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Ebert and Roeper Reveal Their Academy Award(TM) Choices

The Critics Discuss Their Annual List of Award Favorites on 'If We Picked The Winners,' Airing February 19-20, 2005

CHICAGO, Feb. 15, 2005 /PRNewswire/

On February 27th the world will watch to see who walks away with the coveted Oscar(TM) trophies. This weekend, America's leading film critics reveal their selections for the five major categories of Best Actor and Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, and Best Picture during "Ebert & Roeper's" annual special "If We Picked The Winners."

A yearly pre-awards tradition, "If We Picked The Winners" showcases work the critics believe the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences SHOULD recognize during the ceremony on February 27. This special edition of television's leading movie review program airs in national syndication the weekend of February 19-20, 2005. (Check local listings for date, time and station information.)

Roeper's pick -- Virginia Madsen, "Sideways"
Ebert's pick -- Virginia Madsen, "Sideways"

ROEPER: 'Once Madsen was given this plum role, she hit every note with grace and confidence. It's an impressive and very authentic piece of natural acting.'

EBERT: 'I agree totally with you. Here is a role for her and she glows in it. I mean you just absolutely love her, you are behind her, you have sympathy with her, you feel bad for her.'

Roeper's pick -- Alan Alda, "The Aviator"
Ebert's pick -- Morgan Freeman, "Million Dollar Baby"

ROEPER: 'My favorite here is the always respected but perhaps underrated Alan Alda for his work in "The Aviator." Alan Alda will always be identified with "MASH," but he doesn't always play the nice guy pacifist. This man is corrupt and amoral, and we know it from the start. Nice piece of work from Alan Alda.'

EBERT: 'My pick would be Morgan Freeman who is not just a supporting character in "Million Dollar Baby," but a wise observer who sees things that both the trainer and the boxer need to have pointed out to them. He finds the right note of weariness and experience, love and concern, and is the natural narrator to tell us the story.'

Roeper's pick -- Kate Winslet, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
Ebert's pick -- Hilary Swank, "Million Dollar Baby"

ROEPER: 'It's tough to argue against the devastatingly effective work of Imelda Staunton and Hilary Swank, but I'm casting my vote for Kate Winslet's screen-popping performance in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."'

EBERT: 'You go through the year and you see wonderful performances and you think maybe they deserve an Oscar, and then you see a performance that blows the others way. That happened for me last year with Charlize Theron in "Monster," and this year with Hilary Swank.'

Roeper's Pick -- Don Cheadle, "Hotel Rwanda"
Ebert's pick -- Don Cheadle, "Hotel Rwanda"

ROEPER: 'I think this is one of the great desperate man performances in recent years.'

EBERT: 'The Academy showed real imagination in nominating him for an important film like "Hotel Rwanda," and while I would be happy if Eastwood or Foxx won as best actor, I think I'd let out a whoop for Cheadle.'

Roeper's pick -- "The Aviator"
Ebert's pick -- "Million Dollar Baby"

ROEPER: 'This is a lengthy and richly detailed examination of one of the towering figures of modern times. But director Martin Scorsese is never a conventional filmmaker, and he puts his own unique imprint on every frame of this movie.'

EBERT: 'I pick "Million Dollar Baby" for best picture. I thought it was the year's best...It's very rare for a film to completely involve your emotions and your attention, to draw you in so deeply you forget it's a movie, and just start really caring about the characters.'

Roger Ebert is film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago's WLS-TV, and the author of 17 books including his latest Movie Yearbook 2005, which is available now, and The Great Movies II, which was released in February 2005.

Richard Roeper is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and film critic for Chicago's WBBM-TV, and the author of six books including Schlock Value: Hollywood at its Worst, which was released in February 2005.

"Ebert & Roeper" presents entertaining and thoughtful discussion of film, designed to give viewers information they need before they head out to their local multiplex. In addition to reviews of the newest releases, each week "Ebert & Roeper" viewers see recaps of films currently in theaters, and those recently released on video. The critics also feature a popular "Thumbs-Up Video" segment, highlighting exceptional video titles that audiences might otherwise overlook. Since 1986, the program has been distributed in national syndication by Buena Vista Television.

Source: Buena Vista Television

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