Movie lovers need not wait until an Academy Award presenter says "And the Oscar goes to..." in order to learn who are the winners in this season's gold rush. Heck, no! TV Guide Online can reveal right now which actors have scored at least in our entirely unofficial survey of the nominees' sound bites and press statements. Taking into consideration the thought that obviously went into the contenders' (and their flaks') remarks, we have come to the conclusion that, by golly, there ought to be a prize for best preacceptance speech. C'mon, why not? If a trophy isn't deserved by celebrities that successfully temper their excitement with what passes for genuine humility, then we don't know when one is due. Consider the justifications and exclamations offered up by 2003's title-seekers:
IT'S OUR JUST DESSERTS
"Bringing Fosse's masterpiece from the stage to the screen has been a dream come true for me... This is truly the icing on the cake." Producer Marty Richards, best picture for Chicago
"The experience of working on this film with [director] Stephen Daldry and Meryl Streep was an actor's dream, so this is icing on the proverbial cake." Ed Harris, best supporting actor for The Hours
"I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would someday be nominated for an Oscar... This is the icing on what has been a delicious cake." Catherine Zeta-Jones, best supporting actress for Chicago
Our take: Hey, we like to have as much pun as the next guy, but any way you slice these cake analogies, they don't cut it.
LOCATION IS EVERYTHING
"It is such a thrill... It was particularly nice to be with Ed Harris, Stephen Daldry and [screenwriter] David Hare here in England, where we made the film, at the time of the nominations announcement." Nicole Kidman, best actress for The Hours
Our take: We like the way Kidman used geography as a means of bringing her project full circle. Day-Lewis's reference to his new country of residence, on the other hand, reads like a weather bulletin.
"I am thrilled and honored to be nominated, and also aghast that anybody could imagine that I could surpass the unsurpassable Katharine Hepburn in any category whatsoever. But it's lovely to even be mentioned in the same sentence." Meryl Streep, best supporting actress for Adaptation (With 13, the two-time Oscar winner surpasses Hepburn's record for most career acting nods.)
Our take: Given Streep's trademark humility, we can actually hear these words come out of her mouth. Even more telling, we believe her.
ENOUGH ABOUT ME, LET'S TALK ABOUT YOU
"Filming Adaptation was such an amazing experience. I signed on for the film to work with [screenwriter] Charlie [Kaufman] and [director] Spike [Jonze], who are true artists. I am very happy to be included in such great company along with some of my favorite actors, and I am thrilled for Meryl, Chris [Cooper] and Charlie." Nicolas Cage, best actor for Adaptation
Our take: Ah, yes, heap the praise on the co-stars. Very shrewd strategy, that. Boring, but shrewd.
BLOOD, SWEAT AND TROPHIES
"It was a difficult movie to make, one I have dreamed of for several decades, so this recognition means a great deal to me." Martin Scorsese, best director for Gangs of New York
"The whole process of writing Adaptation was an anxious and uncertain time for me. So, to be nominated for an Academy Award is a nice and very surprising ending to the story of this assignment." Charlie Kaufman, best original screenplay for Adaptation
Our take: Rich and famous Hollywood types playing the sympathy card?! To get an Oscar?! Are they kidding?! This tactic is likelier to backfire than an '84 Volaré. Then again, these two are both gonna win no matter what, so maybe we shouldn't quibble.
IT'S AN HONOR TO BE... ZZZZZZZZZ
"I am thrilled with the nomination and particularly proud to be a part of this extraordinary film." John Kander, best song for Chicago's "I Move On"
"I am incredibly flattered and excited to have been recognized with this nomination." John C. Reilly, best supporting actor for Chicago
"I am so overwhelmed by the extraordinary recognition we received from the Academy this morning. I am especially honored that our movie, which was truly a labor of love, has been included among these great films." Rob Marshall, best director for Chicago
Our take: Wha? What? Where are we? And why is there a puddle of drool on the desk? Must. Get. Coffee.
ALL THAT JAZZED
"I am so excited, indescribably happy and am shamelessly dancing down the halls of the Ritz [in Paris]. I am grateful for this experience, this honor, and to be sharing this day with my friends. Renée Zellweger, best actress for Chicago
Our take: Spoken like a girl who used to work at the Olive Garden. How could you not root for her?
For a complete list of Oscar nominees, click here.