Oscar Watch 2005: Predicting the Nominees


By Rex A. Okpodu

Best Supporting Actor

Thomas Haden Church (Sideways)
There is strong support for his performance as a down-and-out actor.

Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby)
There is big buzz for this long overdue actor playing an old, washed-up boxer.

David Carradine (Kill Bill Vol. II)
An early contender who has been helped by a Golden Globe nomination.

Clive Owen (Closer)
Has the best notice from the altogether strong cast of this bleak movie. Strong Guild support will help his nomination chances.

Peter Sarsgaard (Kinsey)
Many people felt that Sarsgaard should have been nominated last year for Shattered Glass. This year, he gives a sensational supporting performance as a bisexual young man completely comfortable with his desires in 1940s middle America.

Best Supporting Actress

Virginia Madsen (Sideways)
Widespread critical support coupled with a Golden Globe nomination might obtain a first nomination for this current frontrunner.

Laura Linney (Kinsey)
The Academy always loves to reward the supportive and long-suffering wife, and Linney also benefits from another acclaimed performance in this year's P.S.

Cate Blanchett (The Aviator)
Playing Oscar's favorite winner, Katharine Hepburn, might propel Miss Blanchett to an Oscar nomination in this or the lead category.

Meryl Streep (The Manchurian Candidate)
Critics hailed her Hillary Clintonesque performance in an average film, and it is never safe to bet against Meryl, who already holds the record for most nominated performer ever with 13 nods.

Natalie Portman (Closer)
Another contender from Mike Nichols' acclaimed adult drama about relationships.

Original Screenplay

Likely contenders include:

Openly gay Pedro Almodovar for Bad Education
Openly gay Bill Condon for Kinsey
Mike Leigh for Vera Drake
Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
John Logan for The Aviator
James L. Brooks for Spanglish
Allan Knee and David Magee for Finding Neverland
James L. White for Ray
Keir Pearson and Terry George for Hotel Rwanda

Adapted Screenplay

Likely contenders include:

Sideways, written by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, based on the novel by Rex Pickett
The Motorcycle Diaries, written by Jose Riviera, based on the diaries of Che Chevara
The Phantom of the Opera, written as a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the novel by Gaston Leroux
A Very Long Engagement, written by Jean Pierre Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant, based on the novel by Sebastien Jaspirot
Million Dollar Baby, written by Paul Haggis, based on the novel Rope Burns by F.X. Toole
Finding Neverland, written by David Magee, based on the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee
The Door in the Floor, written by Tod Williams, based on the novel A Widow for One Year by John Irving
Closer, written by Patrick Marber, based on his own play

Best Animated Feature

Likely contenders:
The Incredibles (Walt Disney Pixar)
Shrek 2 (Dreamworks)
A Shark's Tale (Dreamworks)
The Polar Express (Warner Bros.)