Academy Winner/My Pick - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Commentary - Out of these five, I think ROTK is definitely the best, although I much preferred the first two of the saga. Lost in Translation would be a close second, but it definitely deserve Best Picture, even though it was a good film. The other three are ok, but not fantastic. Without Finding Nemo, City of God, or American Splendor, this award doesn't mean much to me.
Academy Winner - Peter Jackson "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
My Pick - Fernando Meirelles "City of God"
Commentary - Jackson should have won for the first installment, then the brilliant Fernando Meirelles could have won a most deserving Oscar for his gritty, yet brilliant vision in City of God.
Academy Winner - Sean Penn "Milk"
My Pick - Bill Murray "Lost in Translation"
Commentary - I had a hard time choosing between Murray and Depp, but since Depp seems destined to eventually win an Oscar, and Murray's performance was a once in a lifetime performance, and he was the veteran who deserved, I went with good old Bill. Penn should have won for Dead Man Walking.
Academy Winner/My Pick - Charlize Theron "Monster"
Commentary - Theron was absolutely brilliant as Aileen Wuornos, was vunerable, tough, and completely transformed herself into her character. An acting feat that deserved all the praise it received.
Best Supporting Actor
Academy Winner - Tim Robbins "Mystic River"
My Pick - Benicio Del Toro "21 Grams"
Commentary - I always thought that Robbin's performance in Mystic River was overrated. And since I wanted someone different to win in 2000 (as you shall see), I think that this would have been a nice year to honor the wonderful Benicio Del Toro, who was brilliant in 21 Grams.
Best Supporting Actress
Academy Winner - Renee Zellweger "Cold Mountain"
My Pick - Patricia Clarkson "Pieces of April"
Commentary - Renee Zellweger won this award I think out of default, because it was not her best performance, or the best of the bunch by any means. So I am going with the always incredible Patricia Clarkson who gave a powerful performance in Pieces of April.
Best Animated Feature
Academy Winner/My Pick - Finding Nemo
Commentary - I think this was the best film of 2003, besides City of God, and it was an animated masterpiece with vivid colors, a wonderful script, and a brilliant idea that was executed perfectly.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Academy Winner - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
My Pick - Shari Springer Berman & Robet Pulcini "American Splendor"
Commentary - In terms of the screenplay, American Splendor was definitely the best of the bunch, a well translated story that was funny and brilliant.
Best Original Screenplay
Academy Winner- Sofia Coppola "Lost in Translation"
My Pick - Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, and David Reynolds "Finding Nemo"
Commentary - This one was tough, but in my opinion there was no better script than that of Finding Nemo, although I do enjoy Sofia Coppola, so no insult intended.
Best Documentary Feature
Academy Winner/My Pick - The Fog of War
Commentary - As a political person, this was a fascinating and gripping documentary, that was extremely well made.
Best Foreign Language Film
Academy Winner/My Pick - The Barbarian Invasions
Commentary - Canada always makes great films, and they usually get ignored, so I was happy when this gem picked up an Academy Award. An excellent film.