A blog entry today at Tom O'Neil's Gold Derby claims the following:
How soon those gurus have forgotten a November just a few years ago when no one saw that dark horse "Moulin Rouge!" dashing into the derby, still maintaining a steady trot from its impressive run the previous summer when it earned $56 million. As of the eleventh month of that year, Hollywood film snobs had dismissed it as featherweight fluff, certainly no threat to the lofty, snooty Academy Awards. But, yeowsa, suddenly Nicole Kidman & Co. came out can-can kicking onto the derby track when the National Board of Review named it best pic in early December. "Moulin Rouge!" gathered substantial steam in subsequent weeks, earning the second-most Oscar noms and it darned near won best pic when "A Beautiful Mind" came under attack for sugar-coating the life of its main real-life character.
It's understandable Tom might not have realized that I nailed that prediction down in August of 2001 when I initiated OscarCentral.com. After all, I didn't have much of a readership yet. But some of us DID see that "shocker" coming.
The last bit about "Moulin Rouge!" nearly taking the win...well, that's just a bit of Tom O justification for that infamous prediction of his. You know, the one he stood by all the way to the opening of the envelope, that Baz Luhrmann's film would take the prize. We all have our missteps (I've got more than a few dooseys), but I'd say it's pretty clear the silver went to "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" that year. But all the same, it was a trippy ride for that vibrant musical - the best film of the year.
He also goes on to call the nominations for "Ray" and "Seabisuit" surprises as well. I'm not sure what race you were watching Tom, but those were fairly certain in the final stretch as well.
ANYWAY, it's a valid entry nontheless because it points out the culture of proclamations and "shoo-ins" in the world of Oscar prognostication.
"It's very amusing," O'Neil says, "to hear this question echo so commonly among top Oscarlogists, who should know better: 'Hey, whatcha think is the fifth best-picture nominee?' The assumption is that the following four are slam-dunk, shoo-in, definite nominees: 'Dreamgirls,' 'The Departed,' 'The Queen' and 'Little Miss Sunshine.'"
Tom O'Neil's Gold Derby (The Envelope)