Monday, February 14, 2000

Oscars 2000: Nominee Predictions

Trying to compare the movies of 1998 to the movies of 1999 is like trying to compare a republican to a democrat; they both look the same, but very few share any other similarities.

Whereas 1998 was a year of familiarity and less risk-taking (the Best Picture candidates were dominated by Elizabethan England and World War II), 1999 was something else entirely--a year that innovation took center stage and exploded with intense but rewarding results. From the eruption came some of the most unique ideas ever seen at the movies, including stories of technological takeover (“The Matrix”), cussing cardboard cutouts (“South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut”), dysfunctional families (“American Beauty”), mind unraveling (“Being John Malkovich”), journalistic integrity (“The Insider”) and even new takes on old favorites (“An Ideal Husband,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley”). The year also saw the arrival of highly anticipated events, such as the new “Star Wars” film “The Phantom Menace,” and Stanley Kubrick’s unforgettable final feature, “Eyes Wide Shut.” But especially wonderful was the continuity of the success at cinemas; many of the year’s best were not dumped out in theaters around fall, but were spaced apart for a good duration of the year.

Now the time has come to honor those that have stood out among the crowd.

Yes, my friends, the Academy Awards are not that far off; in fact, nominations will be announced only a few short hours after you read this stuff. This doesn’t leave much time for me to make my predictions on who will get nominated, but the long wait was worth it; not only did I get to see some of the scarce competitors of the year (i.e., “Magnolia”), but also had a chance to weigh the possibilities for a few weeks before finally settling down on a list that (I think) will come close to what gets nominated in the end.

The list you are about to see is composed of various selections for each of the major fields that the Academy covers (with the exceptions of the short film categories, to which I have no knowledge of). These agonizing decisions have not been based on personal tastes, but those that I feel the Academy will honor (and ignore) on the 15th when nominations are announced. Many of the hopefuls, naturally, I feel do not gain the recognition--especially “American Beauty,” which may receive up to 14 nods at the Oscars, but really only deserves about six.

In the predictions, I provide two separate lists: the first is composed of the candidates that have the most potential for being recognized, and the second mentions wild cards that could take the place of one or more of the likely nominees. I do not expect any or all of these to make the final cut, but considering the type of year that we are dealing with, these picks should be pretty close to the real thing.

Keep in mind while reading, however, that the Academy is as unpredictable as a natural disaster; heck, they could even nominate something like “Fight Club” among the other picture contenders.

Likely Choices: American Beauty
Being John Malkovich
The Insider
The Talented Mr. Ripley

Long Shots:
The Cider House Rules
Eyes Wide Shut
The Green Mile
The Hurricane

Likely Choices:
Jim Carrey, Man On The Moon
Russel Crowe, The Insider
Richard Farnsworth, The Straight Story
Kevin Spacey, American Beauty
Denzel Washington, The Hurricane

Long Shots:
Matt Damon, The Talented Mr. Ripley
Ralph Fiennes, The End Of The Affair
Tom Hanks, The Green Mile
Al Pacino, The Insider
Sean Penn, Sweet And Lowdown

Likely Choices:
Annette Bening, American Beauty
Emily Watson, Angela’s Ashes
Janet McTeer, Tumbleweeds
Meryl Streep, Music Of The Heart
Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry

Long Shots:
Nicole Kidman, Eyes Wide Shut
Julianne Moore, The End Of The Affair
Sharon Stone, The Muse
Sigourney Weaver, A Map Of The World
Reese Witherspoon, Election

Likely Choices:
Wes Bentley, American Beauty
Michael Caine, The Cider House Rules
Tom Cruise, Magnolia
Michael Clarke Duncan, The Green Mile
Christopher Plummer, The Insider

Long Shots:
Rupert Everett, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Spike Jonze, Three Kings
Jude Law, The Talented Mr. Ripley
John Malkovich, Being John Malkovich
Haley Joel Osment, The Sixth Sense

Likely Choices:
Thora Birch, American Beauty
Cameron Diaz, Being John Malkovich
Catherine Keener, Being John Malkovich
Jessica Lange, Titus
Chloe Sevigny, Boys Don’t Cry

Long Shots:
Cate Blanchett, An Ideal Husband
Angelina Jolie, Girl, Interrupted
Courtney Love, Man On The Moon
Samantha Morton, Sweet And Lowdown
Natalie Portman, Anywhere But Here

Likely Choices:
Paul Thomas Anderson, Magnolia
Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut
Michael Mann, The Insider
Sam Mendes, American Beauty
Anthony Minghella, The Talented Mr. Ripley

Long Shots:
Frank Darabont, The Green Mile
David Fincher, Fight Club
Spike Jonze, Being John Malkovich
Martin Scorcese, Bringing Out The Dead
M. Night Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense

Likely Choices:
American Beauty -- Alan Ball
Being John Malkovich -- Charlie Kaufman
Magnolia -- Paul Thomas Anderson
Three Kings -- David O. Russel
Toy Story 2 -- Doug Chamberlain, Peter Docter, Rita Hsaio, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Chris Webb

Long Shots:
Boys Don’t Cry -- Andy Bienen and Kimberly Peirce
Dogma -- Kevin Smith
The Sixth Sense -- M. Night Shyamalan
The Straight Story -- John Roach and Mark Sweeney
Topsy-Turvy -- Mike Leigh

Likely Choices:
The Cider House Rules -- John Irving
The Green Mile -- Frank Darabont
The Hurricane -- Sam Chaitan, Armyan Bernstein and Dan Gordon
The Insider -- Michael Mann and Eric Roth
The Talented Mr. Ripley -- Anthony Minghella

Long Shots:
Angela’s Ashes -- Laura Jones and Alan Parker
Election -- Alexander Payne
The End Of The Affair -- Neil Jordan
Eyes Wide Shut -- Stanley Kubrick and Frederic Raphael
An Ideal Husband -- Oliver Parker

Likely Choices:
American Beauty -- Conrad L. Hall
Sleepy Hollow -- Emmanuel Lubezki
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace -- David Tattersall
The Straight Story -- Freddie Francis
Three Kings -- Newton Thomas Sigel

Long Shots:
Being John Malkovich -- Lance Acord
Bringing Out The Dead -- Robert Richardson
The Green Mile -- David Tattersall
Magnolia -- Robert Elswit
Titus -- Luciano Tovoli

Likely Choices:
Being John Malkovich -- Peter Andrus and Gene Serdena
The Green Mile -- William Cruse and Michael Sierton
Sleepy Hollow -- Ken Court, John Dexter, Andrew Nicholson and Leslie Tomkins
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace -- Phil Harvey, Fred Hole, John King, Rod McLean, Peter Russel and Ben Scott
Topsy-Turvy -- Eve Stewart

Long Shots:
American Beauty -- David S. Lazan
Angela’s Ashes -- Fiona Daly, Jonathan McKinstry, Malcolm Middleton and Jennifer Williams
The Haunting -- Cindy Carr, Martin Laing, Jonathan Lee, Troy Sizemore and Thomas Voth
The Messenger: The Story Of Joan Of Arc -- Alain Paroutaud, Robert Le Corre and Alain Pitiel
The Talented Mr. Ripley -- John Fenner, Stefano Ortolani and Bruno Cesari

Likely Choices:
Anna And The King -- Jenny Beavan
Being John Malkovich -- Casey Storm
Eyes Wide Shut -- Marit Allen
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace -- Trisha Biggar
Topsy-Turvy -- Lindy Hemming

Long Shots:
The End Of The Affair -- Sandy Powell
An Ideal Husband -- Caroline Harris
The Messenger: The Story Of Joan Of Arc -- Catherine Leterrier
The Talented Mr. Ripley -- Gary Jones and Ann Roth
Titus -- Milena Canonero

Likely Choices:
The Matrix
The Sixth Sense
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Three Kings

Long Shots:
Angela’s Ashes
The Green Mile
Sleepy Hollow
Toy Story 2

Likely Choices:
American Beauty -- Tariq Anwar and Chris Greenbury
The Hurricane -- Stephen E. Riukin
The Insider -- William Goldenberg, David Rosenbloom and Paul Rubell
The Matrix -- Zach Staenberg
Three Kings -- Robert K. Lambert

Long Shots:
Being John Malkovich -- Eric Zumbrunnen
Bringing Out The Dead -- Thelma Schoonmaker
Cradle Will Rock -- Geraldine Peroni
The Messenger: The Story Of Joan Of Arc -- Sylvie Landra
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace -- Benn Burtt and Paul Martin Smith

Likely Choices:
The Green Mile
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Three Kings

Long Shots:
The Sixth Sense
The Talented Mr. Ripley

Likely Choices:
The Matrix
The Sixth Sense
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

Long Shots:
Deep Blue Sea
The Haunting
Sleepy Hollow

Likely Choices:
Being John Malkovich -- Gucci Westman
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace -- Mark Coulier
Tea With Mussolini -- Leonard Engleman

Long Shots:
Magnolia -- Elaine L. Offers
Man On The Moon -- Brian Penikas
Sleepy Hollow -- Peter Owen

Likely Choices:
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me -- "Beautiful Stranger”
Man On The Moon -- “The Great Beyond”
Music Of The Heart -- “Music Of My Heart”
Tarzan -- “You’ll Be In My Heart”
Toy Story 2 -- “When She Loved Me”

Long Shots:
Anna And The King -- “How Can I Love You?”
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me -- “American Woman”
Eyes Wide Shut -- Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing
Magnolia -- “Save Me”
The Matrix -- “Rock Is Dead”

Likely Choices:
Being John Malkovich -- Carter Burwell
Man On The Moon -- Peter Buck and Mike Mills
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace -- John Williams
Topsy-Turvy -- Carl Davis
Toy Story 2 -- Randy Newman

Long Shots:
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me -- George S. Clinton
An Ideal Husband -- Charlie Mole
The Muse -- Elton John
Three Kings -- Carter Burwall
Tumbleweeds -- David Mansfield

Likely Choices:
American Beauty -- Thomas Newman
Angela’s Ashes -- John Williams
Boys Don’t Cry -- Nathan Larson
Eyes Wide Shut -- Jocelyn Pook
The Talented Mr. Ripley -- Gabriel Yared

Long Shots:
The End Of The Affair -- Michael Nyman
Fight Club -- John King, Michael Simpson
The Hurricane -- Christopher Young
The Insider -- Pieter Bourke and Lisa Gerrard
Magnolia -- John Brion

Likely Choices: American Movie
Buena Vista Social Club
On The Ropes
Mr. Death: The Rise And Fall Of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.

Long Shots: 42 Up
The Source

Likely Choices:
All About My Mother
The Red Violin
Run, Lola, Run
Xiu-Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl

Long Shots: Aimee & Jaguar The Cup The Dreamlife Of Angels Set Me Free Three Seasons

Top Contenders/Projected Totals:
American Beauty: 10-11
Being John Malkovich: 8-12
Eyes Wide Shut: 3-7
The Green Mile: 4-9
The Hurricane: 3-5
The Insider: 6-8
Magnolia: 5-10
Star Wars Episode 1: 8-9

Written by DAVID KEYES

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