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Oscar Predictions 1998

2007 July 27
by profwagstaff

Well, it’s that time again. I know this is a little late, but with all the bustle of SXSW I kind of forgot about everyone else’s most important movie night. This is probably going to be pretty short because it’s really late, but I’ll say as much as I can. I have a feeling that […]

Well, it’s that time again. I know this is a little late, but with all the bustle of SXSW I kind of forgot about everyone else’s most important movie night. This is probably going to be pretty short because it’s really late, but I’ll say as much as I can.

I have a feeling that this is going to be one of the most unsurprising Oscars of recent times. Titanic…Titanic…Titanic…Titanic. What other movies came out this last year? It’s hard to remember. I thought that I would have seen a lot of the contenders before the big night, but I misjudged a lot of them. No Amistad. No Jackie Brown. No Wag The Dog. Oh well. Maybe next year

I’m only going to do the big ones that I know something about. I haven’t seen any of the foreign movies or any of the documentaries or shorts, so those aren’t even important to me yet. Later on I might try to see them, but who really cares? Let’s get to the big stuff.



Good Will Hunting

L.A. Confidential

As Good As It Gets

The Full Monty

As I said before, I rushed out to see all of the movies that I thought would be nominated. I guessed wrong. I’ve only seen two of these movies. Titanic is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Everything about it is perfect. (Well, except maybe Billy Zane’s character, but that’s another story. How evil can one man be?) Good Will Hunting was great. It will probably be one of my favorite movies after it comes out on video and I see it a few dozen times. The thing is, that’s not what makes Oscar winners. What makes Oscar winners is the difficulty of making the movie. The emotional impact that it makes. But most of all…the length of the movie. Most of the time, if there’s a three hour epic in the running, it will win. JFK is about the only one that comes to mind that blows this theory. The 3 hr. 9 min. movie was beat out by a merely 1 hr. 58 min. movie: Silence Of The Lambs. Titanic is 3 hr. 15 min. long.

That’ll do. None of the other movies can beat that.

My question is, what is The Full Monty doing here?!?! I haven’t seen it yet, and I’m sure it’s great, but come on! It’s this year’s Babe. It doesn’t have a snowball’s chance. It’s a 90 min. comedy. The last comedy to win was Annie Hall. This also knocks As Good As It Gets out. Not to mention the fact that no one I know really thinks that it was as good as it gets. They all said that it’s ok, but nothing special.

That means that L.A. Confidential is the only other contender. I’m a big film noir fan, but I haven’t seen this one. I can’t imagine Kim Basinger in an Oscar winner, though.

So, Titanic it is.


Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting

Robert Duvall in The Apostle

Peter Fonda in Ulee’s Gold

Dustin Hoffman in Wag The Dog

Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets
I’ve only seen two of these performances. Three of these guys have had my respect for a long time. Jack, Bob and Dustin are legends. They’re also all past winners. Robert for Tender Mercies, Dustin for Kramer Vs. Kramer and Rain Man, Jack for anything you can think of. How many does he have now? 100? 200? It wouldn’t surprise me if he won, but does he really need another one? Dustin was great in Wag The Dog, but the Academy doesn’t like to reward someone for doing an impression. (Why do I feel the need to capitalize Academy? That’s a bit much, don’t you think?) I haven’t seen The Apostle, but I read a review (in the Austin-American Statesman. I should know better.) that said that it wasn’t very good. He did it all in this one.

Writer-Director-Actor-Executive Producer. The boy’s got more hyphens than the government has for military diseases.

Peter Fonda is another veteran here. The thing is that he hasn’t done a good movie since Easy Rider. (Escape From L.A. doesn’t count. It was good in a cheesy sort of way.) He could win it just because he’s coming back in a big, but quiet, way.

Then again there’s Matt Damon. He’s the new kid in town. It’s his first big role and he wrote his own script. He probably won’t get it just because he’s young. The problem with that mentality is that they think he could do it again. He could, but, then again, James Dean (nominated twice for East Of Eden and Giant) and River Phoenix (nominated for Running On Empty) never got to. Maybe the Academy (there I go again) should learn from their mistakes and save a young talent’s life.

The other big question was “Where’s Leo?” As much as I like Leo and as talented as I think he is I don’t know that he would have fit with these guys. It wasn’t his best and most challenging performance. That would be Arnie in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? which he was nominated for…and didn’t win. It was probably either him or Matt Damon. I might have gone with Leo, but he’s been up before. Give a new “kid” a chance. (These guys are older than I am. Why am I calling them kids?)


Kate Winslet in Titanic

Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets

Judi Dench in Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown

Julie Christie in Afterglow

Helena Bonham Carter in The Wings Of The Dove

I’ve only seen Titanic, here, and I’m totally in love with Kate. I guess I’m biased.

Julie Christie has won it before for Darling. Since then she was in Dragonheart. What? Oh, and there was that little movie about the Russian doctor. I guess that was the same year as Darling, though, so that doesn’t really count.

Judi Dench is M!!! What’s she doing here?! That’s the only role that I’ve ever seen her in. I’ve never seen 84 Charing Cross Road or A Room With A View, so I guess I’m missing out. I’ve seen Hamlet, though, but I don’t remember her in it.

Helena is in almost all of Merchant/Ivory’s films. She’ll have another chance.

Helen Hunt? From “Mad About You”? I doubt it. Give her an Emmy.

So, we’re left with Kate. After being nominated for Sense And Sensibility and being beat, she deserves one…I think.


Robert Forster in Jackie Brown

Anthony Hopkins in Amistad

Greg Kinnear in As Good As It Gets

Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights

Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting

Tom Hanks (the big winner, himself) said that Anthony Hopkins performance in Amistad is the performance that all actors should grade themselves with. Until I saw the movie I thought that Robin had it wrapped up. Robert was great for once. I haven’t seen Greg play the gay hairdresser, yet. Burt was great, but he was in Smokey And The Bandit AND Cannonball Run. He also let Loni get away. Don’t give him anything. It’ll all go to Hopkins tomorrow. He’ll finally get the award that he deserved for Silence Of The Lambs. (He was only in the movie for 20 mins. Why did he get Best Actor?) Robin will have to wait another year. He’ll get one eventually, though. I have faith in that. He may be older than the character Hopkins was playing, but he’ll get one.


Kim Basinger in L.A. Confidential

Joan Cusack in In & Out

Minnie Driver in Good Will Hunting

Julianne Moore in Boogie Nights

Gloria Stuart in Titanic

Gloria will probably get it here because it’s Titanic and she’s quite old. Kim probably shouldn’t get any kind of award. I can’t imagine that she’s that good. I used to really like her a lot. (Really! I did. It had something to do with Batman.) Then I noticed that she wasn’t in any really good movies except Batman. 9 1/2 Weeks, with all of its teasing, was boring. Joan Cusack is really cool, but I haven’t seen In & Out. Julianne Moore was good in Boogie Nights, I don’t really think that she stood out. Minnie Driver was awesome in GWH. I would give it to her even with Titanic being in the category.


James Cameron for Titanic

Peter Cattaneo for The Full Monty

Atom Egoyan for The Sweet Hereafter

Curtis Hanson for L.A. Confidential

Gus Van Sant, Jr. for Good Will Hunting

Hmmmm. I wonder who’ll win this one. Could it be the guy with the biggest budget and the most underwater scenes? Atom Egoyan is pretty much out of the picture because his movie isn’t in the Best Picture category. I didn’t like his last one (Exotica) too much anyway. Too much going on at one time to follow anything. You get so much time on the little characters that you really don’t care what happens to the big characters. Cameron gets it all the way, here.


Mark Andrus and James L. Brooks for As Good As It Gets

Paul Thomas Anderson for Boogie Nights

Woody Allen for Deconstructing Harry

Simon Beaufoy for The Full Monty

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck for Good Will Hunting

Go Will!!!! There’s one problem with this: there are too many rumors flying around about this one. Were there a lot of script doctors? Did they write it for a school play and was it performed before? Was the original short story published? I think these are all just jealous rumors. The script is amazing. Let it go with that.

Funny how Titanic isn’t in here. Could it be for lines like “I’d rather be his whore than your wife”? There again, I love the movie, but every once in a while it kind of turned into a soap opera with it’s dialogue.

Boogie Nights was really good and I’m surprised it’s not up for Best Picture. I guess this is the consolation prize. Maybe it’ll get the Pulp Fiction award. I hope GWH gets it, though.


Paul Attanasio for Donnie Brasco

Curtis Hanson and Brian Helgeland for L.A. Confidential

Atom Egoyan for The Sweet Hereafter

Hilary Henkin and David Mamet for Wag The Dog

Hossein Amini for The Wings Of The Dove

Did Donnie Brasco come out this year? It seems so long ago that I sat nearly alone in a theatre watching that one. Everyone knew that it would be pretty much forgotten come Oscar time.

Here again, I’ve only seen two of the movies here, Donnie and Wag The Dog. I could go for either one of them. They both had great scripts. Just listen to the “Fugget ’bout it” scene in Donnie. Lot’s of quotables there. I think I would probably have to tip towards Wag The Dog, though. It’s hard to make a satirical script that works this well. Strike another one up for Mamet.

Other awards probably going to Titanic:










I guess the biggest surprise to me is that Men In Black is up for two Oscars! Best Makeup and Best Music, Original Musical Or Comedy Score. If Danny Elfman doesn’t get it for Good Will Hunting then he should get it for MIB. He needs one for something! He’s awesome!

The others up for Best Makeup are Titanic (!) and Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown. What was difficult about the makeup in Titanic? Just make Kate look good wet. That’s not that difficult! MIB should get this one, too. I can’t believe I’m saying that MIB should get any. It’s a good movie, but come on! Should we really have Will Smith doing his song on Oscar night? Let’s not and say we didn’t.

Well, that’s all I’ve got. It is now exactly 4:34 in the am. I should really be getting to bed. SXSW is over and school is back. Time for life to start again. I’ll have more reviews of SXSW movies later. I haven’t had time to write them, but I’ve got four or five more to go.

Good luck in your office polls!

Well, looks like I did ok. I pretty much got all the Titanic stuff down except for Kate for Best Actress. Helen Hunt got it! I’ve seen the movie since then and she did a great job. Maybe she deserved it. The movie was pretty good, too, but I wouldn’t have nominated it for an Oscar. That or The Full Monty. Both good movies, but Wag The Dog and The Ice Storm were much better.

Jack got it again. He was pretty amazing, but, then again, he’s always amazing. I probably still would have gone for Matt.

Kim Basinger? What were they thinking? L.A. Confidential was awesome (seen it twice now), but she wasn’t any different than she was in every other movie she’s been in. The Academy just said “Wow! She really does look like Veronica Lake!” So she got it for a good makeup job. (That’s actually a friend’s line, but I agree.)

Robin! Robin! Robin! That was the best surprise this year. I’m not sure how he pulled it off, but I’m glad he did. How awesome!

Speaking of surprises, Matt and Ben for writing Good Will Hunting! That was cool, too! As long as they don’t get too big for their friendship they’ll go far. Can’t wait for their next one.

L.A. Confidential for Best Adapted Screenplay. Not too surprising now that I’ve seen the movie. Amazing screenplay. Sweet Hereafter was great, but I really fell for L.A. Conf. Best film noir in decades.

Next year I’ll try to see all the big ones. I think I’ve seen quite a few of them. The Truman Show and Saving Private Ryan are the big contenders for the summer. I think Spielberg already has a spot on his shelf for another Oscar.

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