Page last updated at 08:26 GMT, Friday, 3 February 2006

Oscars panel: Todd Beasley

Two big surprises for me. The Constant Gardner and Cinderella Man were practically ignored. Both excellent films with excellent directors and casts.

Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow) is a great up-and-coming actor, but I was sure Russell Crowe (Cinderella Man) would receive a nomination over him.

Todd Beasley
Name:Todd Beasley
Age: 40
Lives: Augusta, Georgia
Occupation: Art director for media company
Favourite all-time film: The Trip to Bountiful (1985)

Still, there are a lot of politics at play here - a lot of campaigning and a great deal of money spent making sure these films and actors get seen and considered by Academy members.

And isn't it interesting that Heath Ledger gets a best actor nod, while Jake Gyllenhaal receives only a supporting nomination for Brokeback Mountain.

Both were equally as impressive and pivotal to the films plot, and both shared virtually the same screen time, though I will admit Heath Ledger did shine in this film.

Again, for me, Crash is not quite worthy of an Oscar nomination. I think this movie has been a bit over-hyped due to it's extreme message of racial tension in LA which, evidently, played well to the members of the Academy.

Hats off to its first-time writer/director Paul Haggis.

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