Oscar time is a special time. Well, at least for the celebrities who are nominated and the star-obsessed writers like me. On Jan. 25, 2005, Academy President Frank Pierson and Oscar- winning actor Adrien Brody announced the nominees for the 77th Annual Academy Awards. Letʼs first review the nominees for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Don Cheadle in “Hotel Rwanda,” Johnny Depp in “Finding Neverland,” Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Aviator,” Clint Eastwood in “Million Dollar Baby” and Jamie Foxx in “Ray.” The Academy chose five talented and breathtaking performers; however, I must say that this one is between DiCaprio and Foxx. Each actor portrayed individuals that the world knows, and they did it brilliantly.
DiCaprioʼs captivating performance in “The Aviator” showed the younger years of Howard Hughes, including his fortune, women and slow descent into madness. This complex character turned “likes” to “loves” and “loves” to “obsession.” I remember being distraught in eighth grade when I heard “Leo” was snubbed by the Oscars for his performance as Jack in “Titanic.” If the old lady got nominated, why didnʼt he? Maybe this is his year, but I predict that the Oscar goes to the beautiful Jamie Foxx.
Foxxʼs performance in “Ray” was stupefying. From the movement, voice, look and overall character interpretation, or rather impersonation, he took an unforgettable icon and showed his audience the real Ray Charles. He took home a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, and those who have seen “Ray” know why. Foxx is an incredibly gifted actor, musician and comedian. This year, I think he will finally get the recognition he has worked so hard to receive.
Nominees for Best Actress in a Leading Role are Annette Bening in “Being Julia,” Catalina Sandino Moreno in “Maria Full of Grace,” Imelda Staunton in “Vera Drake,” Hilary Swank in “Million Dollar Baby,” and Kate Winslet in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” My prediction, since Iʼve suddenly transformed into a psychic, is Hilary Swank for “Million Dollar Baby.” Swank picks her movies wisely, aside from
“The Next Karate Kid,” that is. She waits a while to do a film but when she appears on the big screen sheʼs phenomenal. Sheʼs got it in the bag. For Best Picture, the nominees include “The Aviator,” “Finding Neverland,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Ray,” and “Sideways.”
The fight is between “The Aviator” and “Ray.” Iʼm leaning more towards “Ray,” but my crystal ball is beginning to fade. I must say, itʼs been a slow movie year. I didnʼt even know about “Sideways” or “Million Dollar Baby” until the Golden Globes, and itʼs not like I live under a rock.
My predictions for Supporting Actor and Actress are Morgan Freeman in “Million Dollar Baby” and Cate Blanchett in “The Aviator,” respectively Freeman is one of the greatest actors of all time, and Blanchett is so good she could be put in a movie with a box as her leading man and sheʼd still have amazing chemistry with her “costar.”
The Oscars will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theatre and televised live on ABC beginning at 8 p.m. EST / 5 p.m. PST with a half-hour red carpet special. This yearʼs host will be Chris Rock. It should be an entertaining and hilarious night in Hollywood.