WHO WANTS A NAKED GOLD GUY? Image

WHO WANTS A NAKED GOLD GUY?

By admin | February 16, 2000

AND THE NOMINEES ARE… The nominations for the 72nd Academy Awards have been announced, and the questionable tastes of an aged membership will be further defined on March 26. In a crazy year for film, the Academy alternated between tough, competitive selections and some truly appalling ones that reveal which films they actually saw. “The Limey”, “Three Kings”, and “Fight Club” were basically shut out, while “Being John Malkovich” did not get anywhere near the recognition it deserved. Predictably, some mediocre Oscar-bait made the cut, but not nearly anything as divisive as “Titanic” or “Life is Beautiful”. Still, “The Cider House Rules” qualifies as inoffensive political film of the year, and was probably pushed by Miramax since no one really liked “The Talented Mr. Ripley” all that much. I’m glad to see “The Insider” did well as it’s a difficult film about a seemingly esoteric subject. I have to say, though, 1999 was a great year for film that went largely unreflected by this list of nominees. Years from now, people will look at the following list and largely ask why these were the films nominated.
Here’s the breakdown of nominations and analysis:

Best Picture:

AMERICAN BEAUTY (DreamWorks)

THE CIDER HOUSE RULES (Miramax)

THE GREEN MILE (Warner Bros.)

THE INSIDER (Buena Vista)

THE SIXTH SENSE (Buena Vista)

SCREWED:
“Being John Malkovich”
“The Limey”
“Magnolia”
“The Straight Story”
“Sweet and Lowdown”
“Three Kings”
… and God knows how many other worthier films.

“The Insider” deserves to be here while “The Cider House Rules” is more commendable than entertaining. The rest are a bunch of overrated mass-market films that were probably the only actual films the membership actually saw. At least Miramax was unable to shove “The Talented Mr. Ripley” down everyone’s throats.
I’d pick: THE INSIDER

Best Actor:

Russell Crowe in THE INSIDER

Richard Farnsworth in THE STRAIGHT STORY

Sean Penn in SWEET AND LOWDOWN

Kevin Spacey in AMERICAN BEAUTY

Denzel Washington in THE HURRICANE

SCREWED:
Terrence Stamp in “The Limey”
Jim Carrey in “Man on the Moon”
George Clooney in “Three Kings”

Now here’s some real competition. I’d argue that there were several performances superior to Kevin Spacey, but the other four, remarkably, really are the best of the year. Amazingly, Jim Carrey was NOT nominated.
I’d pick: Richard Farnsworth in THE STRAIGHT STORY

Best Actress:

Annette Bening in AMERICAN BEAUTY

Janet McTeer in TUMBLEWEEDS

Julianne Moore in THE END OF THE AFFAIR

Meryl Streep in MUSIC OF THE HEART

Hilary Swank in BOYS DON’T CRY

SCREWED:
Cecilia Roth in “All About My Mother”

Daaaaamn… now we’re having some trouble. I think these nominations were based upon the promotional material sent to voters by the studios. What are you going to do? It was not the year of the woman. Cecilia Roth got screwed, but generally it was slim pickings.
I’d pick: Um… Um… Julianne Moore in THE END OF THE AFFAIR

Best Supporting Actor:

Michæl Caine in THE CIDER HOUSE RULES

Tom Cruise in MAGNOLIA

Michæl Clarke Duncan in THE GREEN MILE

Jude Law in THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY

Haley Joel Osment in THE SIXTH SENSE

Well, John Malkovich got screwed, but what are you going to do? This category sucks exactly like the Best Picture category.
I’d pick: Tom Cruise in MAGNOLIA

Best Supporting Actress:

Toni Collette in THE SIXTH SENSE

Angelina Jolie in GIRL, INTERRUPTED

Catherine Keener in BEING JOHN MALKOVICH

Samantha Morton in SWEET AND LOWDOWN

Chloe Sevigny in BOYS DON’T CRY

OH, COME ON! There’s a whole lot of grasping at straws here and not a whole lot of stretching.
I’d pick: Chloe Sevigny in BOYS DON’T CRY

Best Achievement in Directing:

AMERICAN BEAUTY
Sam Mendes

BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
Spike Jonze

THE CIDER HOUSE RULES
Lasse Hallstrom

THE INSIDER
Michæl Mann

THE SIXTH SENSE
M. Night Shyamalan

SCREWED:
Pedro Almodovar for “All About My Mother”
David Fincher for “Fight Club”
Stephen Soderbergh for “The Limey”
Paul Thomas Anderson for “Magnolia”
Andy and Larry Wachowski for “The Matrix”
Mike Leigh for “Topsy-Turvy”
David O. Russell for “Three Kings”
…and any number of others.

“Heavy-handed Directing” is more like it. Mann and Jonze deserve to be here, but the others need to be beaten with the subtlety stick. Shyamalan gets nominated for a vastly overrated genre flick while the Wachowski brothers stunning work gets ignored? Am I supposed to believe that Lasse Hallstrom actually did better work than Anderson, Russell or Almodovar? COME ON.

Best Screenplay based on material previously produced or published:

THE CIDER HOUSE RULES
Screenplay by John Irving

ELECTION
Screenplay by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor

THE GREEN MILE
Written for the screen by Frank Darabont

THE INSIDER
Written by Eric Roth & Michæl Mann

THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY
Screenplay by Anthony Minghella

“Election” was well written if a little clunky in execution. John Irving did a decent job adapting his own book so that the film wouldn’t turn out like “Simon Birch”. HOWEVER, Darabont did sub-par work for his abilities and Minghella should not be rewarded for essentially destroying the main character of a series of books. “Oh, I like Tom Ripley, but… could he not be a sociopath?” That’s like saying, ‘I like “Romeo and Juliet”, but could they not die at the end? I’d like something a little more upbeat.”
I’d pick: THE INSIDER

Best Screenplay written directly for the screen:

AMERICAN BEAUTY
Written by Alan Ball

BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
Written by Charlie Kaufman

MAGNOLIA
Written by Paul Thomas Anderson

THE SIXTH SENSE
Written by M. Night Shyamalan

TOPSY-TURVY
Written by Mike Leigh

OK, I will agree that Alan Ball’s script more than deserves to be here, Sam Mendes just over-directed it. Again, f**k “The Sixth Sense”. The other three are keepers.
I’d pick: BEING JOHN MALKOVICH

Best Achievement in Cinematography:

AMERICAN BEAUTY
Conrad L. Hall

THE END OF THE AFFAIR
Roger Pratt

THE INSIDER
Dante Spinotti

SLEEPY HOLLOW
Emmanuel Lubezki

SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS
Robert Richardson

SCREWED:
Lajos Koltai for “The Legend of 1900”
Bill Pope for “The Matrix”

I’d pick: SLEEPY HOLLOW

Art Direction:

ANNA AND THE KING
Art Direction: Luciana Arrighi; Set Decoration: Ian Whittaker

THE CIDER HOUSE RULES
Art Direction: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Beth Rubino

SLEEPY HOLLOW
Art Direction: Rick Heinrichs; Set Decoration: Peter Young

THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY
Art Direction: Roy Walker; Set Decoration: Bruno Cesari

TOPSY-TURVY
Art Direction: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: John Bush

Again with “The Cider House Rules”? Was the art direction really the great? There’s too many sympathy votes in this category.
I’d pick: SLEEPY HOLLOW or TOPSY-TURVY

Best Achievement in Film Editing:

AMERICAN BEAUTY
Tariq Anwar

THE CIDER HOUSE RULES
Lisa Zeno Churgin

THE INSIDER
William Goldenberg, Paul Rubell and David Rosenbloom

THE MATRIX
Zach Stænberg

THE SIXTH SENSE
Andrew Mondshein

“The Cider House Rules”?
I’d pick: THE MATRIX

Best Achievement in Costume Design:

ANNA AND THE KING
Jenny Beavan

SLEEPY HOLLOW
Colleen Atwood

THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY
Ann Roth and Gary Jones

TITUS
Milena Canonero

TOPSY-TURVY
Lindy Hemming

“Anna and the King” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley”? I quess bustles and green speedos are really innovative. Whatever.
I’d pick: TOPSY-TURVY

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year:

ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER (Spain)
An El Deseo S.A./Renn/France 2 Cinema Production; Spain

CARAVAN (Nepal)
A Galate Films – France 2 Cinema – Les Productions de la Gueville/Les
Productions JMH/Antelope (UK)
Limited/National Studio Limited/Bac Films Production; Nepal

EAST-WEST A UGC (France)
YM Production; France

SOLOMON AND GæNOR (U.K., in Gælic)
An Apt Film and Television Company Production; United Kingdom

UNDER THE SUN (Sweden)
A Sweetwater AB Production; Sweden

SCREWED:
“I Stand Alone”, like it had any chance.

How many of these have you actually seen?
I’d pick: ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER, because it’s a brilliant film and I haven’t actually seen any of the other ones.

Best Original Score:

AMERICAN BEAUTY
Thomas Newman

ANGELA’S ASHES
John Williams

THE CIDER HOUSE RULES
Rachel Portman

THE RED VIOLIN
John Corigliano

THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY
Gabriel Yared

SCREWED:
Ennio Morricone for “The Legend of 1900”
Angelo Badalamenti for “The Straight Story”
I’d pick: Mmmmm… I guess THE RED VIOLIN is least offensive.

Best Original Song:

“Blame Canada” from SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT
Music and Lyric by Trey Parker and Marc Shaiman

“Music Of My Heart” from MUSIC OF THE HEART
Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

“Save Me” from MAGNOLIA
Music and Lyric by Aimee Mann

“When She Loved Me” from TOY STORY 2
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

“You’ll Be In My Heart” from TARZAN
Music and Lyric by Phil Collins

SCREWED:
All the other songs from “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut”

Unbelievably, not even the Academy could completely deny Parker and Shaiman a nomination. Happily, Aimee Mann was recognized, but we could do without the “Tarzan” and “Music of the Heart” numbers, and should Randy Newman really be nominated for another case of sonic recycling?
I’d pick: “Blame Canada” would squeek over “Save Me”, just so I could watch Trey Parker’s acceptance speech.

Best Achievement in Makeup:

AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME
Michele Burke and Mike Smithson

BICENTENNIAL MAN
Greg Cannom

LIFE
Rick Baker

TOPSY-TURVY
Christine Blundell and Trefor Proud

You’ve got to admit, that fat bastard getup was mighty impressive.
I’d pick: AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME

Best Achievement in Documentary Features:

BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB
A Road Movies Production; Wim Wenders and Ulrich Felsberg

GENGHIS BLUES
A Wadi Rum Production; Roko Belic and Adrian Belic

ON THE ROPES
A Highway Films Production; Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen

ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER
An Arthur Cohn Production; Arthur Cohn and Kevin Macdonald

SPEAKING IN STRINGS
A CounterPoint Films Production; Paola di Florio and Lilibet Foster

SCREWED, SCREWED, SCREWED:
“Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter Jr. by Errol Morris

Morris’ “Mr. Death…” was one of the best films of last year, period.
I’d pick: BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB

Best Achievement in Documentary Short Subjects:

EYEWITNESS
A Marbert Art Foundation Production; Bert Van Bork

KING GIMP
A Whiteford-Hadary/University of Maryland/Tapestry International Production;
Susan Hannah Hadary and William A. Whiteford

THE WILDEST SHOW IN THE SOUTH: THE ANGOLA PRISON RODEO
A Gabriel Films Production; Simeon Soffer and Jonathan Stack

Nope, I haven’t seen any of them, either.

Best Animated Short Film:

HUMDRUM
An Aardman Animations Limited Production; Peter Peake

MY GRANDMOTHER IRONED THE KING’S SHIRTS
A National Film Board of Canada & Studio Magica a.s. Production; Torill Kove

THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA
A Productions Pascal Blais/Imagica Corp./ Dentsu Tech./NHK Enterprise 21/
Panorama Studio of Yaroslavl Production; Alexandre Petrov

3 MISSES
A Cin‚T‚ Film Production; Paul Driessen

WHEN THE DAY BREAKS
A National Film Board of Canada Production; Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis

Best Live Action Short Film:

BROR, MIN BROR (Teis and Nico)
A Nimbus Film & Dansk Novellefilm Production;
Henrik Ruben Genz and Michæl W. Horsten

KILLING JOE
A Joy Films and Chelsea Pictures Production;
Mehdi Norowzian and Wax

KLEINGELD (Small Change)
A Production of Die Hochschule for Film und Fernsehen “Konrad Wolf” Potsdam-Babelsberg;
Marc-Andreas Bochert and Gabriele Lins

MAJOR AND MINOR MIRACLES A
Dramatiska Institutet Production; Marcus Olsson

MY MOTHER DREAMS THE SATAN’S DISCIPLES IN NEW YORK (American Film Institute)
A Kickstart Production; Barbara Schock and Tammy Tiehel

You got me.

Best Achievement in Sound:

THE GREEN MILE
Robert J. Litt, Elliot Tyson, Michæl Herbick and Willie D. Burton

THE INSIDER
Andy Nelson, Doug Hemphill and Lee Orloff

THE MATRIX
John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, David Campbell and David Lee

THE MUMMY
Leslie Shatz, Chris Carpenter, Rick Kline and Chris Munro

STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE
Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson, Shawn Murphy and John Midgley

I’d pick: THE MATRIX

Best Sound Effects Editing:

FIGHT CLUB
Ren Klyce and Richard Hymns

THE MATRIX
Dane A. Davis

STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE
Ben Burtt and Tom Bellfort

I’d pick: THE MATRIX

Best Visual Effects:

THE MATRIX
John Gæta, Janek Sirrs, Steve Courtley and Jon Thum

STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE
John Knoll, Dennis Muren, Scott Squires and Rob Coleman

STUART LITTLE
John Dykstra, Jerome Chen, Henry F. Anderson III and Eric Allard

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