Okay, Now I'm Mad....
An Oscar Nomination Reaction by Dr. Daniel
(Feb. 10, 1998) Well, I guess y'all saw the big announcements yesterday morning. If you're any sort of film fan, you got up early to get ready for it. Toasted your Pop Tarts, poured your Ovaltine, and settled into the good chair for the nomination declaration. Munching away as all the pre-nom blather went on, and, finally, here comes Kevin Spacey and some Academy stiff ready to read the few words that can make or break a career or three. Those few words that'll have all of America talking for the next six weeks.
Those few words that never cease to end up making me madder than Alice's hatter....
Those few words like....And the nominees are.
All right, let's look at this thing from the ground up...
Best Supporting ActorGotta confess, I was waiting for Ed Harris and Robert Duvall. Those two were the pair I was ready to open with. Then, I had John Goodman and Bill Murray on my sheet, and, in one of those either/or things, I had written Tom Sizemore and Ed Burns down for my fifth. Boy, did I step all in it or what? Nobody out of the platoons of either Thin Red Line or Private Ryan. And, with a sigh, I could miss Goodman. But, to completely ignore Bill Murray this year was just wrong. I can see, and agree with, Billy Bob Thornton's nod for A Simple Plan, but I honestly thought he'd get shelved for some new names. Geoffrey Rush is sitting in the seat reserved for fillers. A thought, though.... Michael Caine finally earns a respectable role, and decides he can come to the telecasts, and now you choose to ignore him? The wild card here is James Coburn, getting his first Oscar® nod in a long career. Anybody remember Jack Palance? Two days ago, I would've bet on Ed Harris. Now, on a hunch, I lay money on Coburn.
Best Supporting ActressHooray for Gods and Monsters and Lynn Redgrave. After the last time a Redgrave was given the chance to speak at an Oscar function, I thought sure that Lynn was going to be ignored. Rachel Griffiths from Hilary and Jackie must think she's died and gone to heaven, too. Too bad she'll never have a prayer. I would've preferred Lisa Kudrow (The Opposite of Sex) in this spot, or at least Brenda Blethyn (Little Voice).If there's justice in the world, Kathy Bates' magnetic performance in Primary Colors will keep her high in people's mind. She almost stole that movie, and her portrayal was excellent. Sorry, all, but I honestly have to question Judi Dench's nod. A six-minute part in a role that supported no other role in the movie does not deserve a nomination as a Best Supporting role. She showed up, read her lines well, I give you, but she was not the best. She'll probably win, but Bates deserves the gold here.
Best ActorGiven principle, Tom Hanks. It's an odd-numbered year, so Nolte had to be there, too. Very pleasantly tickled that Ian McKellen got a nomination for playing James Whale in Gods and Monsters. Then came the rationalization that Jim Carrey's name was not called for The Truman Show. Forget the Golden Globe barometer. What the hell goes through your minds, folks? Jim Carrey talked through his butt in two films, sure. I'll give you that. But, lemme remind you, Tom Hanks was in The Burbs and Bachelor Party. Nick Nolte was in I'll Do Anything. This was a high wrong against a performance, people. I'd also been praying that voters had memories that went back to March, and got Jeff Bridges a nomination for The Big Lebowski. I am glad they recognized Roberto Begnini, as an actor as well as a director. Thank you, though, for seeing past the flaws of the movie and recognizing the power that Edward Norton's role in American History X really had. Gotta look for McKellan here early, unless the machine for Ed Norton is strong. If nobody wants to rally behind a new winner, hand it to Hanks. I think his two will count against him, though. Blink toward McKellen in the auction.
Best ActressThe only shoe that was a lock here was Meryl Streep. Shoe for a nomination, sure, but, if she wins this thing with this part, they may very well burn the auditorium down. Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, also pretty safe bets. I was very surprised that Fernanda Montenegro got the carry-over from her role in Central Station, but, a sincere nomination does not an award make. Here's a question -- Emily Watson? Sorry, ladies, but that just don't hunt well in these woods. You ignore a star performance like Jane Horrocks in Little Voice for Emily Watson in Hilary and Jackie? I hope Joan Rivers hates all your clothes on E! This is as much of a crime as Carrey getting robbed in the Actor category. Look for Gwyneth Paltrow to win this, and listen for screams from both Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck.
Best DirectorBegnini, Speilberg, and Madden. Pow, pow, and pow. See, then I get lost. You ignore Carrey's driving performance, but nominate Peter Weir. OK, whatever. You also felt the need to ignore Neil Jordan (The Butcher Boy) and Steven Soderbergh (Out of Sight). I guess we all felt the urge to pull for Terence Malick here, too, although The Thin Red Line didn't exactly live up to it's hype as the Resurrection of the Dead Director. Would've loved to see Sam Raimi get a nomination for A Simple Plan, just so they could put the Oscar logo on copies of The Evil Dead.
Best PictureDid anyone doubt Saving Pvt. Ryan would storm the beach in this category? Thought not. I was thrilled to see the crossover vote intact for Life Is Beautiful, but I think it was asking a lot to push Life into Best Foreign Film (where it should easily win) and Best Picture. If anything might upset Ryan, I would guess Shakespeare in Love. Lot of thought has to do with how the Oscar "vibe" evolves from now through the close of voting. Ryan may be too old, while Shakespeare (or some other film) may get some momentum as the polls start to close. Shakespeare in Love is a Miramax release, and Miramax = awards, no matter what the language. Elizabeth? Not since Chariots of Fire has a less-seen movie had a chance of winning this. Not gonna happen this time, sorry.... The spot Elizabeth stole should've gone to The Truman Show or Gods and Monsters. Bet money on Private Ryan, but cover your wagers on the long shot, Shakespeare in Love.
A few final thoughts on the whole shebang
In a final note, don't despair, because my annual Loscars (for the award ignored) are coming soon. See last year's results to whet your appetite.
Best Supporting Actor:
Best Supporting Actress:
Best screenplay adapted from a previous work:
Best Foreign Language Film: