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Once again, I boldly choose those who I wish could get a gold guy.  They won't.  They hardly ever do.  But...here I go. Remember, guys, it's only October.  These wishes are subject to change.

winners appear in red

Nicolas Cage is my early pick for Best Actor

Best Actor 2003
Nicolas Cage - Matchstick Men (the best performance in his stellar career;
                                                   highly calculated, brillant quirks on top
                                                   of well played neuroses and apprehension; a
                                                   sweet lowlife with dimensions)
Colin Farrell - Phone Booth (rules the screen for 80+ minutes; always      
                                            captivating; meanders toward the end, but can
                                            not diminish the utter brilliance before it; you can
                                            see him become a star right before your eyes -
                                            look for it)
Sean Penn - Mystic River (a performance that layers the emotions of his
                                         character so well that he becomes someone we
                                         care about, sympathize with, forgive his faults and
                                         cry for, not some faceless loser)
Johhny Depp - Once Upon a Time in Mexico (a chance for Depp to play up
                                                                       his inherent coolness; the series
                                                                       is Banderas', but the movie is
                                                                       Depp's - he earns it
                                                                       by becoming the highly stylized
                                                                       film's most stylish asset; cool
Tim Robbins - Mystic River (a perfectly restrained performance laced with
                                            subtlety and grace behind the grit; this sad sack
                                            plays brokeness with relative ease, though you
                                            can feel your stomach turning as he falls closer to
                                            the point of no return) 





Allison Lohman is my early pick for Best Actress

Best Actress Period (There haven't been enough strong performances by women yet {as of October 23}) 2003
Marcia Gay Harden - Mystic River (plays what might seem as a clueless
                                                       character as a sympathetic, tenderhearted
                                                       woman, and does it well; great Boston
                                                       accent; look of fear on her face made me
                                                       frightened even though I was so far
                                                       removed from the action that I was
                                                       looking at it on a screen)
Allison Lohman - Matchstick Men (works as a fourteen year old to the point
                                                      that you never question her age, though in
                                                      real life the actress is in her twenties; plays
                                                      the complex emotions of a teenager
                                                      exceptionally well; too cute for words)
Jennifer Connelly - Hulk (she lent creditability to a film threatening to be
                                       too outlandish to watch; amazingly, she was able to
                                       play her reactions to what her boy toy was doing
                                       (i.e. - destroying tanks, battling mutant dogs) with
                                       believability; there was a sadness (maybe it was
                                       anxiety) that she played played so well that I could
                                       not question its authenticity)
Lucy Liu - Kill Bill (quite honestly, I never thought I would put her down for a
                              wish list of any nature, but she earned her early selection
                              with a expertly played protagonist; played her role with the
                              right mix of restraint and menace that made the character
                              work; fought well, holding her own against those who
                              obvious sword fight in movies for a living) 
Bridget Moynahan - The Recruit (I know it's from so long ago that
                                                   nobody can even remember the film, but she
                                                   was quite capable in the it; when it looked
                                                   as though she would be forced to muddle
                                                   through a standard damsel in distress role,
                                                   she took the part and made her love
                                                   interest mysterious and unbelievably alluring;
                                                   she took her character's emotions seriously
                                                   and it showed; made espionage look sexy)





Matchstick Men is my early pick for Best Picture

Best Picture 2003
Matchstick Men

Matchstick Men ****

Phone Booth

Phone Booth ****

The Matrix: Reloaded

The Matrix: Reloaded ****

Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo ****

Mystic River

Mystic River ****

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