Thursday, Feb 28, 2002
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
By Gautaman Bhaskaran
This year's race to the Oscars is bound to be tough for the contenders. It will also be hard on the 5,700 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. There appear to be no clear winners in the nomination lists. There seem to be no clear losers either.
The Academy will probably spend many sleepless nights before it can pin down the Best Picture. The choice here is perhaps one of the hardest in many years. Traditionally, the film with most nominations has won this prize. During the past 15 years, there has been just one occasion when this convention was broken. In 1992, "The Silence of the Lambs" with seven nods raced past "Bugsy" with 10. This year may well be a repeat of 1992. "A Beautiful Mind" with eight nominations is the "real frontrunner", and "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring", despite its 13 nods is trailing behind.
Winners in the other categories too are not easy to predict. Although the Best Actress nominations went, as anticipated, to Sissy Spacek ("In the Bedroom"), Halle Barry ("Monster's Ball") and Judi Dench ("Iris"), Renee Zellweger ("Bridget Jones Diary") and Nicole Kidman ("Moulin Rouge") were the surprise inclusions. It was widely thought that Naomi Watts ("Mulholland Drive") would be in. Also, Kidman could have ended up with none. Her performance in "The Others" attracted greater attention and was a bigger box-office draw than "Moulin Rouge". Such mixed signals could have forced the Academy to take the easier route by passing over Kidman.
Billy Bob Thornton was not as lucky as Kidman. He could have been in the race for the Best Actor in both "The Man Who Wasn't There" and "Monster's Ball", but drew a blank. Unfortunately, he was not even recognised for his supporting role in "Bandits". Russell Crowe stole a march over Thornton. Crowe was short listed as Best Actor for "A Beautiful Mind". He has achieved a hat trick: three nods in three years, a first since William Hurt's similar run in the 1980s.
As widely expected, Denzel Washington was among the five in the Best Actor slot for playing a crooked policeman in "Training Day". Though "Ali"managed mixed reviews and "timid" box-office returns, Will Smith ended up with a nomination here.
History has been created here: two black actors being nominated for lead roles in a single year. If one of them gets an Oscar, it will be only the second time that a black performer has won for a main role in the Academy's 73-year existence. Sidney Poitier was the lucky first: "Lilies of the Field" (1964). Five other black actors and actresses have won Oscars, but in supporting capacities.
Sean Penn, another one to have been nominated as a Best Actor, got his third nod for ''I Am Sam''.
The Best Supporting Actress line-up was the easiest to call. Jennifer Connelly ("A Beautiful Mind"), Kate Winslet ("Iris") and Helen Mirren ("Gosford Park") were foregone choices. However, the Best Supporting Actor's section had a few surprises. Nobody dreamt that Ben Kingsley ("Sexy Beast") and Jim Broadbent (`Iris") would be included. Ditto, John Voight ("Ali"). Ian Mckellen's inclusion here is the only acting credit for "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring".
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |
Copyright © 2002, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of