The Great Performances: 1998

Posted by · 2:03 pm · October 30th, 2009

Edward Norton in American History XFor all my bitching about Roberto Benigni winning Best Actor in 1998 for his incessant mugging in “Life is Beautiful,” I was also thrilled the Academy watched enough films and paid enough attention to realize that Edward Norton was deserving for his magnetic turn as a neo-Nazi who sees the light in “American History X.” Norton was electrifying as Derek, the charismatic leader of a group of skinheads, handpicked by the older gentleman, played with menace and sleaze by Stacey Keach, who believes in what Hitler taught and seeks to spread the word to the youth of California.

Norton gave the best performance by an actor I saw in 1998, but the Academy got caught up in the groundswell of support of Benigni’s movie, a fable set in a death camp. I’m not a fan, either of his overwrought, over the top performance, or the film itself. No rant, you all know what I think there.

That said, there was a bounty of great male performances in 1998, many of which went unnoticed by the Academy. They did their best to get it right, though.  Joining Norton and Benigni for nominations were Nick Nolte in “Affliction,” Ian McKellen, superb in “Gods and Monsters,” and Tom Hanks as the weary soldier in Steven Spielberg’s magnificent “Saving Private Ryan.”

Not even nominated, however, were Warren Beatty for his brilliant turn as the truth-talking senator in “Bulworth,” Joseph Fiennes in Best Picture winner “Shakespeare in Love,” Jim Carrey in “The Truman Show,” George Clooney in “Out of Sight,” Brendan Gleason in “The General” and John Travolta in “Primary Colors” or “A Civil Action,” take your pick.  And perhaps the most deserving of all: Jeff Bridges as The Dude in “The Big Lebowski,” the actor’s finest work, in my opinion.

Each of the aforemenetioned men gave stronger performances than the eventual Oscar winner, yet failed to nab a nomination.  Jeez!

Anyway, on to the leading ladies.  From the moment she was nominated for Best Actress, Gwyneth Paltrow was going to win for “Shakespeare in Love.” Hollywood loved her, and let’s face it, in the right role, the girl can act.  Though I think she has been better since in supporting roles in “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “The Royal Tenenbaums.”

Cate Blanchett was far and away the Best Actress of the year for her superb work in “Elizabeth,” though I have to say I also loved what Fernanda Montenegro did in “Central Station,” Walter Salles’s wonderful effort, also nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. I never understood Meryl Streep’s nomination for “One True Thing” without Renee Zellweger being nominated alongside her, though the fifth nominee, Emily Watson, richly deserved her nod for “Hilary and Jackie.”

Where was Ally Sheedy for “High Art” or Christina Ricci for her excellent work as a vicious little number in “The Opposite of Sex?” I remember Jane Horrocks gave an astounding, though very creepy performance as the girl with a thousand voices in “Little Voice” along with Brenda Blythen (again) as her slovenly mother and thinking both of them would land in the race, only to be left out.

The race for Best Supporting Actress was over for me after seeing Kathy Bates in “Primary Colors.” The actress was a powerhouse from the moment she breezed onto the screen, steamrolling everyone in sight. I quite liked Judi Dench in “Shakespeare in Love,” though, as the actress made me believe she was royalty in just a few short scenes and minimal screen time. There was little surprise when she won the award, though admittedly I would have rather seen Bates and I never believed she deserved to win for “Misery” over Anjelica Huston in “The Grifters.”

Blethyn was nominated for “Little Voice” along with Rachel Griffiths for “Hilary and Jackie,” and Lynn Redgrave got in for her over the top work in “Gods and Monsters.” But Patricia Clarkson might have been a stronger choice for her work in “High Art” along with Laura Linney in “The Truman Show.”  And once again, Joan Allen should have been in the running for her superb work in “Pleasantville.”

And shoot me, but I liked Halle Berry in “Bulworth.”

The Best Supporting Actor race was jam-packed with strong candidates, and just as many that were left out. Perhaps feeling sad they had given the Oscar to the wrong man the year before, the Academy nominated Robert Duvall for his supporting turn in “A Civil Action,” though Duvall was pissed enough not to make an appearance this time. Ed Harris was up for “The Truman Show” along with James Coburn in “Affliction” and Geoffrey Rush in “Shakespeare in Love,” and Billy Bob Thornton rounded out the nominees for his work in “A Simple Plan.” Of any of the five, I struggle with Rush and Duvall, both good performances but stronger than the men I am about to mention?  Nah.

Bill Murray did some brilliant work in “Rushmore,” winning the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor, while Dylan Baker gave an immensely brave and haunting performance as a pedophile in Todd Solondz’s “Happiness.” Though I understand why Baker was not nominated, one cannot deny the brilliance of the work.

Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” had two potential supporting actor nominees in Tom Sizemore and Jeremy Davies.  The latter’s meltdown on the steps as one of his friends is being killed is among the film’s most harrowing moments.  Best Actor nominee (for “Affliction”) Nick Nolte gave a throat-tearing performance in “The Thin Red Line” along with other potential nominees, Elias Koteas, Woody Harrelson and Sean Penn, all superb.

Elsewhere, the wonderful Donald Sutherland gave huis finest performance since “Ordinary People” in “Without Limits,” portraying the coach of famous runner Steve Prefontaine, bringing real dignity to the part. Michael Caine, always interesting to watch, gave a wonderful performance as a sleazy performance manager in “Little Voice,” so creepy you could all but smell the booze and sweat on him.  He won a Golden Globe for his troubles.

At the end of it all, I’d say Ed Harris deserved the award for his God-like performance in “The Truman Show,” one of that great actor’s very best efforts to date, but Oscar went sentimental in 19998 and gave it to James Coburn, who gave a good performance in “Affliction.”

What are your thoughts on the great performances of 1998?  Have your say in the comments section below!

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40 responses so far

  • 1 10-30-2009 at 2:09 pm

    Brian said...

    I think had it come out today, Jeremy Davies would have won that Oscar with ease.

  • 2 10-30-2009 at 2:24 pm

    Lance said...

    Jeremy Davies was robbed at the Oscars that year and he was robbed this past year at the Emmy’s for “Lost” His commitment in his work is amazing and hopefully one day he will be recognized for his work.

    Ian McKellan deserved to win for Actor – I remember hearing people say that he shouldn’t win because he’s a gay man playing a gay man. I guess when a part is gay, there is nothing else to it except that. I’m sure he also lost a few votes here and there from people like Earnest Borgnine.

  • 3 10-30-2009 at 2:28 pm

    Tom C. said...

    While I definitely think Davies was snubbed for a nomination, along with Barry Pepper, Ed Harris deserved 10 oscars for The Truman Show. I’ve seen the film over a dozen times and every time I his final speech to Truman, I break down crying. Every second he’s on screen is worth and award.

  • 4 10-30-2009 at 2:31 pm

    Hans said...

    So this was the first of three times that the Academy got it completely wrong regarding Jim Carrey. The fact that The Truman Show was recognized in various other categories at least showed that it was on voters’ radar. It’s a shame that Carrey will probably have to pull a Robin Williams and relent to doing some stuffy dramatic roll to finally get noticed by voters.

    Edward Norton on the other hand? That movie blew me away when I watched it. Superb superb superb. I’m so glad he got nominated, but, ugh, BENIGNI!!

  • 5 10-30-2009 at 2:49 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Best Supporting Actor should have been between John Goodman in “The Big Lebowski” and Anthony Hopkins in “Meet Joe Black”.

  • 6 10-30-2009 at 2:55 pm

    R.J. said...

    The most egregious snub of that year was the lack of attention the Academy paid to “Eve’s Bayou”. Every member of that cast was excellent, Debbi Morgan and Jurnee Smollett (as young as she was) gave excellent performances that were unjustly ignored.

  • 7 10-30-2009 at 2:59 pm

    Ivan said...

    The Thin Red Line*
    The Truman Show

    Wes Anderson/Rushmore
    Terence Malick/The Thin Red Line*
    Todd Solondz/Happiness
    Steven Spielberg/Saving Private Ryan
    Peter Weir/The Truman Show

    Jeff Bridges/The Big Lebowski
    Jim Carrey/The Truman Show
    Ian Mckellen/Gods & Monsters
    Edward Norton/American History X*
    Jason Schwartzman/Rushmore

    Cate Blanchett/Elizabeth*
    Jane Horrocks/Little Voice
    Holly Hunter/Living Out Loud
    Chloe Sevigny/The Last Days of Disco
    Emily Watson/Hilary And Jackie

    Ed Harris/the Truman Show
    Bill Murray/Rushmore*
    Nick Nolte/The Thin Red Line
    Jason Patric/Your Friends & Neighbors
    Billy Bob Thornton/A Simple Plan

    Jane Adams/Happiness*
    Joan Allen/Pleasantville
    Judi Dench/Shakespeare in Love
    Rachel Griffiths/Hilary and Jackie
    Lynn Redgrave/Gods & Monsters

    The Big Lebowski*
    The Horse Whisperer
    The Thin Red Line

    The Big Lebowski
    The Last Days of Disco
    The Truman Show*

    Gods & Monsters
    Hilary and Jackie
    The Horse Whisperer
    A Simple Plan
    The Thin Red Line*

    Central Station/Brazil
    The Dreamlife of Angels/France
    Festen: The Celebration/Denmark*
    Martin Hache/Spain
    Run Lola Run/Germany

    Buffalo 66
    He Got Game
    Saving Private Ryan
    The Thin Red Line*

    Saving Private Ryan
    The Thin Red Line
    The Truman Show

    Dark City
    Great Expectations

    Dark City
    Shakespeare in Love
    Velvet Goldmine*

    Dark City
    Shakespeare in Love*
    Velvet Goldmine

    Enemy of the State
    The Horse Whisperer
    Saving Private Ryan*
    The Thin Red Line

    Dark City
    Deep Impact
    Saving Private Ryan
    The X Files

    Hilary and Jackie
    The Horse Whisperer
    The Thin Red Line

    “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”/Armageddon*
    “Iris”/City of Angels
    “I’m Not Your Baby”/The End of Violence
    “Sunshower”/Great Expectations
    “Ladytron”/Velvet Goldmine

    City of Angels
    Great Expectations*
    The Wedding Singer

  • 8 10-30-2009 at 3:14 pm

    Bob McBob said...

    Edward Norton: overrated

  • 9 10-30-2009 at 3:21 pm

    Sam said...

    Best Picture: To this day, I still do not understand how or why Shakespeare in Love won the Oscar. I watched this film the other day, and it really isn’t that great. It is funny, but Oscar-worthy, a big HELL NO. Saving Private Ryan should have won.

    Best Director: Spielberg should and did win. That opening scene alone netted him his second directing Oscar.

    Best Actor: This result was the beginning of me losing faith in the Academy over the years. Benigni had no right to win this award. Of the five nominees, his performance was the weakest. I thought, hands down, Edward Norton should of won the Oscar. If not him (and this is who I thought would win) then Ian McKellen.

    Best Actress: Cate Blanchett was robbed.

    Best Supporting Actor: I am glad James Coburn won this award. Everyone says Ed Harris, but I wasn’t really a big fan of The Truman Show. Had he been nominated however, John Goodman should have won this award in a landslide. He stole every scene in The Big Lebowski.

    Best Supporting Actress: I agree with John, Kathy Bates should have won. This was the make-up award for Judi Dench, since she probably should of been awarded for Mrs. Brown (another WTF?! moment: Helen Hunt, As Good as It Gets).

  • 10 10-30-2009 at 3:34 pm

    red_wine said...

    I’m always game when a foreign language film wins a big typically ‘reserved-for-home’ category. Benigni was fine. It wasn’t like Brad Pitt in Button or Meryl Steep in Doubt. And 1 merely good foreign language performance winning makes up for the numerous times English language mediocrity triumphs. I sure don’t regret that award at all.

  • 11 10-30-2009 at 3:35 pm

    Calan said...

    Totall agree with Warren Beatty in Bulworth. I think it’s his best performance. Best Supporting Actress: Lisa Kudrow in The Opposite of Sex.

  • 12 10-30-2009 at 3:46 pm

    Simon Warrasch said...


    American History X
    Saving Private Ryan
    Patch Adams
    There’s Something About Mary


    Steven Spielberg – Saving Private Ryan
    Chris Columbus – Stepmom
    Peter Weir – The Truman Show
    Tony Kaye – American History X
    Bobby/Peter Farrelly – There’s Something About Mary

    Leading Actor:

    Edward Norton – American History X
    Robin Williams – Patch Adams
    Jeff Bridges – The Big Lebovski
    Jim Carrey – The Truman Show
    George Clooney – Out of Sight

    Leading Actress:

    Susan Sarandon – Stepmom
    Cate Blanchett – Elizabeth
    Meryl Streep – One true Thing
    Cameron Diaz – There’s something about Mary
    Jennifer Lopez – Out of Sight

    Supporting Actor:

    Ed Harris – Stepmom
    John Goodman – The Big Lebovski
    Edward Furlong – American History X
    Bill Murray – Rushmore
    Matt Dillon – There’s Something About Mary

    Supporting Actress:

    Scarlett Johannson – The Horse Whisperer
    Renee Zellweger – One True Thing
    Jena Malone – Stepmom
    Julia Roberts – Stepmom
    Julianne Moore – The Big Lebovski

  • 13 10-30-2009 at 3:54 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    Pretty comprehensive list as usual, but you always seem to overlook one or two great ones. This time, as noted by Calan, you forgot to mention the career-best work from Lisa Kudrow in The Opposite of Sex.

    Kudos, though, for singling out Nolte in The Thin Red Line. Shame how the Academy awarded a “raging” performance that was sort of one note yet failed to recognize one that was far more complex. “THERE WILL BE NO GODDAM FLANKING MANUVER!!!!”

    Oh, and you wrote “19998” in you last sentence. Heil Grammar.

    I’m curious to learn your opinion on the whole post-production editing controversy, where Tony Kaye accused Edward Norton of hijacking the film and recutting it to give himself more screen time? I’ve always struggled with just how deserving Norton was in light of these accusations since, if true, would mean that he basically “engineered” his way to an Oscar nomination. Your thoughts?

  • 14 10-30-2009 at 4:12 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Benigni’s was a great win.

    Anyway, where’s the love for Katrin Cartlidge (RIP) in “Claire Dolan?” Amazing work.

    John, may I suggest that you don’t need to run through every single Oscar nominee from each given year? The title of the series is “Great Performances,” after all, not “Oscar Review,” and I’m sure you’ll agree that not all the nominated performances are worth discussing. I’d just like to see you have more room to spotlight more personal choices.

    Just a suggestion — really enjoying the series.

  • 15 10-30-2009 at 4:23 pm

    Gustavo H.R. said...

    Finally somebody mentions Joan Allen and Laura Linney.

  • 16 10-30-2009 at 4:48 pm

    Erik said...

    I still can’t believe they went with Paltrow and Begnini, but I agree that at least Paltrow has shown she was and is capable of much more both before and after (Though I would count “the Talented Mr. Ripley” among her less stellar efforts. She seems wooden and a bit fake to me, even though I also wonder if the character isn’t supposed to be very fake and often disingenuous, thus making it a perfect performance).

    Watson was never going to win, but was most deserving in my opinion. Blanchett chewed the scenery a bit, but would be about as worthy a winner nonetheless for her fiery performance. For best actor I would not have chosen Norton simply because I don’t like the film (I find it veeery sentimental, preachy, and ‘look-at-me-I’m-important!’). Nolte and McKellen would have been deserving (Nolte for his double powerhouse with “Affliction” and “the Thin Red Line”), but Hanks was my absolute favourite for his subtle work in “Saving Private Ryan” (I wouldn’t give him his third just yet, but had he not won for “Forrest Gump” at the expense of several more deserving actors, this would have made a great second oscar).

    In supporting Dench and Coburn got the horrifying make-up oscars. Dench would never have won had she gotten it a year before, and might not have if the academy had known they’d get more chances with films like “Iris”.

    Supporting Actress I’d easily give to Blethyn, though again, she was never going to get it. Bates gets my preference among actresses who actually had a shot, even though she played almost the exact same part a few years before in “the Late Show” (with less good writing, I wholeheartedly admit). Supporting actor should have easily been Ed Harris. I was not that impressed by Duvall. He got a nice showy part, but he was a little gimmicky, and – like Dench – got to rely on charisma without actually immersing himself in the character, to give the impression of being much more than a one-note character (which is practically what both played). I actually thought William H. Macy was at least as good, in a less showy role. Heck, even John Lithgow was as good in an equally showy, albeit even more one-note role.

    I’d add to the list some of the cast of the Rainmaker, and not just Jon Voight. I might have welcomed Danny DeVito in supporting actor just as much, and I certainly think Mary Kay Place deserved a mention for supporting actress.

  • 17 10-30-2009 at 5:05 pm

    par3182 said...

    Brenda Blethyn’s work in ‘Little Voice’ was even more cringe-inducing than Benigni’s in ‘Life Is Beautiful’.

    Joan Allen and Bill Murray were robbed of wins, not just nominations.

    Two others deserving of nods: Toni Collette and Ewan McGregor in ‘Velvet Goldmine’.

  • 18 10-30-2009 at 6:24 pm

    nanoush said...

    Best Picture: The Truman Show
    Best Director: Terrence Malick, The Thin Red Line
    Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, The big Lebowski
    Best Actress: Penélope Cruz, The girl of your dreams
    Best Supp Actor: Bill Murray, Rushmore
    Best Supp Actress: Patricia Clarkson, High Art
    Best Original Screenplay: Happiness
    Best Adapted Screenplay: Gods and Monsters

  • 19 10-30-2009 at 6:40 pm

    Pablo (Col) said...

    I dont really agree with the “hate” against Benigni. His movie is one of the few about the holocaust that has really caught the feelings that that event should trigger on people.

    Although, if i had been a voter, i would have chosen Ian McKellen for his amazing role in Gods & Monsters. Truly magnificent.

    Brendan Fraser should have been nominated for best actor in a supporting role for that same movie.

    The nomination for Tom Hanks may have had sense. But i really dont like Saving Private Ryan. Incredible shots ? Yes. Outstanding movie ? Not at all.

    Dench and Paltrow ? Sure why not ? But i love Watson, Redgrave and Montenegro. Latin performances and movies are often overlook and, thank god, that year everything was different.

  • 20 10-30-2009 at 7:10 pm

    Ivan D. said...

    Not a single mention of Matt Damon in THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY? Unbelieveble! The best performance in his career so far, much better than the one in GOOD WILL HUNTING! It’s such a shame The Weinsteins didn’t give it a much better awards push. And yes, both Norton and McKellen were astonishing in their roles, probably should have won, but still I’m not dissapointed with Benigni’s role, it made me laugh, it made me cry…
    For the female lead I can say I’m a great Emily Watson fan, love Cate Blanchett, even like Meryl Streep in ONE TRUE THING, but the best that year was Holly Hunter in LIVING OUT LOUD!
    Best supporting actor was definitely Ed Harris in THE TRUMAN SHOW (when will the Academy realize that Peter Weir is the greatest living director?).
    Best supporting actress was Kathy Bates, but of all the actresses mentioned the one that stayed with after all these years was Rachel Griffiths for HILARY AND JACKIE (remember the scene when she ‘s palying flute in front of her professor who keeps interupting her?)

  • 21 10-30-2009 at 7:26 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***Not a single mention of Matt Damon in THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY? Unbelieveble!***

    Maybe because it’s not from 1998? Wait till next week man.

  • 22 10-30-2009 at 9:53 pm

    Zan said...

    I’m still trying to figure out how Ed Norton was nominated. He’s probably the third best neo-Nazi performance I’ve seen, and I have a pretty good perspective on the accuracy of such matters.

  • 23 10-30-2009 at 9:56 pm

    SeanDean said...

    This was a good year. I like McKellan, Streep (very underrated performance), Bates, and Coburn.

    I was rooting for a Supporting Actress nomination for Lisa Kudrow-The Opposite of Sex and Sharon Stone-The Mighty

  • 24 10-30-2009 at 10:23 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    The women of Beloved – Oprah Winfrey, Thandie Newton, Kimberly Elise, Beah Richards, and Lisa Gay Hamilton – what about Danny Glover’s first nomination?

    I don’t care if one doesn’t like the movie – the performances weren’t the problem.

  • 25 10-30-2009 at 10:32 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    They weren’t giving Huston another Oscar – had it not gone to Bates it would’ve been Julia Roberts for Pretty Woman.

  • 26 10-30-2009 at 11:24 pm

    Robin said...

    I think Benigni was better than the bland, serviceable performance of Hanks, and I’m not big on Nolte in general who I think is a dreaful ham of an actor 90% of the time. I still think the other two nominees were far superior though. I give McKellan a slight edge over Norton, but it really is slight. Dissapointing that Carrey and in particular Fiennes were left out considering the latter really carried the movie that AMPAS creamed themselves over.

    Blanchett, Blanchett and Blanchett. Moving on…

    Yeah, poor Ed Harris must have thought he had the award locked up for the second time in 4 years. This time though he really did deserve it over the actual winners, it’s a masterful performance with such minimal screen time. Thornton would have been a fine choice, but I think he’s basically a lead, the rest I could take or leave. Koteas and Murray were robbed.

    Supporting actress was all about Joan Allen for me, her film was criminally overlooked in general but she gave such a tough but sensitive performance. She’s the consumate supporting actress and this is her best work bar none. Bates of the nominees, but I’m perfectly fine with Dench winning who like Harris left an indelible impression with a few short minutes. Linney was the unfortunate omission.

  • 27 10-30-2009 at 11:43 pm

    R.J. said...

    /3rtfu11, while I agree with you on Beloved, I think that would count for next weeks installment since it came out late 1998 and would have been eligible for the 1999 Academy Awards.

  • 28 10-31-2009 at 2:04 am

    sebastian said...

    i would add Sean Penn in Hurlyburly (bad film amazing performance); Vincent Galo for Buffalo ’66; and Goodman in The Big Lebowski.

    the females that should have got more respect were Oprah Winfrey and Lisa Kudrow…

  • 29 10-31-2009 at 4:13 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “They weren’t giving Huston another Oscar – had it not gone to Bates it would’ve been Julia Roberts for Pretty Woman.”

    Joanne Woodward was the bigger threat that year, actually.

    And RJ, “Beloved” did compete in the 1998 Oscars, where it received a single nom for Best Costume Design.

  • 30 10-31-2009 at 4:15 am

    mark said...

    my 98 pics


    ian mckellen*
    nick nolte
    edward norton
    ray winstone
    john hurt


    james coburn
    ed harris*
    billy bob thornton
    dylan baker
    jason patric

    lisa kudrow
    patricia clarkson
    rachel griffiths
    kathy bates*
    bridget fonda

  • 31 10-31-2009 at 7:27 am

    John H. Foote said...

    Ivan — “The Talented Mr. Ripley” is a 1999 film, which you will see next week —

  • 32 10-31-2009 at 8:04 am

    Chris said...

    My 1998 picks

    Warren Beatty – Bulworth
    Jeff Bridges – The Big Lebowski
    Ian Mckellan – Gods and Monsters ***
    Nick Nolte – Affliction
    Edward Norton – American History X

    Fernanda Montenegro – Central Station ***
    Gwyenth Paltrow – Shakespeare in Love
    Franke Potente – Run Lola Run
    Christina Ricci – The Opposite of Sex
    Ally Sheedy – High Art

    Supporting Actor
    Dylan Baker – Happiness
    Ed Harris – The Truman Show
    Bill Murray – Rushmore ***
    Geoffrey Rush – Shakespeare in Love
    Billy Bob Thornton – A Simple Plan

    Supporting Actress
    Joan Allen – Pleasantville ***
    Kathy Bates – Primary Colors
    Judi Dench – Shakespeare in Love
    Laura Linney – The Truman Show
    Lynn Redgrave – Gods and Monsters

    Have not seen: Elizabeth, Life is Beautiful, Hilary and Jackie, Little Voice

  • 33 10-31-2009 at 10:00 am

    R.J. said...

    Oh, sorry to /3rtfu11 in that case, I guess I should do more research before opening my big mouth. Thanks for the correction Guy. In that case I totally agree, not only is Beloved an underrated and haunting film, but the performances were masterful and overlooked.

  • 34 10-31-2009 at 11:18 am

    John H. Foote said...

    My issues with “Beloved” are Winfrey who is simply not up to the material as the rest of them are — with a real actress in her role of Sethe, Angela Bassett perhaps, you have a masterpiece, a film that makes demands of its audiences are dares them to take a journey where ghosts and real and the dead come back — I loved what Demme did, and the actors around Winfrey are quite extraordinary…she is the films’ chief and fatal weakness. Look for a future article on this one.

  • 35 10-31-2009 at 4:36 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    Oprah Winfrey is a real actress, although, untrained from what I know. When Beloved was produced Winfrey’s standing in the industry is quite different a “working actress”.

  • 36 11-01-2009 at 10:00 am

    Chris138 said...

    I may be in the minority here, but I always found The Thin Red Line superior to Saving Private Ryan.

  • 37 11-01-2009 at 6:19 pm

    Matt said...

    I agree with you about Anjelica Huston deserving to win for “The Grifters.” It was an amazing performance and though Kathy Bates was great in “Misery,” I think Huston had a much better performance.

  • 38 11-07-2009 at 6:52 pm

    Encore Entertainment said...

    Fiennes was ufairly overlooked. Shakespeare in Love could not have functioned without him.

  • 39 11-08-2009 at 3:29 pm

    Xavi Rodriguex said...

    -Warren Beatty, Bulworth
    -Joseph Fiennes, Shakespeare in Love (I still don’t understand why Paltrow got all the attention and Fiennes didn’t it. It’s like McGregor-Kidman)
    -Jim Carrey, The Truman Show
    -Ian McKellen, Gods and Monsters (Runner-up)
    -Edward Norton, American History X (Winner)
    Alt: Nick Nolte, Affliction and Jeff Bridges, The Big Lebowski

    -Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth (Winner)
    -Fernanda Montenegro, Central Station (Runner-up)
    -Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare in love
    -Ally Sheedy, High Art
    -Emily Watson, Hilary and Jackie (Runner-up)
    Alt: Jane Horrocks, Little Voice

    Supporting Actor:
    -Dylan Baker, Happiness (Winner)
    -Ed Harris, The Truman Show (Runner-up)
    -Geoffrey Rush, Elizabeth
    -Jason Patrick, Your Firends and Neighbours
    -Donald Sutherland, Beyond Limits
    Alt: Billy Bob Thornton, A Simple Plan

    Supprotign Actress:
    -Joan Allen, Pleasantville
    -Kathy BAtes, Primary Colors (Runner-up)
    -Rachel Griffiths, Hilary and Jackie
    -Lynn Redgrave, Gods and Monsters (Winner)
    -Meryl Streep, One true Thing
    Alt: Lisa KUdrow, The Opposite to Sex