Best Picture |


Best Picture

A BEAUTIFUL MIND FOR IT Moviegoers enthralled by director Ron Howard’s well-mounted biopic about the struggle of schizophrenic mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. have made it 2001’s top-grossing adult drama. AGAINST IT Are those charges of inaccuracy hurting? Well, they’re not helping. Though many voters like the film, disturbingly few are passionate about it. 3-2 ODDS

GOSFORD PARK FOR IT Industry affection for maverick Robert Altman may lead some voters to acknowledge his amazing late-career triumph; the film’s accoutrements (great sets and costumes, lofty ensemble cast) scream Oscar. AGAINST IT Is it too slight to take the top prize? A muddy sound mix (made worse on USA Films’ Academy screener cassette) has many voters hitting Eject. 10-1 ODDS

IN THE BEDROOM FOR IT Writer-director Todd Field’s heartfelt, intelligent drama about a family in mourning may have extra resonance this year; small-scale films on this topic can win (witness Ordinary People). AGAINST IT The what’s-the-big-deal factor; some latecomers to the movie say it’s overpraised, and others don’t buy the third-act twist. 15-1 ODDS

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING FOR IT Looking for a sign that voters want to reward Peter Jackson’s visionary Tolkien adaptation? Here’s one: 13 nominations – and the most-nominated film almost always wins. AGAINST IT Fantasy films don’t win Best Picture; voters could wait until ‘04 to honor the trilogy. Could a late surge by Moulin Rouge steal votes? 2-1 ODDS

MOULIN ROUGE FOR IT Baz Luhrmann’s dazzling piece of eye candy revived a beloved genre; eight nominations indicate wide support, and the Best Director snub doesn’t kill its chances (Driving Miss Daisy won Best Pic without a directing nod). Its fans are devout… Against it …as are its detractors. Strong sentiment on both sides could make it a spoiler rather than a winner. 3-1 ODDS

THE LOWDOWN The Lord of the Rings and Moulin Rouge both have the vision thing, but more voters may set their sights on A Beautiful Mind.