‘Globe’ awards pave way for Oscar gold

Matt Silvestri

It’s that time of year again. The time when all the film gurus step out from their holes and look to find out whether or not they will cast a shadow; in order to forecast this year’s Oscar winners.

Most gurus maintain the belief that the Golden Globes, much like a weather satellite, can help predict the future. The Golden Globes have, for some time now, given major hints as to what winners the academy will announce. Now that this year’s Golden Globe winners have been presented their globes, it is time to consult these results in predicting this year’s Academy Award winners.

This year’s best foreign language film category seems to have a clear cut favorite. “The Barbarian Invasions” is a winner in every sense of the word. This film has managed to gain good distribution throughout American theatres and has received nothing but high praise from American critics. Also, this film is the only foreign film to be nominated for best foreign film by both the Golden Globe committee and the Academy, and that could spell O-S-C-A-R for the barbarians.

The best screenplays, both adapted and original, seem to be easy calls as well. The best original screenplay at the Academy Awards will be presented to Sofia Copolla for her film “Lost in Translation.” This film won best screenplay at the Golden Globes and should repeat at the Oscars. As for the best adapted screenplay, this author is pulling for “American Splendor,” however, the favorite to capture the award from the depths of middle earth is “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”.

“Finding Nemo” is the obvious favorite to take home the best animated film award. Pixar seems to have the inside track on this award having been nominated for best musical or comedy by the Golden Globes voters, which cannot be said of any other animated film this year. Do not, however, be surprised if a little known film about a talented group of triplets snags the prize instead. “The Triplets of Belleville” will give Nemo a run for his money, but in the end, I believe the clownfish will prevail.

Peter Jackson will probably need some help carrying back all the awards that ROTK will receive. The best director award will most likely be on his list of accomplishments by the end of the night. Jackson defeated all but one of his co-Oscar nominees in order to win the Golden Globes’ best director honors. This will probably translate over to an Oscar for him.

Best supporting actor and actress are very difficult calls this year. Alec Baldwin turned in a stellar performance in “The Cooler,” as did Tim Robbins in “Mystic River.” Considering Robbins’ victory in the same category at the Globes, he has the edge and will likely leave with the little man in his hands.

When examining the best supporting actress award, it becomes a question as to whether a Golden Globe award will automatically translate into Oscar greatness. There are two actresses not nominated for the Golden Globes, but who still have a real shot to take Oscar home. Marcia Gay Harden’s role as Tim Robbin’s wife in “Mystic River” will get her serious consideration. She will most likely finish just behind Shoreh Aghdashloo, who should win for her breakthrough performance in “House of Sand and Fog.” As for Renee Zellweger, who won the Golden Globe for best supporting actress for her role in “Cold Mountain,” she will face tougher competition for the Oscar than she did for the Globe and that may keep her from winning.

Best actor will be one of the toughest awards to call as the two obvious favorites both won Golden Globes for their performances. Sean Penn won for the Best actor in a drama for “Mystic River.” His major competitor, Bill Murray, won the best actor in a musical or comedy for his portrayal of Bob Harris, a stranger in a strange land, in the film “Lost in Translation.” The Academy will probably lean towards Penn, as they tend to appreciate drama as a more refined art form. I, however, favor the underdogs and predict an upset win by Bill Murray.

The best actress conversation starts and stops with one person, Charlize Theron. Theron’s role in “Monster” will make this an easy decision for the academy. Her Golden Globe for best actress in a drama will help to give her a victory over Diane Keaton (the Golden Globe winner for best actress in a musical or comedy for her work in “Something’s Gotta Give”) and new-comer Keisha Castle-Hughes. Although Castle-Hughes will not win, to be nominated at age 13 is an accomplishment in itself.

At the end of the night after a predictably long show, the best picture award will be handed out. This award seems to be a three horse race; however, none of these horses’ names are “Seabiscuit.” “Lost in Translation,” “Mystic River” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” will are three with the best chances to attain the most prestigious award of the night. Taking into consideration ROTK’s best drama Golden Globe, they look to be the favorite. “Lost in Translation” did win the Golden Globe for best musical or comedy; however, the power of the ring will persuade the academy to give Jackson the award. The trilogy has been passed up the first two times it was nominated and this time it probably will not be. The Academy owes this award to the best seriessince the original “Star Wars” trilogy.

The 76th Annual Academy Awards will take place on Feb. 29 at 8 p.m. on ABC. It is at the end of that night when the gurus check their selections and either bask in their glory or crawl and hide under a rock. Either way, after the awards ceremony they will retreat to their holes to watch more films, until this time next year when they can re-emerge and continue the tradition of Oscar predictions.