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February 16th, 2001

Oscar® Nominations: "Famous" Snub

Truly one of the most important days in Hollywood, last Tuesday, Academy Award® nominations were announced. I think it's going to be an interesting race, since I feel this was a year where good movies were considered great ones.

I guess the biggest disappointment for me that what I felt was a sure fire nod, Almost Famous, really got snubbed. With only four nominations, Cameron Crowe's rock saga really deserved more. While I wasn't expecting a Best Director nod for him (though I felt he really deserved it), I was really unhappy that it didn't get a Best Picture nod. Instead, it got two for Supporting Actress (Kate Hudson and Frances McDormand), film editing, and Crowe's wonderful screenplay. Oh well...

Oscar® history was made with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon scoring a whopping ten nominations, including Best Picture, Best Song, Best Director, Best Foreign Film and Best Adapted Screenplay. I believe that is the most ever for a foreign film. I'm very glad this movie was recognized by the Academy, as it deserves to be. It got a lot more than I expected, which I was really happy about.

Gladiator got the most nods, with 12 nominations. As everyone knows, usually the movie with the most nominations wins Best Picture. Don't get me wrong, I really liked film, but I felt it was pretty overrated. We'll see what it picks up...

The Best Acting catagories have great variety. Pollock, Ed Harris' directing debut scored two nods, one for him as Best Actor and one for Marcia Gay Harden as Best Supporting Actress. The film opened for one week last December, and this weekend, it reopens for a wider release. I think that Best Actress will be tough to call, with Julia Roberts, Laura Linney and Ellen Burstyn, who made it after much praise for her role in Requiem For A Dream. Joan Allen also got a nod for The Contender.

Another movie was that was really snubbed was Wonder Boys, which I really enjoyed. Michael Douglas didn't get a Best Actor nod, but the film did pick up Best Original Song and Best Adapted Screenplay.

While I don't feel the Best Original Song catagory is so good this year (Elton John and Tim Rice didn't get a nomination for "The Road To El Dorado"). Speaking of not really main catagories, I met the sound guys for U-571 last summer when I went to a program at Universal, and a guy who didn't work on the movie said that if his friend (who did) didn't get a nod, he said there would be no justice in Hollywood. Luckily, there is... it scored two nods for sound. Nice.

As far as other things, I have to say Miramax bought nods for Chocolat, which is Miramax-manafactured (good acting, heart warming story, etc). Almost Famous deserved that spot, and I'm really surprised the Academy went for "Chocolat".

Also, Billy Elliot snuck in three nods... not bad. The Academy usually does a Best Director who's not part of the Best Picture list, and Stephen Daldry got the nod, plus Lee Hall for Original Screenplay and Julie Waters for Best Supporting Actress.

I already have my predictions planned out... but I'll post them the weekend before. Besides, I want the staff to have their say too... until then... let the hype, massive advertising begin. Also don't forget to read some tremendous past news...

- Zach B.

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