A Fireside Chat: The Oscars
Our dear friend Oscar has unleashed unto the world nominations for the 2004 Academy Awards.
Naturally, the latest “Lord of the Rings” installment is nominated for a load – this time snatching 11 nominations, including Best Picture.
|The 76th Annual Academy Awards
Time: 5 p.m.
Date: Feb. 29
“Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” a film that hasn’t received a lot of press, was nominated for Best Picture and nine other awards.
Seriously though, who really cares about LOTR anymore? We all know the trilogy is phenomenal. As for “Master and Commander,” where did it come from? What’s its deal? Let’s focus on the underdogs.
The Clint Eastwood-directed “Mystic River” received six nods, including Best Director, Sean Penn for Best Actor and Tim Robbins for Best Supporting Actor.
My favorite film of the year, “Lost in Translation,” received four nominations, including Best Picture, Sofia Coppola for Best Director and Bill Murray for Best Actor.
Years ago, you’d be slapped up for suggesting that Murray would be nominated for anything of this sort.
That all changed when Murray starred in “Rushmore” and “The Royal Tenenbaums,” two films portraying the true essence of Murray’s comedic genius.
He should have won Academy Awards for those roles, and now he finally is getting his due.
The Golden Globes clearly had a significant influence on many of the nominations.
LOTR won Best Motion Picture in the drama category and “Translation” won in the comedy category.
Since the Oscars don’t split the films in different genres, it’s a head-to-head battle of David and Goliath.
According to imdb.com, LOTR had a $94-million budget and has grossed over $330 million at the box office, whereas “Translation” cost $4 million to make and has earned more than $33 million.
What’s screwed up is that it really is comparing apples to oranges in the old Best Motion Picture category.
“Lost in Translation” is essentially a comedy. Certainly, it’s funny in a more subtle manner than, let’s say, “Freddy Got Fingered,” but it’s still no drama in the sense “Master and Commander,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Mystic River” and “Seabiscuit” are.
“Finding Nemo” managed to slither its way into the realm of the omnipotent Oscar with four nominations.
Not only did it receive a nomination for Best Animated Feature Film, but it also raked in recognition for Original Screenplay, Sound Editing and Original Score.
“Nemo” is a great movie and will no doubt win Best Animated Feature, as it’s up against “Brother Bear” and “The Triplets of Belleville.” Those films are good, but “Nemo” is marvelous.
Unfortunately, as much as I love “Translation,” I know it’s not going to win. No matter how many times I tip my glass of Strongbow to the television, the film just won’t.
LOTR will win because the first two films, though nominated, did not win. The only potential impediment is it’s a sequel, but who am I kidding? The three films are actually one lengthy entity; it will, indeed, win.
Murray, whom I wholeheartedly hope will win, has a tough fight ahead of him, up against Penn, Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Ben Kingsley. All candidates are so good that this certainly won’t be easy.
This year’s Academy Awards will actually be worth watching. No more will we have to see the likes of films such as “Chicago” in the running. In its place will be quality. Pure quality.