Academy Winner - A Beautiful Mind
My Pick - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Commentary - A Beautiful Mind was okay, but glossy, Hollywood chic, pretending to get to the nitty gritty of John Nash's life, when in reality, leaving so much out. Instead I would have gone with the best of LOTR, series. This one may have been just a setup, but its story and heart is what, in my humble opinion, made it better than its sucessors.
Academy Winner - Ron Howard "A Beautiful Mind"
My Pick - Peter Jackson "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Commentary - That being said, Jackson definitely deserves the credit for bringing what many people felt was unfilmable to life, and giving the series the start it needed to become so successful and so memorable.
Academy Winner/My Pick - Denzel Washington "Training Day"
Commentary - A lot of people felt that Denzel only won because Russell Crowe did so many personal things wrong and made a fool of himself. However, if I had been voting, Washington would have got my vote anyway for playing a character that was so good, and so bad at the same time, that his performance left me breathless at the end of the last frame.
Academy Winner/My Pick - Halle Berry "Monster's Ball"
Commentary - I know a lot of people felt that she won only because of the historical moment, that everyone knows that Kidman and Spacek were ten times better, and maybe their right. That being said, I loved Berry in Monster's Ball, and even though I too am a sucker for historical moments (aka Bigelow), I don't think she deserved anything less.
Best Supporting Actor
Academy Winner/My Pick- Jim Broadbent "Iris"
Commentary - To this day I am stoked that the always wonderful Jim Broadbent won a surprise Oscarin 2001. I had written him off, but the Academy finally used their brains and their hearts and rewarded a truly fantastic performance and actor.
Best Supporting Actress
Academy Winner - Jennifer Connelly "A Beautiful Mind"
My Pick - Marisa Tomei "In the Bedroom"
Commentary - No offense to Connelly, she was one of the brighter spots in the otherwise eh A Beautiful Mind, but she would have never gotten my vote. Instead I think I would have gone for Tomei here in her gut-wrenching performance in In the Bedroom. Everyone knows that it was probably a fluke that four British actresses split the votes and allowed Tomei to win in 1992 for My Cousin Vinny. That being said, she has definitely proved herself as an Oscar-worth actor, and in this year, she should have won outright.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Academy Winner - Akiva Goldsman "A Beautiful Mind"
My Pick - Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"
Commentary - The first part of the LOTR is the one that is almost entirely about its story, the connections between our characters that last us through two more chapters. The last film may have won the screenplay Oscar, but this was the one that truly deserved recognition.
Best Original Screenplay
Academy Winner- Julian Fellowes "Gosford Park"
My Pick - Christopher Nolan "Memento"
Commentary - This one was tough, because I love Gosford Park, but Memento, to this very day, remains one of the best written films of all time. In hindsight we now know just how brilliant Christopher Nolan is, and it would have been nice to say Academy Award winner in front of his name.
Best Animated Feature
Academy Winner - Shrek
My Pick - Monsters, Inc.
Commentary - Another tough category, as I loved Shrek (the first one that is), but Monsters, Inc., one of Pixars more underrated classics, is a personal favorite of mine, as I still pop it in from time to time when I need a good laugh. I'm not mad that Shrek won, it deserved it as well, but I still would have voted the opposite way.
Best Documentary Feature
Academy Winner/My Pick - Murder on a Sunday Morning
Commentary - A shocking documentary about our judicial system that still resonates ten years later.
Best Foreign Language Film
Academy Winner/My Pick - No Man's Land
Commentary - So happy this beat out the overrated Amelie. A wonderful film, plain and simple.