Dave Karger sizes up the Best Actor race. It's comedy versus drama -- Murray and Penn have the heat

By EW Staff
February 02, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Lost in Translation: Yoshio Sato

Dave Karger sizes up the Best Actor race

Predicted Winner Sean Penn, ”Mystic River”
Possible Upsets Bill Murray, ”Lost in Translation”; Johnny Depp, ”Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”
No Way Ben Kingsley, ”House of Sand and Fog”; Jude Law, ”Cold Mountain”

The only race that the Screen Actors Guild awards made more interesting this year is Best Actor, as Johnny Depp stole the booty out of the hands of expected victor Sean Penn. Could Depp now walk away with his first Oscar? Not so fast. With their huge voting body, SAG seems to favor commercial hits over smaller films in tight races. (Last year, ”Gangs of New York”’s Daniel Day-Lewis won the SAG prize over ”The Pianist”’s Adrien Brody while ”Chicago”’s Renée Zellweger beat ”The Hours”’ Nicole Kidman.) In other words, this race is still between Penn and Bill Murray. I still give Penn the edge.