gibson)
The Phantom of the Opera (Gaston Leroux and Andrew Lloyd Webber)
An Unfinished Life (Mark and Virginia Spragg)