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Don't be surprised if Johnny Depp wins
Arthur J Pais | February 26, 2004 17:07 IST
While many people would think the Best Actor Oscar could go either to Sean Penn (Mystic River) or Bill Murray (Lost In Translation), don't be surprised if the surprise nominee Johnny Depp, who played the flamboyant buccaneer in Pirates Of The Caribbean, goes home with it.
Depp who, like Penn and Murray, has the reputation of being a Hollywood maverick, has never had a hit as big as Pirates. With a $325 million gross in North America, it is by far the most seen film in the Best Actor category.
The Jude Law nominated Cold Mountain is headed for a $95 million gross and so is Mystic River. Lost In Translation, now available on DVD and video, has grossed about $44 million and is fast fading.
Another grim and yet haunting film House Of Sand And Fog that brought a nomination for Ben Kingsley is also fading fast. Its $12 million gross may seem too small compared to mainstream films but this film is an arthouse success.
Alec Baldwin, a surprise nominee in the Supporting Actor category for playing a wily casino director in The Cooler, has much more on his mind these days than the Oscars.
Baldwin, famous for his outspoken liberal stances and pro-animal right activities, is now in a custody battle with ex-wife Kim Basinger.
He has very tough competition. The general consensus has it that Tim Robbins could walk away with the trophy. But if there is an upset, the winner could be Benicio del Toro for his work in the grim but riveting 21 Grams. And that would be his second win following the hit drug drama Traffic.
Which is the least seen of all Oscar nominated films in the acting category?
It certainly is Pieces Of April, which grossed just about $2 million and went into DVD sale last week. Patricia Clarkson, who plays in it a bitter cancer-fighting mother who ultimately has to reconcile with her rebellious daughter, has acted in many independent films, including The Station Agent, but it is Pieces Of April that is getting her renewed recognition.
She is not confining herself to small movies all the time, though. You will see her as the wife of an eccentric and tough hockey coach (played by Kurt Russell) in the current hit, Miracle.
Katie Holmes as the rebellious daughter is great fun. The film was written and directed by Peter Hedges, who deserves far more recognition than the film has brought so far.
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