Oscar Retrospective 2004

Leading up to the 84th Annual Academy Awards the In The Bagg staff will take a look back at the past ten years of the awards and will give their opinions on whether the movies/winners held up, if they academy completely shat the bed, and how strong that particular year was for movies.  Please note that the date in the title is for the year the movies were released, not the year the actual awards ceremony took place (so the Oscar Retrospective 2001 are for the awards that took place in 2002, or the 74th Academy Awards).

Chris:  This might be the weakest year for nominated movies  yet.  While I haven’t seen Million Dollar Baby  I hear it definitely does not stand the test of time.  Although none of the other nominees were very deserving either.  This year also begins the trend of the “indie” movie nomination and Sideways was an absolute snoozefest.  Look at all the biopic performances nominated for leading actor, wow.  Foxx deservedly won for his take on Ray Charles.  I can safely say I’ve seen none of the movies any of the nominees for leading actress were in so I’ll comment on supporting actress and say they definitely got it right with Cate Blanchette.  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is/was one of the most creative screenplays in a while and was rewarded justly.

Will:  What a terrible year in American film. None of the films nominated strike one as Best Picture, but in sheer scope alone, the Howard Hughes biopic “The Aviator” may have been the best. Instead, it went to the drawn out yarn (or rather yawn) “Million Dollar Baby.” All the acting performances from the year were very uninspired; therefore there was no case against Hilary Swank and Jamie Foxx for their respective performances in “Million Dollar Baby” and “Ray.”

JoeDog: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was the best movie of the year. The only nominations the Academy bestowed upon it were Best Screenplay (for which Kaufman, Gondry, and Pierre Bismuth won the award) and Kate Winslet was nominated for acting. Million Dollar Baby is a fine picture to win with no Eternal Sunshine in the race. I never would have imaged that Willie Beamen and The Next Karate Kid would win an Oscar (or two), but they were both well deserved.

Jake K: The list of Best Picture runners up is now a list of superior films to the winner, Million Dollar Baby. As it turns out, Director Clint Eastwood may have some sway in Hollywood. Both Finding Neverland and Sideways have stood the test of time better. Ray is at times a boring, drawn out love song to the great Ray Charles but Jamie Foxx is impressive here. He certainly deserved his Oscar.

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