1. Spellbound was ignored in the Best Documentary category.
2. Granted, he was fun. But Johnny Depp for Pirates of the Caribbean?
3. The Triplets of Belleville doesn’t stand a chance against Finding Nemo.
4. City of God was a surprise. It’s up for cinematography, directing, film editing and writing. It’s also a Miramax film. So it was probably pushed like gangbusters.
5. A surprise Pollock win a few years ago and now a Mystic River nomination. The Academy really loves Marcia Gay Harden, don’t they?
6. Keisha Castle-Hughes for Best Actress in Whale Rider. She may be the youngest lead nominee ever. The kids are moving from the Best Supporting nominees (i.e., Anna Paguin for The Piano) to the lead roles.
7. Typically, the Best Writing category is the sympathy Oscar. So no surprise to see American Splendor, Dirty Pretty Things and The Barbarian Invasions ghettoized there (although the latter also scored a foreign film nomination).
8. Alec Baldwin in The Cooler — another surprise.
9. I feel sorry for any film up against Return of the King in the technical categories. It’s clear they don’t stand a chance.
10. A Mighty Wind up for Best Song!
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