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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 20, 1997)
By Gerry Beltz and Bret Schulte
Ahhh, mid-March, and the Oscars are once again upon us.
After a few years of no-guess races led by lumbering giants (such as "Forrest Gump"
and "Schindler's List"), 1996 seems to be a year more ready-made for neck-and-neck
competition for that golden statuette.
In addition, it would seem the film industry is finally following the lead of its musical
counterparts with a surge of support for independent filmmakers and their work.
However, for those movies made outside the omnipresent "Hollywood machine,"
nominations may be easier to come by than actual wins because of the politics involved
in academy voting.
Still, this is the Academy Awards, home of the big surprises (Marisa Tomei?), so for best supportint actor
anything can happen. Two of the Daily Nebraskan's film critics already have made their and actress nicks, see
choices, and if they don't match yours, hard cheese to you. cscAis cn nace 13.
Best Picture —
"Secrets and Lies"
"The English Patient"
Bret: Regardless of Gerry’s obvious
insensitivity to abused Australian pia
nists, we already have our “Piano”
winner for the decade, and while
quirky madcap murder-mysteries can
be done with style and bravado as in
“Fargo,” they can rarely compete with
the heavier themes that typically com
pose best picture films. In an indie
year, “Jerry Maguire” is too bright and
glossy, while “Secrets and Lies” a bit
too opaque, I opt for the studio ren
egade “The English Patient” as well.
CAMERON CROWE (left) mi Tra Craisa (Iscus a
Scott Hicks, "Shine"
Joel Coen, "Fargo"
Mike Leigh, "Secrets and lies"
Milos Forman, "The People vs. Lariy Flynt"
Anthony Minghella, "The English Patient"
Bret: I want Milos to win—for bend
ing PC over and spanking it with por
nography, obscenity and a brilliant and
pointed message about First Amend
ment rights in the Land of the Free.
But the subject matter is far too racy
and, well, real for an Oscar. I don’t
think Coen is as deserving, but he’s
my pick for his ballsy brainchild, the
dark comedy “Fargo.”
Gerry: Bret, you ignorant twit. Milos
has already won in the past, and the
academy of stingy, Anglo-Saxon males
won’t give it to him again. Even
though he deserves it, Coen will suf
fer because “Fargo” was too cool for
its own good. I’ll go with a pairing
between best picture and director, and
hand the gold-plated thing to
Minghella for his fantastic work with -
“The English Patient.”
MILOS FORMAN (certer) received bis third Best
Dlrectsr nemlsatien fer his wetfc ee "The Peeele
Vs. Lorry Flyet.”
Geoffrey Rush, "Shine"
Tom Cruise, "Jerry Maguire"
Ralph Fiennes, "The English Patient"
Woody Harreison, "The People vs. Larry Flynt“
Billy Bob Thornton, "Sling Blade"
-i Bret: Although in the past Cruise has
given us such memorable characters
as Maverick, the American pop cul
ture superhero who can fly a plane,
drive a car real fast and make a flying
cocktail, the fast-talking success story
“Jerry Maguire” is a bit too easy for
this uni-dimensional Hollywood per
sonality. I’ll go with Billy Bob
Thornton; not only does his name
strike a twang in my heart, but his
portrayal of the mentally challenged
in “Sling Blade” is the most endear
— ing character of the year.
Gerry: I’d have to agree with Bret;
Cruise just won’t see the money. No
one who has ever worn an American
flag for a diaper has won best actor,
and the same will go for Woody.
Thornton should get it for his out
standing performance, but it will prob
ably go to Fiennes so he doesn’t think
he has to portray a Nazi scumbag to
win an award.
BILLY BOB THORHTOtf mete, directed aed starred
le ”01101 Blade.” He received eereiaatleRSfer Best
Acter aad Best Adapted Screeaptatf.
Brenda Blethyn, "Secrets and Lies"
Diane Keaton, "Marvin's Room"
Frances McDormand, "Fargo"
Emily Watson, "Breaking the Waves"
Kristin Scott Thomas, "The English Patient”
Bret: Diane Keaton’s tacitly, banal
performances invariably leave me
waiting for Woody Allen to mutter his
favorite catch phrase “masturbation.”
Kristin Scott Thomas is simply toe
tightly strung, and I am simply con
fused by Blethyn. McDormand’s
“Fargo” performance was a deliciously
light and disturbing romp, and one foi
which she should be acknowledged.
Gerry: “Tacitly banal?” Guess who
swallowed a dictionary last night!
Still, this (me will be a toughie. No
one has even heard of Watson, let
alone “Breaking the Waves,” and
Bret’s confused about more than
Brenda’s last name. I’ll go with
McDormand on this one, breaking the
streak of “The English Patient,” while.
still giving a major award to a deserv
Gerry: Nobody cares about abused
Australian pianists or funny murder
mysteries, so “Shine” and “Fargo” go
down. While nobody saw “Secrets and
Lies,” everybody was heading out to
“Jerry Maguire,” and while Cruise did
give a good performance, it wasn’t
THAT great of an overall film. I’ll
stick with the tear-jerker “The English
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