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The Statesman

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The Statesman

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Who Will Take Home the Trophies This Year?

On March 24, the year’s best films, actors, directors, and many others will be forever enshrined as winners of the most coveted trophy in Hollywood, the Academy Award.

For millions of movie lovers, the tension and anticipation surrounding the biggest night of the year in movies is endless. Indeed, there is something about Oscar night that seems magical, whether it is the opportunity to see so manyself-assured actors reduced to mere astonishment at a win or the ever-annoying, star-studded red carpet critique of Joan Rivers.

The question remains, who will walk away with the awards? Will it be Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (13 nominations) or A Beautiful Mind (8nominations)? Will it be Russell Crowe or Denzel Washington?

The suspense is mounting, but based on the Academy’s selections in recent years, it may be possible to anticipate who will win many of the awards.

During the past decade, for instance, the Academy has tended to back up its selection for Best Picture with a nod for at least one of its actors in anyof the four acting categories. Therefore, if either Russell Crowe or Jennifer Connelly win (which is highly likely), A Beautiful Mind is much more likelyto win for Best Picture.

However, sometimes things get messy. For instance, if Ian McKellen or MariaTomei win for their supporting roles, and Russell Crowe or Jennifer Connellywin, the Best Picture award is pretty much up for grabs.

This year, the Academy seems to be jumping on the bandwagon for In The Bedroom.The intense drama about the repercussions of a liason between a college studentand a married older woman has racked up nominations in three out of the fouracting categories.

In The Bedroom’#146;s best chance for a win lies in the Best Actress category.Here, Sissy Spacek’#146;s primary competition for the award seems to be HalleBerry, who is picking up momentum from her win at the Screen Actors Guild Awardfor her role in Monster’#146;s Ball. It appears that Nicole Kidman (and herpseudo-musical Moulin Rouge) will have their best chances for a win in the technicalcategories.

The best actor category seems to be a shootout between Denzel Washington, forhis role as a corrupt narcotics detective, and Russell Crowe for his portrayalof schizophrenic math genius John Nash.

Washington is the sentimental favorite for the award, while Crowe hopes tobe the first winner in consecutive years since Tom Hanks (for Philadelphia in1993 and Forrest Gump in 1994).

The most notable addition to the Oscars this year is the category for BestAnimated Feature, an award that seems long overdue. In upcoming years (as wellas years in the past) this award seems to be a source for more Oscars for Disneyand their perennial animated classics.

However, this year, the award should go to Shrek, a movie that many seemedto think was deserving of a Best Picture nod. The film’#146;s toughest competitionis Disney’#146;s Monsters Inc., a film with an equally pure message and lovablecast, but with less sexual innuendo.

The special effects and technical categories seem to be up for grabs and, barringa sweep by Lord of the Rings, are likely to be split amongst the nominees.

My picks for the major awards are Russell Crowe (Best Actor), Halle Berry (BestActress), Ben Kingsley (Best Supporting Actor), Jennifer Connelly (Best SupportingActress), Ron Howard (Best Director), and A Beautiful Mind (Best Picture).

To find out who will take home the Oscars, watch the 74th Annual Academy Awardsbeginning at 8 pm on Sunday, March 24, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg.

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