Wednesday 26th January 2022

2005 Academy Awards Preview
Date: 16th February 2005
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

It always seems to me that while film critics love to talk about the Oscars at this time of the year, they studiously avoid picking any winners or stating any preferences before the actual event. Well, I'm not frightened of going on the record and staking my reputation on who I think should and will win at this year's Oscars and I'll stick by my choices come what may.

The most talked about awards tend to be what film buffs call "The Big Five", which comprises Best Actor and Actress, Best Picture and Director and Best Screenplay. However, I'm chickening out of predicting a winner in the too-close-to-call category Best Screenplay in favour of Best Supporting Actor and Actress, and another category which I think is a sure thing.

As I stated when I reviewed Ray a few weeks ago, I think Jamie Foxx has the Best Actor award sewn up for his marvellous portrayal of blind soul legend Ray Charles. It seems the men running the betting shops agree with me on this one, as he is by far the favourite to win his category.


Best Actress is also looking very easy to predict. Although I haven't seen all the performances that have been nominated for this award, I have seen Hilary Swank's performance in Million Dollar Baby, and seeing as she is the bookie's favourite, having already picked up 10 Best Actress awards for her role, including the Golden Globe, I think this is a safe bet too.

Best Supporting Actor and Actress, however, are by no means so clear cut. Personally, I think Cate Blanchett will win her category for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator. Blanchett is always popular with people in the industry, and unusual make-up never hurts when it comes to winning an Oscar either, whether it's having your eyes glued shut, wearing a fake nose or having freckles painted on!

My best tip for those of you thinking of having a punt though, goes on the wide-open Best Supporting Actor award. While Morgan Freeman is the current favourite to win, I didn't feel his performance in Million Dollar Baby was anywhere near as strong as British contender Clive Owen's in Closer. With the odds at six to one at the time of writing, I think there's some value to be had!

Many people are expecting Martin Scorsese to be finally given his first Best Director Oscar for The Aviator this year, but I am pretty sure that Clint Eastwood will actually scoop this one. Million Dollar Baby is a better film than The Aviator, and its direction is superior too. The Director's Guild of America agreed with me and chose Eastwood over Scorsese recently and their winner has gone on to win the corresponding Oscar fifty times out of fifty-six.

Although I would like Clint's Baby to pick up the Best Picture award too, I think The Aviator will take the Oscar. This brings me to what is probably the safest bet of the whole Award ceremony. I am sure The Incredibles will win Best Animated Feature, with only the inferior Shrek 2 and the barely competitive Shark Tale being nominated alongside it. If The Incredibles doesn't win that one, all bets are off!

You can see the full list of nominees and winners by visiting the Academy Awards website.


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