Wednesday, May 25, 2011

If I Were An Academy Voter: 1997 Part 1

Best Picture
Academy Winner - Titanic
My Pick - As Good As It Gets
Commentary - Ok, so this one may shock and surprise some people, but remember, Academy voters vote with their hearts, not their heads, and for me As Good As It Gets is still a personal favorite. You probably won't find it on my Top 100 list, but out of these five nominees, my heart skips a beat for Jim Brooks' hilarious, heartful dramedy, that was filled with some great writing, and sharp performances from all of the performers, especially the always excellent Jack Nicholson. There is no way this film would have won, but it would have gotten my vote.

Best Director
Academy Winner/My Pick - James Cameron "Titanic"
Commentary - That being said, Jim Brooks got is Oscar for Terms of Endearment, and while I was not the biggest fan of Titanic (a little too mushy gushy for me, and yes I just said mushy gushy), I can appreciate the art, and Cameron pours his heart and soul into every movie he makes, and they really are his pet projects. The other nominees just had to point the camera and let the actors go, but Cameron turned what could have been a so-so sinking ship into a timeless epic. He deserved this Oscar.

Best Actor
Academy Winner/My Pick - Jack Nicholson "As Good As It Gets"
Commentary - Jack was back, and his Melvin was one of his great creations. The OCD, the humor, the crankiness, all signature Jack. Sorry to the rest of those incredible folks, but there was no other choice for me.

Best Actress
Academy Winner - Helen Hunt "As Good As It Gets"
My Pick - Kate Winslet "Titanic"
Commentary - Unlike some people, I actually liked Helen Hunt, and wasn't infuriated that she won. That being said, Kate was simply stunning in Titanic, and probably should have taken home the gold instead.

Best Supporting Actor
Academy Winner/My Pick - Robin Williams "Good Will Hunting"
Commentary - I'm sure some will scoff at this pcik, but in the 90's, Williams gave good performance after good performance, and although a Burt Reynolds win would have been nice, I think the Academy made the right choice, with this subtle and emotional performance.

Best Supporting Actress
Academy Winner/My Pick - Kim Basinger "L.A. Confidential"
Commentary - Basinger still turns me on in that sleek white dress (sorry for the graphic), and her sexiness and sultriness was simply unmatchable.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Academy Winner - Brian Helgeland & Curtis Hanson "L.A. Confidential"
My Pick - David Mamet & Hilary Henkin "Wag the Dog"
Commentary - I liked both films so this was a tough one, but the sharp and hilarious political satire of Wag the Dog won the day.

Best Original Screenplay
Academy Winner - Matt Damon and Ben Affleck "Good Will Hunting"
My Pick - Paul Thomas Anderson "Boogie Nights"
Commentary - I like Matt Damon, but something about Academy Award Winner Ben Affleck still bugs me (Although his recent work has started to change my mind). Instead, I would have gone with the smart, sexy, and dark look at the porn industry in Paul Thomas Anderson's cult classic Boogie Nights.

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