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Dairwendan

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From the AP wire, but I got it here

What's in store for next year's Oscars?

DAVID GERMAIN

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - "Million Dollar Baby?" Old news. Jamie Foxx? Ancient history. It's time to set odds on which films will dominate next year's Academy Awards, based on what's visible in Hollywood's ever-changeable lineup for 2005.

Granted, no one's seen these movies, and some haven't even started shooting, so who knows which might have that touch of Oscar gold, or which won't manage to be ready in time to qualify?

But there are keys to early Oscar handicapping. Does it have Gwyneth Paltrow in it? Does it feature a woman pretending to be a man? Does it have Gwyneth Paltrow pretending to be a man?

Beyond that, the best signposts are a film's heavyweight-drama quotient and pedigree of talent. How many past Oscar winners are involved? Does a cover-girl performer efface her looks for a stark and sober story? Is it a "master" filmmaker tackling a "momentous" subject?

These are subjective criteria, but as a studio mogul noted in "Barton Fink": "I guess we all have that Barton Fink feeling. But since you're Barton Fink, I'm assuming you have it in spades."

For this crystal-ball exercise, we're looking for that Oscar feeling, and we figure people such as these - Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Ron Howard, Roman Polanski - must have it in spades.

And the Oscar could go to:

"Cinderella Man" - Oscar winners Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger star in the story of Depression-era boxer Jim Braddock, who gets a second chance in the ring. The academy loves underdog stories, Ron Howard ("A Beautiful Mind") directs and Crowe punches people out.

"Memoirs of a Geisha" - Rob Marshall ("Chicago") directs this adaptation of the novel about an orphan girl (Zhang Ziyi) who becomes a queen-bee madame kept in style by powerful men. Sex, sumptuous sets, exotic locales, a beautiful leading lady poised for a breakout role. Sex.

"Kingdom of Heaven" - Ridley Scott ("Gladiator") directs the saga of a battling knight (Orlando Bloom) in Jerusalem during the Crusades. Scott revived the moribund Roman epic. If anyone can make a Crusades story palatable in this politically correct age, he's the man.

"War of the Worlds" - Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise spin the spectacle of sci-fi spectacles, a new take on H.G. Wells' invaders-from-Mars classic. Everyone secretly loves to see the world toasted, and it co-stars that adorable Dakota Fanning.

"All the King's Men" - Sean Penn stars in this update of Robert Penn Warren's novel loosely based on political kingfish Huey Long. Penn in the meatiest role since his Oscar win for "Mystic River," backed by Anthony Hopkins, Kate Winslet, Patricia Clarkson, Jude Law and James Gandolfini. Can you say dream cast?

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" - Johnny Depp has scored Oscar nominations as a sashaying pirate and a repressed Edwardian playwright. Can he earn another as Willy Wonka? Tim Burton's remake offers endless visual possibilities, and the story of candyman Willy playing tour guide to children is a beloved one for academy boomers.

"Jarhead" - Sam Mendes ("American Beauty") aims for another mix of drama and macabre humor with this tale of an elite sniper unit in the Gulf War. British theater vet Mendes has a keen outsider's eye for stories about Americans. And enlisting Jamie Foxx to co-star doesn't hurt.

"King Kong" - "Lord of the Rings" maestro Peter Jackson directs a remake of the great ape biopic, with Naomi Watts as the new Fay Wray. After elevating the fantasy genre to Oscar glory by treating hobbits with dead earnestness, Jackson's madman enough to do the same for a giant gorilla.

"The New World" - Colin Farrell tries to put "Alexander" behind him in this colonial tale of John Smith and Pocahontas, from director Terrence Malick ("The Thin Red Line"). Malick hardly ever makes movies, but when he does, they're awesome.

"Oliver Twist" - For his first film since winning the best-director Oscar for "The Pianist," Roman Polanski has a go at Charles Dickens' classic of an orphan among pickpockets. Oscar winner Ben Kingsley as the nefarious Fagin. Doesn't everyone prefer Sir Ben in "Sexy Beast" demeanor rather than "Gandhi" mode?

"The Producers" - Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick reunite for a movie based on a stage hit based on a movie, about con men bilking investors on a Nazi musical. A best-picture trophy for producer Mel Brooks would make a nice companion bookend for his screenplay Oscar on the 1968 original.

"Walk the Line" - Joaquin Phoenix is the man in black, Johnny Cash, with Reese Witherspoon as wife June Carter. In the same way people went, "Huh? Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles? . Oh, yeah. I see it," Phoenix bears a curious resemblance to Cash. But can he lip-synch?

"Untitled Steven Spielberg Project" - The director goes for another twofer in one year, this one featuring Eric Bana in a drama chronicling events at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, when 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were killed by Palestinian militants. It's his most "important" film since "Saving Private Ryan."

Emphasis mine.

Dairwendan

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Ooo.thanks for that info, Dair!

Very cool that KOH is being tossed around already. Let's hope the May release won't leave room for forgetfulness, then again, look at Eternal Sunshine right? Plus, the cast is way too good and Scott's got it.

Ah, if only Johnny Depp could win the Oscar for Willy Wonka. :lol: Then again, there is a certain someone that I hope to get some good buzz and press. :whistle:

Wow. All those movies seem interesting at the moment (mind you, the assumption is based on two sentences each).

Uh. Is it just me or does the title Cinderella Man alone qualify for the Oscar race already? Just seems like the perfect fit for those guys around the table.a sort of femininity/masculinity juxtaposition. They eat that stuff up.

I'm going to go watch KOH trailer.::sigh:: :balian:

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All through the Oscars I kept thinking that possibly I could be seeing Kingdom of Heaven be one of the Best Picture Nominations. I don't want to jinx it but I have high hopes. With what I have read, good and bad, this looks to be a very good movie. I could be being biased but I cannot help it.

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Thanks for the info.

To see Jackson's name is lovely. Not like he needs any more awards, but this year I was so glad to hear things like:

In Bafta: "I thank this, I thank that. and I thank Peter Jackson taking the year off."

Don't remember any from GG at the moment. I am sure there is something related.

In Oscars: "I am happy that there isn't a fourth installment of LotR." (Sorry fellow, we do not agree with you ! :lol:)

Or statements like: "If it wasn't for LotR Clint would get the second with Mystic River."

He caused a new way of thanking in acceptance speeches. :hug:

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I like that it's being reported as a possibility for the oscars, I really do - but I can't help but think it's just a marketing ploy to get the name, and the quality, mentioned as often as possible before May.

I'm a terrible cynic - but honestly, in the past couple of years how many films that came out in May the year before actually got nominated? And I'm sure none won anything significant. Academy members have short memories - the only reason we get this speculation now is that they don't know what's due out next November/December yet so they have no idea what's actually going to be getting nominated.

:tomato: Kathryn.

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I'm a terrible cynic - but honestly, in the past couple of years how many films that came out in May the year before actually got nominated?

Gladiator came out the first week in May 2000. It was nominated for 12 Oscars and won five of them, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Russell Crowe).

I think Ridley Scott is hoping that lightning will strike twice, but that this time one of the statuettes will have "Best Director" engraved on it.

Admittedly, this is not in the "last couple of years." But it's relatively recent.

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I missed this yesterday - CNN 'handicapped' the Oscars: A listing of the anticipated 'big' releases in 2006:

"Kingdom of Heaven" -- Ridley Scott ("Gladiator") directs the saga of a battling knight (Orlando Bloom) in Jerusalem during the Crusades. Scott revived the moribund Roman epic. If anyone can make a Crusades story palatable in this politically correct age, he's the man.

No mention of Elizabethtown, though. :(

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I'm a terrible cynic - but honestly, in the past couple of years how many films that came out in May the year before actually got nominated?

Gladiator came out the first week in May 2000. It was nominated for 12 Oscars and won five of them, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Russell Crowe).

I think Ridley Scott is hoping that lightning will strike twice, but that this time one of the statuettes will have "Best Director" engraved on it.

Admittedly, this is not in the "last couple of years." But it's relatively recent.

Thanks - I won't give up all hope then!

But I'm not going to hold my breath either - recent trends make it seem awfully unlikely still.

Kathryn.

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No mention of Elizabethtown, though. :(

You know, I think Elizabethtown will be a bit like Jerry Maguire. At first glance, people will write it off as a light romantic comedy with an interesting cast from a director who tells a great story. But, I look for word of mouth to REALLY start generating the buzz about it. It looks deceptively simple on the surface, but is actually ABOUT something and is full of real human emotions.

That said, it may be that when the marketing campaign gets cranked for E-town, things will really begin to heat up in the media. KOH is everywhere right now (at least in industry terms), and has an A-list director, so it's going to get noticed this early.

Of course, this is just my humble opinion. :paperbag: That and 3 bucks can get you a Starbucks coffee. (maybe)

Zoe :heart:

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Thanks for the info.

To see Jackson's name is lovely. Not like he needs any more awards, but this year I was so glad to hear things like:

In Bafta: "I thank this, I thank that. and I thank Peter Jackson taking the year off."

Don't remember any from GG at the moment. I am sure there is something related.

In Oscars: "I am happy that there isn't a fourth installment of LotR."  (Sorry fellow, we do not agree with you !)

Or statements like: "If it wasn't for LotR Clint would get the second with Mystic River."

He caused a new way of thanking in acceptance speeches.

:lol: Yeah, I noticed the LOTR mention too. PLUS.Legolas in the opening clip. That let me know it was going to be a LOTR/Orlando night. :yahoo: *sigh* I think they should make it a law that we have a PJ movie every year and that a certain "Elf" has to appear in it. :naughty: I can see him in the jungle with King Kong going,

"Don't you mess with the trees.they're old.and they'll be very angry." :lol:

Also, did you watch when they talked about costumes and that animated character, (sorry.don't know who she is) mentioned Ngila Dickson? :lol:

~Cathy~

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Guest Meldod-o

It is way too earily to tell with the Oscar nods. Honestly, you have to be careful with war/epic dramas. They can go one of two ways; completely awesome like Gladiator or completely flop, like King Arthur. I, like every one else, have totally high hopes for this movie, especially since KOH isn't about glorifying the crusades. :oh: Its stange, don't you think, that Orlando is a Buddist, yet he did a movie depicting one of the strongest Christian time periods. Maybe I'm the only one who sees the irony in that. :unsure:

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Guest earthcrosser

Is he really a Buddhist? I saw a little article on him going through some ceremony.but I haven't heard a peep since.

Anyway- I'd love to think that either this or E-town could do it for him, but I just don't know. I think it would be fabulous if at least the movie was nominated (not that I wouldn't LOVE for him to be, too), so he could get some positive exposure for his work.

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