Oscar 2004 Public Service

Some people care — others don’t care at all — and still others care only to the extent that they might win the office pool. It is to this third group that I offer these predictions. I’ve won my office pool 3 out of the last 5 years, tied for second once, and a disturbing 6th in 2000 (roughly 25-30 participate each year).

These are not MY personal picks — these are the picks that I think "the Academy" will favor. My confidence level (on a scale of 1 [least] to 10 [most]) is also included:

Best Picture: LOTR – The Return of the King — 8
Best Actor: Sean Penn, Mystic River — 6 (watch out for Bill Murray, especially if Robbins wins Best Supporting Actor!)
Best Actress: Charlize Theron, Monster — 8
Best Supporting Actor: Tim Robbins, Mystic River — 6
Best Supporting Actress: Renee Zellweger, Cold Mountain — 7
Best Director: Peter Jackson, LOTR – The Return of the King — 9
Best Animated Feature: Finding Nemo — 9
Best Original Song: "Into the West", LOTR – The Return of the King (Fran Walsh, Howard Shore, Annie Lennox) — 6
Best Foreign Film: The Twilight Samurai (Japan) — 6 (this is not the Tom Cruise film!)
Best Documentary Feature: The Fog of War — 5 (could be Capturing the Friedmans)
Best Documentary (Short Subject): Asylum — 6
Best Animated Short: Boundin’ — 2 (this is a 95% pure guess)
Best Live Action Short: Two Soldiers — 8
Best Screenplay (Original): Sofia Cappola, Lost in Translation — 8
Best Screenplay (Adaptation): Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman, American Splendor — 6
Best Cinematography: Master & Commander: Far Side of the World — 6
Best Film Editing: Seabiscuit — 5
Best Art Direction: Master & Commander: Far Side of the World — 5
Best Visual Effects: LOTR – The Return of the King — 8
Best Costume: The Last Sumurai — 4 (this is the Tom Cruise film)
Best Makeup: LOTR – The Return of the King — 8
Best Original Score: Danny Elfman, Big Fish — 5
Best Sound Mixing: LOTR – The Return of the King — 7
Best Sound Editing: Master & Commander: Far Side of the World — 4

What do you think?