The Early Show's Tracy Smith, who moderated the discussion, pointed out that 2004 has been an interesting year for potential best picture Oscar nominations. "It's a wide field," she explains, "and there's no sure thing like 'Lord of the Rings.'"
If Cagle and Hibberd each had their own Oscar ballot, she wondered, which five movies would they pick as nominees?
For best picture of 2004, Cagle's choices are:
- "Aviator": "Big shiny movie, a movie lover's movie, fascinating subject, beautifully shot, bold performances by Cate Blanchett and Leonardo DiCaprio."
- "Kinsey": "Surprisingly moving, interesting take on tricky subject matter."
- "Closer": "So raw and honest, it was uncomfortable to watch. Amazing performances from the whole cast."
- "Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera": "Overblown, over-the-top, lavish spectacle. The kind of movie that just isn't made these days. Livened up the material with a young beautiful cast. Disclaimer: Friend of mine directed it."
- "Collateral": "The summer's best thriller. One of Tom Cruise's best performances, a breakthrough performance from Jamie Foxx. Expert direction from Michael Mann."
- "Fahrenheit 9/11": Says Hibberd, "I think you have to talk about the movies that people were talking about, and 'Fahrenheit 9/11' was one of them and got people talking about politics and the election and stirred up a lot of stuff."
- "Finding Neverland": "It really surprised me and enchanted me. It was an unlikely topic, and they did it very well."
- "Hotel Rwanda": "Rips your guts out. It's a fantastic movie about a horrible time in our recent history."
- "Million Dollar Baby": Says Hibberd, "If you think you know what this movie is about, you don't. This really took me by surprise." Chimes in Cagle, "Halfway through, it just throws you for a loop."
Not only that but, as Cagle points out, "And he was in 'Collateral,' the best movie of the summer."
Hibberd's choice for best actress is Imelda Staunton in "Vera Drake."
Cagle's "guilty pleasure" was "National Treasure." He explains, "I say 'guilty' because it was so utterly implausible. I sort of love that about it. It was really fun." Critics hated it but, Cagle points out, "Audiences loved it."