Part of my “Article of the Month” series in 2000
The nominations for the 1999 Academy Awards were announced yesterday, February 15th. Honestly, I found the list a bit disappointing. I know that this year must have been a very hard year to nominate, since there were so many good films. In fact, I don’t remember a year with such a wide variety of quality pictures. Still, there were a few films that didn’t get any recognition in the voting:
The Blair Witch Project
Say what you will, this was the most innovative film in years and deserved something, for crying out loud! If a couple of artsy guys with a huddle of actors in the middle of a thick forest touting hand-held cameras isn’t the most Original Screenplay, I don’t know what is.
Ok, maybe not for Best Picture, but I really can’t believe it didn’t make the Cinematography category. Personally, I think that it should have bumped Sleepy Hollow. Hollow was good, but not that flashy. Three Kings had the most interesting and randomly inventive filming I’ve seen all year.
Run Lola Run
Well, I didn’t see any of the other nominated Foreign Films. Heck, I haven’t heard of any of them, but I can’t understand why Lola didn’t make the cut. It was an extremely entertaining German film. In a word: kinetic. I don’t think I saw this much energy and style on screen this year, except maybe for Fight Club.
This really should have made the Animated Short list. It was a very original film, ground-breaking animation, and great allegorical story. Behind Giant might have been Toy Story 2, which was every bit as entertaining and satisfying as its prequel.
Man On the Moon
I didn’t care for the movie, but poor Jim Carrey. Twice now (including The Truman Show), he’s done an outstanding job and the Academy fat cats have snubbed him.
And finally some films that didn’t get as many nominations as they deserved:
After sitting through the 3.5 hour epic twice to be sure, I think that P.T. Anderson’s film should have gotten The Green Mile’s spot. Green Milewas much more overly sentimental thanShawshank Redemption. It was basically a very well-told apology for anti-capital punishment.Magnolia was an ambitious piece of filmmaking, enough said.
Didn’t see it, but I was disappointed to see the film judged for its artistic license instead of its production quality. I’m referring to the recent controversy raised over its historical accuracy. This seems rather hypocritical of the Academy to be swayed by these allegations when a film like The Insider is produced on similar subjective grounds. But because the object of that film’s lambasting was Big Bad Tobacco, everything is ok. For the record, I loved The Insider. And the producers, et al, are very eligible for their nominations, simply because I believe that it is not necessarily the artist’s responsibility to get history right. That’s what artistic license is. Hurricane should have made it over The Sixth Sense. I’m just glad they at least nominated Denzel for Best Actor.
I’m terribly biased on this one. But still, I think Fincher has so completely outdone himself in cinematography and effects this time out. I just finished reading the book, and Fincher’s film version of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel is fully realized, matching the anesthetization of corporate life and the frenetic pace of the underground fringe. On top of that is Edward Norton and Brad Pitt in their best respective roles to date. Fincher is the best thing that could have happened to these guys.