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Aaron writes...

If this gets through in time, great, if not, Todd can just delete it.

It's Oscar time again, and so it's time to Ask Greg... for his picks.

Best Actor
• Russell Crowe in 'A Beautiful Mind'
• Will Smith in 'Ali'
• Denzel Washington in 'Training Day'
• Tom Wilkinson in 'In the Bedroom'
• Sean Penn in 'I Am Sam'

Best Actress
• Halle Berry in 'Monster's Ball'
• Judi Dench in 'Iris'
• Nicole Kidman in 'Moulin Rouge'
• Sissy Spacek in 'In the Bedroom'
• Reneé Zellweger in 'Bridget Jones's Diary'

Best Supporting Actor
• Jim Broadbent in 'Moulin Rouge'
• Jon Voight in 'Ali'
• Ethan Hawke in 'Training Day'
• Ian McKellen in 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'
• Ben Kingsley in 'Sexy Beast'

Best Supporting Actress
• Jennifer Connelly in 'A Beautiful Mind'
• Hellen Mirren in 'Gosford Park'
• Maggie Smith in 'Gosford Park'
• Marisa Tomei in 'In the Bedroom'
• Kate Winslet in 'Iris'

Best Picture
• 'A Beautiful Mind'
• 'In the Bedroom'
• 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'
• 'Moulin Rouge'
• 'Gosford Park'

Best Director
• Robert Altman for 'Gosford Park'
• Ron Howard for 'A Beautiful Mind'
• Baz Luhrmann for 'Moulin Rouge'
• David Lynch for 'Mulholland Drive'
• Ridley Scott for 'Black Hawk Down'

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
• 'A Beautiful Mind'
• 'Ghost World'
• 'In the Bedroom'
• 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'
• 'Shrek'

Writing (Original Screenplay)
• 'Amelié'
• 'Gosford Park'
• 'Memento'
• 'Monster's Ball'
• 'The Royal Tennenbaums'

Animated Feature Film

• 'Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius'
• 'Monsters, Inc.'
• 'Shrek

(What do you think of the creation of this awards category? Is animation finally getting the recognition it deserves in America, or is it that now that they've solidified their position as the only game in town, Disney wants some Oscars to bolster box office?)

That's all the major races, so... Pick 'em. Tell us who should and/or will be in those envelopes. :)

Greg responds...

Well, stretching my memory (and I don't pretend to remember who won)...

Best Actor: The only performance I saw was Crowe's. I thought he was good in a movie that wasn't.

Best Actress: The only performance I saw was Berry's. I thought she was great.

Supporting Actor: Only performance I saw was McKellan's. He was great.

Supporting Actress: The only performance I saw was Connelly's. And again, I thought she was good in a very flawed film.

Best Picture: Only saw Beautiful Mind and Lord of the Rings. And between those I'd have given it to Rings in a heartbeat. Instantly.

Director: Only saw Beautiful Mind and Mulhulland Drive. Liked Mulhulland Drive a LOT more, but I can't say I'd be eager to give the award to either Howard or Lynch. It wasn't either man's best work by a long shot and both pictures were very flawed in my opinion. For very different reasons.

Adapted Writing: Only saw Beautiful Mind, Rings and Shrek. Once again, Rings takes my vote by a landslide.

Original Writing: Only saw Memento and Monster's Ball. I only saw Memento once, but I still suspect that at a second viewing I'd confirm my suspicion that clever as it was, the plot doesn't quite hold up to scrutiny. So I think I'd go with Monster's Ball.

Animated Feature Film: Saw all three of these. (The dis/advantage of having small kids is that you see all kids movies and very few grown up movies.) I actually liked all three of these but didn't love any of them. I think at the time I'd have gone with Shrek, which had the most sheer enjoyment. But having seen them all again more often than I'd care to, I think Monsters, Inc. is the one that holds up the best.

As to the category itself, I find it a mixed blessing. A guarantee of some recognition for a tremendous art form. And yet a ghettoization of that same art form. Disney may have supported the creation of the category for obvious prestige and monetary reasons, but that has little to do with my mixed feelings about it.

Response recorded on September 23, 2003