Best Picture

Studio: Miramax

Producers: Alberto Grimaldi, Harvey Weinstein

Nominations: 10

2003 wins: None

Box office: $70 million (as of 2/9)

Weinstein on working with Martin Scorsese: “It was an honor to work with Marty on realizing his vision of a project that he has been passionate about for so many years. Marty made the set into a classroom, where the stars and everyone else were the pupils.”

What we said: “The enormously ambitious picture that has emerged after some 30 years of on-and-off effort and more than two years of production falls somewhat short of great film status, but is still a richly impressive and densely realized work that bracingly opens the eye and mind to untaught aspects of American history.” – Todd McCarthy (Dec. 6)

What others said: ” ‘Gangs of New York’ is an important film as well as an entertaining one. With this project, (Martin) Scorsese has made his passionate ethnographic sensibility the vehicle of an especially grand ambition. He wants not only to reconstruct the details of life in a distant era but to construct, from the ground up, a narrative of historical change, to explain how New Yorkers, Americans, modern folk who disdain hand-to-hand bloodletting and overt displays of corruption got from there to here, how the ancient laws gave way to modern ones.”

– A.O. Scott, New York Times

This could be the night: If Scorsese, who’s considered the sentimental favorite, wins, the film could ride the director’s coattails.

Then comes the rub: The violence turns many off and ultrabloody pics often have a hard time winning the big prize.

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