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'Chicago' Leads Historic Oscar Nominations

Posted Tuesday, February 11, 2003 at 11:44 AM Central

by John Couture

Chicago proved to have "all that jazz" and then some when the nominations for the 75th annual Academy Awards were announced early this morning. The hit musical about two female murderers that enjoy tabloid celebrity led all movies with 13 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Renee Zellweger.

Martin Scorsese's Gangs Of New York followed Chicago with 10 nominations, including Best Picture, the Best Director nod for Scorsese and favorite Best Actor nominee Daniel Day-Lewis.

The Virginia Woolf inspired multi-generational drama The Hours came in third with nine nominations. Director Stephen Daldry went two for two with his second Best Director nomination in as many feature length offerings. Nicole Kidman (Best Actress) and Ed Harris (Best Supporting Actor) were both recognized for their performances in The Hours.

The nominations took on a whole new meaning as several landmark events transpired. Meryl Streep's Best Supporting Actress nod for Adaptation was her record-setting 13th nomination. She was previously tied with Katharine Hepburn for the most nominations ever by an actor or actress.

But hot on her heels is actor Jack Nicholson, who grabbed his 12th nomination for his portrayal of a grumpy retiree in About Schmidt. If Nicholson wins, he will tie Hepburn with the most Oscars won at four.

Writer Charlie Kaufman scored a first with his Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for Adaptation when his fictional twin brother Donald was listed as a co-nominee. The perspective movie stars Nicolas Cage in the Oscar nominated (Best Actor) dual roles of Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman as writers trying to adapt a book about Orchids into a feature length movie. It is the first time that a fictional person has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Speaking of Adaptation and firsts, we believe that Chris Cooper's nomination for Best Supporting Actor is the first time that a character missing both first teeth has been nominated, but our crack research staff is still trying to confirm it.

And finally, director Roman Polanski is back in the Hollywood news again with his nominations for Best Director and Best Picture for The Pianist. Polanski hasn't had an easy life in Hollywood. His wife Sharon Tate was murdered by the cult led by Charles Manson in 1969 and the director had to flee the United States in the mid 1970s after being convicted of statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl. It remains to be seen as to whether his legal troubles will prevent him from attending the ceremony.

The 75th Annual Academy Awards will be announced on March 23rd at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. Steve Martin returns as the host.

Nominees for the major awards are listed below:

Best Picture Chicago Gangs Of New York The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers The Hours The Pianist

Best Actor Adrien Brody, The Pianist Nicolas Cage, Adaptation Michael Caine, The Quiet American Daniel Day-Lewis, Gangs Of New York Jack Nicholson, About Schmidt

Best Actress Salma Hayek, Frida Nicole Kidman, The Hours Diane Lane, Unfaithful Julianne Moore, Far From Heaven Renee Zellweger, Chicago

Best Supporting Actor Chris Cooper, Adaptation Ed Harris, The Hours Paul Newman, Road To Perdition John C. Reilly, Chicago Christopher Walken, Catch Me If You Can

Best Supporting Actress Kathy Bates, About Schmidt Julianne Moore, The Hours Queen Latifah, Chicago Meryl Streep, Adaptation Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago

Best Director Rob Marshall, Chicago Martin Scorsese, Gangs Of New York Stephen Daldry, The Hours Roman Polanski, The Pianist Pedro Almodovar, Talk To Her