The 74th Annual Oscar Nominations and first ever Animated Film Award

Jennifer Shuster

Although we will not know who will take home a golden statuette until next month, the 74th Annual Academy Awards show will be a very tight race. The prestigious show is set to air live from Hollywood’s Kodak Theater on March 24 on ABC and the show’s host will be Whoopi Goldberg. Oscar nominations were announced Feb. 12 with a classic fantasy tale, schizophrenic mathematician and a showgirl leading the pack.
“Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” ruled the nominations with 13 nods. This epic film nearly reached the record for the most nominations ever received in one Oscar year. That record is still held, by “Titanic” and “All About Eve” with 14 nominations each. Some of the categories “Lord of the Rings” will be competing in are Best Picture, Best Director and a slew of technical nominations.
As expected, “A Beautiful Mind” racked up eight nominations, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Connelly and the first Best Director nod for Ron Howard. Russell Crowe also received his third consecutive Best Actor nomination for portraying real life schizophrenic mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. in the Princeton University set film.
For Best Picture are “Lord of the Rings,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Gosford Park,” “In the Bedroom” and “Moulin Rouge.”
The musical “Moulin Rouge” is also a strong contender this year with eight nominations. It garnered a Best Actress nomination for Nicole Kidman, her first, as well as Best Picture.
The drama “In the Bedroom,” starring Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson and Marisa Tomei, is also hoping to take home Oscar gold. All three actors received Best Acting nominations as well.
Crowd favorites Denzel Washington, Will Smith and Sean Penn are again nominated in the Best Actor categor- Washington for “Training Day,” Smith for “Ali,” and Penn for “I Am Sam.”
Renee Zellweger was nominated for her hilarious role in “Bridget Jones’ Diary.” Joined in the Best Actress category is Halle Berry for her role in “Monster’s Ball” and Judi Dench for “Iris.”
Music and sound categories are plentiful during the Oscars. For Best Song the nomminations Paul McCartney for the theme song to “Vanilla Sky,” Sting for “Until” from “Kate and Leopold,” Diane Warren for “There You’ll Be” from “Pearl Harbor,” Enya for “May It Be” from “Lord of the Rings” and Randy Newman for “If I Didn’t Have You” from “Monsters, Inc.”
This year’s ceremony marks the first Academy award to be given for a Best Animated Feature. Nominees in this category are “Shrek,” “Monsters Inc.” and “Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.”