Best Art Direction
Academy Winner/My Pick - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Commentary - The Academy definitely got this one right, as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon remains today one of the coolest movies to watch. A lot of that is due to the Visual Effects (which were robbed of a nomination), and its beautiful cinematography.
Best Costume Design
Academy Winner/My Pick - Gladiator
Commentary - A great choice for the Academy. Every single film/television show that has come out since Gladiator has utilized basically the same costumes that Janty Yates created. Plus, she didn't recycle old, cliche costumes from movies like Cleopatra, but capture a grittier side, which was a nice diversion.
Best Film Editing
Academy Winner/My Pick - Traffic
Commentary - I thought that the Academy might go for Gladiator, as they seem to always go for the longer, more epic film (which is surprising considering the category). But I was so glad when they went with the taut, and well-put-together Traffic. It takes a lot of work to make an ensemble piece like this work, without leaving its characters on the cutting room floor. Luckily, the film editors of Traffic were able to make it work.
Academy Winner - Dr Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
My Pick - Shadow of the Vampire
Commentary - Sorry to the Grinch, but I could not with good conscious vote for him to win an Academy Award. Not only that, but I loves Shadow of the Vampire, and while the makeup was not over the top like the Academy's pick, it was still pretty darn cool.
Best Original Score
Academy Winner - Tan Dun "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"
My Pick - Hans Zimmer "Gladiator"
Commentary - I think that the waves alone were award-worthy. Maybe a little more flashy than Gladiator, but I think that it would have gotten my vote over the Best Picture winner.