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Filmcritic.com’s Alternative Oscar Nominations – 1999

Today’s Oscar nominations are nothing short of offensive. So many overlooked, so many undeserving getting the nominations. The fact that The Cider House Rules was even made is bad enough, worse still that they nominate it for Best Picture of the Year.

Once again, here’s filmcritic.com’s annual revisionist version of the Oscars.

-Christopher Null, Editor-in-Chief, filmcritic.com

[Actual Oscar winners are in boldface]

Best Picture

The nominees: American Beauty, The Cider House Rules, The Green Mile, The Insider, The Sixth Sense.

I’ll accept that Go isn’t going to make it to Oscarville, but what of Magnolia, which ought to be in a close fight for American Beauty, which should otherwise trounce the competition here.

Best Director

The nominees: Sam Mendes, American Beauty; Spike Jonze, Being John Malkovich; Lasse Hallstrom, The Cider House Rules; Michael Mann, The Insider; M. Night Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense.

Again with Cider House… ugh. Mendes shouldn’t have much trouble winning here. Mann and Shyamalan did great work with their respective films, but Mendes created a classic. Anthony Minghella’s Talented Mr. Ripley, Andy & Larry Wachowski’s Matrix, and Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut all deserve nominations.

Best Screenplay (Original)

The nominees: Alan Ball, American Beauty; Charlie Kaufman, Being John Malkovich; Paul Thomas Anderson, Magnolia; M. Night Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense; Mike Leigh, Topsy-Turvy.

A legitimate race here, but American Beauty was better scripted than Magnolia, and more nuanced than Malkovich and Sense. But I would have picked South Park over Topsy-Turvy

Best Screenplay (Adapted)

The nominees: John Irving, The Cider House Rules; Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Election; Frank Darabont, The Green Mile; Eric Roth and Michael Mann, The Insider; Anthony Minghella, The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Between Election and Ripley, the Oscar should fall to Payne and Taylor for an otherwise overlooked masterwork of comedy. But shame on the Academy for ignoring David Mamet’s The Winslow Boy.

Best Actor

The nominees: Russell Crowe, The Insider; Richard Farnsworth,The Straight Story; Sean Penn, Sweet and Lowdown; Kevin Spacey, American Beauty; Denzel Washington, The Hurricane.

It’ll be tight between Spacey and Washington, but Washington should pull out the win. I won’t be the firstone to mention Jim Carrey’s snub for Man on the Moon.

Best Actress

The nominees: Annette Bening, American Beauty; Janet McTeer, Tumbleweeds; Julianne Moore, The End of the Affair; Meryl Streep, Music of the Heart; Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry.

Swank deserves it; she should win it. Though how Reese Witherspoon’s turn in Election was overlooked remains a mystery.

Best Supporting Actor

The nominees: Michael Caine, The Cider House Rules; Tom Cruise, Magnolia; Michael Clarke Duncan, The Green Mile; Jude Law, The Talented Mr. Ripley; Haley Joel Osment, The Sixth Sense.

Oscar loves kids. Osment wins an upset over Cruise and cries onstage.

Best Supporting Actress

The nominees: Toni Collette, The Sixth Sense; Angelina Jolie, Girl, Interrupted; Catherine Keener, Being John Malkovich; Samantha Morton, Sweet and Lowdown; Chloe Sevigny, Boys Don’t Cry.

Did Toni Collette even have any lines in The Sixth Sense? No, and Morton played a mute. I’ll pick Jolie to win this race, though the Oscar should be going to Cameron Diaz for Malkovich.

Other Races

Foreign Film: All About My Mother, Spain; Caravan, Nepal; East-West, France; Solomon and Gaenor, United Kingdom; Under the Sun, Sweden.

Run Lola Run or nothing.

Art Direction: Anna and the King, The Cider House Rules, Sleepy Hollow, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Topsy-Turvy.

Ripley, please, but what of Eyes Wide Shut? Ditto Fight Club.

Cinematography: American Beauty, The End of the Affair, The Insider, Sleepy Hollow, Snow Falling on Cedars.

The only thing Sleepy Hollow had going for it, so throw it a bone. Another obvious Eyes Wide Shut snub.

Sound: The Green Mile, The Insider, The Matrix, The Mummy, Star Wars — Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

While one should never bet against Star Wars, the Oscar goes to The Matrix.

Sound Effects Editing: Fight Club, The Matrix, Star Wars — Episode
I: The Phantom Menace
.

Ditto.

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.

The jazz of Mr. Ripley wins.

Original Song: Blame Canada from South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, Trey Parker and Marc Shaiman; Music of My Heart from Music of the Heart, Diane Warren; Save Me from Magnolia, Aimee Mann; When She Loved Me from Toy Story 2, Randy Newman; You’ll be in My Heart from Tarzan, Phil Collins.

Please God, let it be South Park.

Costume: Anna and the King, Sleepy Hollow, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Titus, Topsy-Turvy.

Jeez, who can say? I’ll stab at Topsy-Turvy.

Documentary Feature: Buena Vista Social Club, Genghis Blues, On the Ropes, One Day in September, Speaking in Strings.

Speaking in Strings deserves it over Wenders snoozeworthy Social Club (which will win).

Film Editing: American Beauty, The Cider House Rules, The Insider, The Matrix, The Sixth Sense.

If your film is 2 1/2 hours long, it is not well edited, Insider. I pick The Sixth Sense, which relied on perfect editing to work at all.

Makeup: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Bicentennial Man, Life, Topsy-Turvy.

Please God, let it be Austin Powers.

Visual Effects: The Matrix, Star Wars — Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Stuart Little.

Throw Star Wars a bone.

* Let me just say that I find my Oscar-picking performance this year shameful at best. CN

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