Lowen Liu of Slate‘s “The Hive” has suggested that each year the Academy should have a chance to re-vote the Oscar nominees from ten years back. Which is a really good idea because then the membership would be making calls based entirely on distance and hindsight (which tend to clarify things) and without the fog of politicking and emotional mood swings.
So let’s drop back a decade and hold a re-vote of the 2001 contenders:
Best Picture: In The Bedroom. Runners-up: A Beautiful Mind (actual winner, partly because of Russell Crowe’ sperformabnce but mainly, I beieve, because of James Horner’s music and the pen scene at the end), Gosford Park, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Moulin Rouge.
Best Director: Todd Field, In The Bedroom, or Ridley Scott, Black Hawk Down. Runners-up: Ron Howard, A Beautiful Mind; Robert Altman, Gosford Park; Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; David Lynch, Mulholland Drive.
Best Actor: Denzel Washington, Training Day (no change). 1st Runner-Up: Tom Wilkinson, In the Bedroom. Runners-up: Russell Crowe, A Beautiful Mind; Will Smith, Ali; Sean Penn, I Am Sam.
Best Actress: Halle Berry, Monster’s Ball (no change). Runners-up: Renee Zellweger, Bridget Jones’s Diary; Sissy Spacek, In the Bedroom; Judi Dench, Iris (I don’t even remember this film); Nicole Kidman, Moulin Rouge.
Best Supporting Actor: Ben Kingsley, Sexy Beast (hands down). Runners-Up: Jim Broadbent, Iris (actual winner); Jon Voight, Ali (great Howard Cosell inhabiting but no Oscar for an unhinged right-winger); Ian McKellen, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; Ethan Hawke, Training Day.
Best Supporting Actress: Maggie Smith, Gosford Park. Runners-Up: Jennifer Connelly, A Beautiful Mind (actual winner); Helen Mirren, Gosford Park; Marisa Tomei, In the Bedroom; Kate Winslet, Iris (still don’t remember it).