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Oscar Picks

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday March 13, 2003

Jessica Suarez

Best Documentry: "Bowling for Columbine"

I would like to see this win¸if only to watch Michael Moore make everyone uncomfortable during his acceptance speech. Documentaries hardly ever make this much noise, or are this much fun to watch.

Best Actress/Actor in a Leading Role: Julianne Moore/ Nicolas Cage

In "Adaptation," Cage puts in double duty as Charlie Kaufmann and his twin brother ¸ and does an amazing job as both. Moore had two great performances this year and deserves the best actress award for "Far from Heaven." She has a great knack for playing women who are restrained by their roles as wives and mothers.

Best Director: Martin Scorsese

Congratulations are in order for Martin Scorsese for "Gangs of New York." After 10 years, Scorsese finally saw his pet project become a success. Hard to imagine that Scorsese has been nominated six times before and hasn't received an award.

Best Film: "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"

Perhaps the Academy will wait until the third installment to reward the producers and Peter Jackson for the whole trilogy. However, I think it's time to reward them now. Besides, from what I've heard about the third installment, "The Two Towers" may prove to be the best of the three.

Mark Betancourt

Best Documentry: "Bowling For Columbine"

While the other nominees may be equally informative, this film is probably the most important. Director Michael Moore has the high profile of a star and the budget to release his films everywhere and still chooses to tackle the big issues in a way that can't be ignored. This careful study of gun culture is both timely and vital to the development of our national conscience.

Best Actress/Actor in a Leading Role: Salma Hayek

Just because she used to act in Mexican soaps doesn't mean she can't act the hell out of Frida Kahlo. She contributes strength and sensitivity to "Frida," which is a beautiful film to begin with. She makes the audience not only love, admire, fear and pity her character, but believe in her. That is an accomplishment that deserves recognition. Nicolas Cage and Michael Caine both have a shot at the Oscar, but Nicholson better not win another damn Oscar for playing himself.

Best Director: Pedro Almodovar

Here is one of the few directors who can translate his thoughts, his feelings, his beliefs and all his passions into the delicate, wordless grace of poetic cinema. What's more (in typical European fashion), he trusts his audience to understand the subtleties of his poetry while still avoiding the high-brow indecipherability of the art film. His work is what the film medium was invented for. Plus the competition sucks.

Best Film: "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"

This film combines the epic excitement of trilogy denouement with a few thematic and stylistic pleasant surprises. The complex parallels and foils drawn from the main characters is not only interesting, it's insightful, and that's something few action/fantasy films can claim. Not only did this movie impressively outdo the hard-to-follow first installment of the trilogy, but the competition sucks.

Nate Buchik

Best Documentry: "Bowling For Columbine"

With competition coming from films about nerdy spelling kids and the boring migration of birds, Michael Moore should have no trouble bringing home the prize with his liberal propaganda piece, "Bowling For Columbine." The wildcard, however, is "Prisoner of Paradise." It's about a dude in a concentration camp who's forced to write and direct a Nazi propaganda film. Unlike "Bowling," probably not too many laughs in this one.

Best Actress/Actor in a Leading Role: Nicole Kidman /Daniel Day-Lewis

Daniel Day-Lewis will run away with this category. Nicholas Cage is too annoying, but "Adaptation" was great. He should get some sort of consolation prize. Gollum from "LOTR" should win, but unfortunately, he wasn't nominated. Nicole Kidman will edge out Zellweger because she did a great job of acting hideously ugly. Also, Salma Hayek is an embarrassment and isn't good enough to act in softcore porn.

Best Director: Martin Scorsese

Scorsese spent a long-ass time making this movie. It's pretty solid and he's pretty old. I give him the nod because his closest competition is Rob Marshall from "Chicago," who isn't supposed to win since this is his first time directing. Peter Jackson of LOTR should win, but he missed out on a nomination for some reason. Actually, Gollum should win best director, too. He was totally kick-ass.

Best Film: "Gangs of New York"

"The Hours" and "Chicago" will be popular choices. But "The Hours" had terrible scenes with awkward dialogue and "Chicago" is a musical. That leaves "Gangs of New York." It's missing an hour or more of important scenes, but it's still long enough and good enough. But in a surprise twist, Adam Sandler's "Punch-Drunk Love" will win through a grassroots campaign of write-in ballots.

Lindsay Utz

Best Documentry: "Spellbound"

Inspired by the great American tradition of the spelling bee, this documentary follows the lives of eight amazing kids who desire nothing more than to win the annual national spelling bee. Enchanting, hilarious and often tense, this film is fascinating from start to end. Running against the powerful "Bowling for Columbine" won't be easy, but I'd still like to see the underdog win.

Best Actress/Actor in a Leading Role: Julianne Moore/Nicolas Cage

Ten minutes into the film and you forget that Cage is playing both Charlie and his twin brother Donald. They are two dynamically different characters played by one giant, brilliant actor. Moore is exquisitely talented but often overlooked by awards shows. Her performance in this film is quietly powerful. Unfortunately, Kidman's profile and popularity in Hollywood will steer another well-deserved award away from Moore.

Best Director: Pedro Almodovar

For a foreign director to make it into this prestigious category is very impressive. And while the directing for all of these films is remarkable, "Talk to Her" is the most stunning. Directed like one long dance, the story is driven by the rich characters and is told with a classic lyricism and grace so often missing in films today.

Best Film: "Chicago"

Eventually every Broadway musical will have a movie equivalent, and we'll all remember how "Chicago" started the revival when it swept the 2003 Oscars. "Chicago" onscreen is nearly as electrifying as it was on stage. There are lots of old people in the Academy, and if they don't choke on their butterscotch candy while watching this scandalous show, I'm sure they'll vote for it.

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