Six Spot #4: Best Actress 2003


Oscar Question

Welcome back to the Six Spot!  Before we dive into an Oscar race that produced two of my favorite Oscar-nominated performances of the 2000s, I want to thank everyone for the heated debates playing out in the comment sections of the last two Six Spots (see: Best Picture 2008 and Best Supporting Actor 2012).  One of the chief goals of this weekly column is to stoke our collective imagination and to spur interesting discussions on categories about which we might have forgotten.

Herewith, we discuss the 2003 Best Actress race, where Adrien Brody prepped for a kiss before he proclaimed that Charlize Theron had completed her domination of the 2003 awards season with an Oscar.  Unlike the last trio of Six Spots, we look at a race that had no clear snub on nomination morning.  Likewise, we finally see a race with precursors so scattered and random that deciding the Six Spot seems almost as difficult as predicting the final five spots that year.  Heck, the Golden Globes only nominated two of the eventual Oscar nominees.  So yes, the 2003 Best Actress race was kind of an exciting mess.  (Also, thanks to Twitter pal @ME_Says for suggesting this category for the Six Spot!)

Charlize Theron Oscar

The First Five Spots

The Academy Award nominees were

  • Keisha Castle-Hughes, Whale Rider
  • Diane Keaton, Something’s Gotta Give
  • Samantha Morton, In America
  • Charlize Theron, Monster
  • Naomi Watts, 21 Grams

Diane Keaton Golden Globe

Breakdown of Seasonal Hardware

  • Keisha Castle-Hughes, Whale Rider
    • Key Wins: BFCA Best Young Actor/Actress & a few critics’ “Breakthrough” awards
    • Key Nominations: SAG for Best Supporting Actress, Chicago Film Critics Association Best Actress
  • Diane Keaton, Something’s Gotta Give
    • Key Wins: Golden Globe (Musical/Comedy), NBR
    • Key Nominations: SAG, BFCA
  • Samantha Morton, In America
    • Key Nominations: BFCA, SAG Ensemble, Indie Spirit
  • Charlize Theron, Monster
    • Key Wins: Golden Glove (Drama), SAG, BFCA, Chicago Film Critics Association, Indie Spirits, NSFC, NBR (Best Breakthrough)
    • Key Nominations: LAFCA (runner-up), NYFCC (3rd place), BAFTA (but in 2004, because Monster was released a year later over there)
  • Naomi Watts, 21 Grams
    • Key Wins: LAFCA, Venice Film Festival Audience Award for Best Actress
    • Key Nominations: SAG, BAFTA, BFCA, Chicago Film Critics Association, NSFC (3rd place), NYFCC (runner-up)



  • Evan Rachel Wood, Thirteen
    • Key Nominations: Golden Globe (Drama), SAG, BFCA (Best Young Actor/Actress)
  • Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation
    • Key Wins: BAFTA, Boston Society of Film Critics
    • Ket Nominations: Golden Globe (Musical/Comedy), BFCA (Supporting), Chicago Film Critics Association
  • Scarlett Johansson, Girl with a Pearl Earring
    • Key Nominations: Golden Globe (Drama), BAFTA
  • Nicole Kidman, Cold Mountain
    • Key Nominations: Golden Globe (Drama), BFCA
  • Uma Thurman, Kill Bill: Vol. 1
    • Key Nominations: Golden Globe (Drama), BAFTA
  • Patricia Clarkson, The Station Agent
    • Key Wins: NBR (Supporting; also for Pieces of April), Boston Society of Film Critics (Supporting; also for Pieces of April), NSFC (Supporting; also for Pieces of April), Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize.
    • Key Nominations: SAG
  • Jennifer Connelly, House of Sand and Fog
    • Key Nominations: BFCA
  • Hope Davis, American Splendor
    • Key Wins: NYFCC (also for The Secret Lives of Dentists)
    • Key Nominations: Chicago Film Critics Association, NSFC (runner-up; also for The Secret Lives of Dentists)