The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 03, 2000, Page 11, Image 11

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    - Thursday, February 3,2000
^ Page 11
Editor: Sarah Baker
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of the Oscars
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1999’s strong films make Oscar competition fierce
By Samuel McKewon
Senior editor
Editor’s note: The nominees for the Academy
Awards will be announced Tuesday, Feb. 15.
The Academy Awards is never an exact sci
ence. It never claimed to be.
And so, every year, there are a few injustices
in die nominations. A few distinct justices, too, I
might add.
The year 1999 represented the best crop of
movies in the decade. You may have to travel
back to 1976, when “Taxi Driver,” “Rocky,”
“Network,” “All the President’s Men” and
“Carrie” all graced the screen in one year to find
anything that compared. So the injustices might
be a little higher this time around.
My predictions, then:
Best Actor:
Kevin Spacey - “American Beauty”
Russell Crowe - “The Insider”
Jim Carrey - “Man on the Moon”
Richard Farnsworth - “The Straight
Denzel Washington - “The Hurricane”
Who ought to be nominated but won’t:
Matthew Broderick - “Election”
The skinny: Spacey is the favorite, but both
Crowe and Carrey have strong arguments.
Spacey has one statue to his name, while the
other two underwent physical changes for their
The dark horse is Farnsworth, who gave a
beautiful performance in “The Straight Story”
and ought to be recognized for it Matt Damon
might sneak in after his compelling turn in “The
Talented Mr. Ripley,” as might Washington for
his Golden Globe-winning portrayal of a falsely
jailed boxer. Tom Hanks might get a standby vote
far a rather average performance in “The Green
Who will win: Spacey
Who ought to win: Spacey, for giving one of
those performances that doesn’t require any real
physical change to go along with it. Lester
Burnham is the role he was made to play.
Best actress:
Annette Bening - “American Beauty”
Janet McTeer - “Tumbleweeds”
Hilary Swank-“Boys Don’t Cry”
Sigourney Weaver - “A Map of the World”
And Meryl Streep, again, because she’s
better than everybody else.
Who ought to be nominated but won’t:
Julia Roberts - “Notting Hill,” Reese
Witherspoon - “Election,” Nicole Kidman -
“Eyes Wide Shut”
The Skinny: It’s anybody’s guess after
Bening, who is firmly locked in as the favorite.
McTeer, as a roaming mother in the Southwest
and Swank, as Brandon Teena, a Nebraska boy
who is murdered because she is really a girl, will
get nods, probably, and where the other two come
from, it’s hard to say. Here’s a plug for Roberts,
who did all she could with her movie-star role in
“Notting Hill,” and Kidman, whose performance
fueled the best film of the year, “Eyes Wide
Who will win: Bening or Swank
Who should win: Kidman, who had a criti
cal 10-minute confession scene to set “EWS” on
its course and did it.
Best supporting actor:
Tom Cruise - “Magnolia”
Michael Duncan - “The Green Mile”
Jude Law - “The Talented Mr. Ripley”
Haley Joel Osment - “The Sixth Sense”
Michael Caine - “The Cider House Rules”
Who ought to get nominated, but won’t:
John Malkovich—“Being John Malkovich,”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, for any one of the five
movies he seems to do each year (including
“Magnolia” and “Flawless”)
The skinny: Give it to Cruise, who got all die
publicity for “Eyes Wide Shut” but delivered a
stronger performance in a supporting role as the
“seduce and destroy” guru. It’s affecting and,
well, brutally comical. Plus, he’s too much of a
good guy not to win. His only challenger:
Osment, the boy-wonder who sees ghosts in
“The Sixth Sense.”
Who will win: Cruise
Who should win: Cruise
Best supporting actress:
Mena Suvari - “American Beauty”
Angelina Jolie - “Girl, Interrupted”
Catherine Keener - “Being John
Chloe Sevigny - “Boys Don’t Cry”
Gwyneth Paltrow - “The Talented Mr.
Who ought to get nominated, but won’t:
Leelee Sobieski - “Eyes Wide Shut,” Her one
look (and whatever the hell it is she whispered in
Tom Cruise’s ear) says more than 1,000 lines of
The Skinny: Mixed bag, truly, but Jolie’s tal
ent has been begging for both this nomination
and a victory. She plays crazy in “Girl,
Interrupted,” and the award should put her acting
ability on par with her pillow lips in the minds of
moviegoers. Paltrow will make the nomination
trip many times in her life, if only because she
looks so damn flawless.
Who will win: Jolie
Who should win: Keener, who is one of the
few actresses out there that still moves with a lit
tle vavoom in her step. She’s the best vamp
Best Director:
Anthony Minghella - “The Talented Mr.
Sam Mendes - “American Beauty”
Michael Mann - “The Insider”
M. Night Shyamalan - “The Sixth Sense”
Pedro Almodovar - “All About My
Who ought to get nominated, but won’t:
Stanley Kubrick - “Eyes Wide Shut,” Daniel
Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez - “The Blair Witch
The Skinny: Let’s see who can’t win it:
Minghella, because he won three years ago,
Shyamalan, because nobody knows he directed
“The Sixth Sense,” and Almodovar, because he’s
foreign. So give it to Mendes, the converted
British theater director who hit a home-run in his
first movie. Knows little about cameras, lets his
people do the work, then lops off the controver
sial and contrived aiding of “American Beauty”
(hint: the boy gets framed for it). That’s a director.
Who will win it: Mendes. Can’t do any bet
ter for a debut.
Who should: Kubrick.
Best picture:
“The Talented Mr. Ripley”
“American Beauty”
“The Insider”
“The Sixth Sense”
“All About My Mother”
What should get nominated, but won’t:
“Eyes Wide Shut,” “Election,” “Three Kings,”
“Being John Malkovich” and “Magnolia” would
replace all the above.
The Skinny: “All About My Mother” may be
nominated for best foreign picture, thus opening
up a spot. Either way, it wouldn’t be a threat.
“The Sixth Sense?” Not quite important enough.
“American Beauty” will win, and here’s why: it’s
original (not an adaptation), it^s shorter than die
rest (on video, this does matter) and right now it’s
hip to be cynical. It wasn’t the best movie of the
year, most critics agree. But it was in nearly
every top 10 list. It is not a movie that will be for
gotten with time, either. The sleeper is “The
Know this: it will be a lot more memorable
than last year’s winner, “Shakespeare in Love.”
What will win: the “Beauty ”
What should: “Eyes Wide Shut” or
“Magnolia.” I’ll take these to my grave.