Best Picture: A Beautiful Mind, Gosford Park, In the Bedroom, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and Moulin Rouge. Who will win: From all indications, the Oscar will go to A Beautiful Mind. Concerns have been raised about the picture's skewing of facts, but a late campaign blitz seems to be turning the tide. Who should win: Gosford Park. What should have been nominated that wasn't: Ghost World and Memento.
Best Actor: Russell Crowe, A Beautiful Mind; Sean Penn, I Am Sam; Will Smith, Ali; Denzel Washington, Training Day; Tom Wilkinson, In the Bedroom. Who Will Win: Crowe got the Screen Actors Guild Award, so he's the clear favorite. He's not particularly popular, though, and he won last year. Who Should Win: In a very strong field, I'd vote for Tom Wilkinson.
Best Actress: Halle Berry, Monster's Ball; Judi Dench, Iris; Nicole Kidman, Moulin Rouge; Sissy Spacek, In the Bedroom; and Renee Zellweger, Bridget Jones' Diary. Who will win: Berry won the Screen Actors Guild Award and will win the Oscar, too, as she should despite strong competition from Spacek and Zellweger. Who should have been nominated but wasn't: Thora Birch, Ghost World.
Best Supporting Actor: Jim Broadbent, Iris; Ethan Hawke, Training Day; Ben Kingsley, Sexy Beast; Ian McKellen, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; and Jon Voight, Ali. Who will win: The word on the street is Ian McKellen, both to reward him for a long distinguished career and to reserve at least one major award for his film which will otherwise be confined to the technical categories. Who should win: hands down, Ben Kingsley. His was one of the most galvanizing performances of the year, lead or supporting. Missing: Steve Buscemi, Ghost World; Golden Globe winner Gene Hackman, The Royal Tenenbaums.
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Connelly, A Beautiful Mind; Helen Mirren, Gosford Park; Maggie Smith, Gosford Park; Marisa Tomei, In the Bedroom; and Kate Winslet, Iris. Who will win: Helen Mirren will have to overcome the drag of Maggie Smith's nomination from the same film, but I think she'll prevail in a squeaker over Jennifer Connelly. Who should win: Mirren, who has never been accorded the recognition her vast talent deserves.
Best Director: Ron Howard, A Beautiful Mind; Ridley Scott, Black Hawk Down; Robert Altman, Gosford Park; Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; and David Lynch, Mulholland Drive. Who will win: Ron Howard captured the award from the Director's Guild and is a heavy favorite in a town where he's always been popular. Who should win: I'd vote for Altman because he ought to get this award at least once. The real best director, though, was probably Jackson. Who should have been nominated but wasn't: Terry Zwigoff, Ghost World; Christopher Nolan, Memento.
Animated Film: Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius; Monsters, Inc.; and Shrek. What will win: Shrek. What should win: Count me among those who don't give a muskrat's toenail. No Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King in this contest.
Best Foreign Film: Amelie, France; Elling, Norway; Lagaan, India; No Man's Land, Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Son of the Bride, Argentina. Who will win: almost certainly Amelie, the only film with wide play. Who should win: Who knows? Only Amelie has opened here, and besides that, only No Man's Land has received much notice anywhere.
Adapted Screenplay: Akiva Goldsman, A Beautiful Mind; Daniel Clowes and Terry Zwigoff, Ghost World; Rob Festinger and Todd Field, In the Bedroom; Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; and Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman and Roger S.H. Schulman, Shrek. Who will win: Festinger and Field. Who Should Win: Clowes and Zwigoff.
Original Screenplay nominees: Guillaume Laurant and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Amelie; Julian Fellowes, Gosford Park; Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, Memento; Milo Addica and Will Rokos, Monster's Ball; and Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson, The Royal Tenenbaums. Who will win: Addica and Rokos. Who should win: the Nolans.