Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, ...

Our way early look at Best Picture contenders

”Chicago” will try to surpass ”Moulin Rouge”’s Oscar success, while ”The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” aims to become the first nominated sequel since 1990’s ”The Godfather Part III.” ”The Hours” boasts an impressive pedigree — its cast includes six past nominees or winners — while other book-into-movie contenders include the Holocaust drama ”The Pianist” and two period crime sagas: ”Road to Perdition” and ”Gangs of New York” (pictured). ”Perdition” star Tom Hanks also returns with Steven Spielberg’s ”Catch Me if You Can,” which will compete with a push by Twentieth Century Fox for another Spielberg project, ”Minority Report.” Quirkier candidates could include the Jack Nicholson comedy ”About Schmidt,” the trippy biopic ”Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” Spike Jonze’s even trippier ”Adaptation,” and the Mexican crossover hit ”Y Tu Mama Tambien,” which could get an early boost from critics’ groups. Reviewers may also lend some awards heat to the 1950s throwback ”Far From Heaven” and the bizarre romance ”Punch-Drunk Love,” while crowd-pleaser ”My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and potential crowd-pleaser ”Antwone Fisher” could win over the Academy as well. And then there’s the latest entry from Spike Lee, ”25th Hour,” which — Oscar history alert! — if things also go well with ”Adaptation,” could make this the first year two Best Picture nominees were directed by men named Spike.

25th Hour
  • Movie
  • 134 minutes