OSCAR NOMINATIONS AND REACTIONS, PT. II


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

American Beauty, Conrad L. Hall
The End of the Affair, Roger Pratt
The Insider, Dante Spinotti
Sleepy Hollow, Emmanuel Lubezki
Snow Falling on Cedars, Robert Richardson


The End of the Affair upsets heavy favorites like The Talented Mr. Ripley in appearing here, but the list still has the general shape everyone expected. Perhaps I'd feel differently if I actually saw Cedars, but it's hard to imagine that Robert Richardson could have excelled his own work in Bringing Out the Dead. Any my great lost hope for 1999 was that the cinematographers at least would remember Eyes Wide Shut. Sigh.
BEST ART DIRECTION

Anna and the King, Luciana Arrighi
The Cider House Rules, David Gropman
Sleepy Hollow, Rick Heinrichs
The Talented Mr. Ripley, Roy Walker
Topsy-Turvy, Eve Stewart


I guess people were really convinced by that orphanage. Nothing really to object to here, though I'm surprised given all the advance buzz on its lavishness that Titus was blocked from this arena; people talk about Jim Carrey, but Dante Ferretti, now there's an artist to whom the Academy has continued to show a cold shoulder.


BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Anna and the King, Jenny Beaven
Sleepy Hollow, Colleen Atwood
The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ann Roth & Gary Jones
Titus, Milena Canonero
Topsy-Turvy, Lindy Hemming


Four old pros are joined by Lindy Hemming—who may in fact be an old pro, but I'll admit I'd never heard of her before this film. Certainly she deserved recognition, and I'm glad she got it: her dressings of Gilbert and Sullivan's own bodies were as exquisite as what she cooked up for the "performances" of Princess Ida, The Sorceror, and The Mikado that take place within the film.
BEST FILM EDITING

American Beauty, T.Anwar & C.Greenbury
The Cider House Rules, Lisa Zeno Churgin
The Insider, W.Goldenberg & P.Rubell
The Matrix, Zach Staenberg
The Sixth Sense, Andrew Monshein


Fact: you don't win Best Picture without a Film Editing nomination. It's an easy category to overlook, and most people outside the industry or film scholarship aren't even quite sure what it means. Still, mark my words: The Green Mile will not win Best Picture; by contrast, the nod to Cider House, whose editing was adequate but hardly unique, is a strong sign of how eager voters where to recognize the film wherever possible.


BEST FOREIGN FILM

All About My Mother (Spain)
Caravan (Nepal)
East-West (France)
Solomon & Gaenor (United Kingdom)
Under the Sun (Sweden)


Only one correct pick, though it's hard to feel bad for not presuming the appeal of Nepal's Best Foreign Film contender. Régis Wargnier, who won in this category for 1992's Indochine is back with East-West, but it still looks like Almodóvar's game.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG

"Blame Canada," South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
"Music of My Heart," Music of the Heart
"Save Me," Magnolia
"When She Loved Me," Toy Story 2
"You'll Be in My Heart," Tarzan


I can't remember the last time I had heard all the nominated songs and seen all of their corresponding films. My only error in predicting was that I forecast South Park's opening anthem "Mountain Town" over its mid-point rally "Blame Canada," the inclusion of which, alongside the indifference shown The Hurricane, means that our Northern neighbors did not come off well to Academy voters this year! Oh, and does this mean that 'N Sync is going to appear on the show? Could we cut the singing and the dancing?


BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

American Beauty, Thomas Newman
Angela's Ashes, John Williams
The Cider House Rules, Rachel Portman
The Red Violin, John Corigliano
The Talented Mr. Ripley, Gabriel Yared


Unlike the cinematographers and the editors, the musicians in the Academy apparently stayed awake through The Talented Mr. Ripley, meaning that at least one element of its impeccable macabre is earning plaudits. Having seen only three of the nominees, I'm not going to weigh in too heavily with preferences, but is anyone else tired of John Williams' perennial appearances here?
BEST DOC. FEATURE

Buena Vista Social Club
Genghis Blues
On the Ropes
One Day in September
Speaking in Strings


The less said here the better, both because I have seen none of the nominees and predicted only one of them, the impossible to neglect Buena Vista Social Club. Is Speaking in Strings the Music of the Heart story all over again?


BEST SOUND

The Green Mile
The Insider
The Matrix
The Mummy
Star Wars, Ep I: The Phantom Menace


No surprises here, as effects movies occupy the bulk of the nomination field. The Sound Branch certainly got one over on all you Mummy viewers who didn't realize you were watching an Oscar-caliber film.

BEST MAKEUP

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Bicentennial Man
Life
Topsy-Turvy


The most nominees ever permitted in this field, which has to hurt the folks who worked on Blast from the Past, the only finalist that didn't make the final cut. I would rather serve Life than see Bicentennial Man, so I'll take people's word for it that all these pictures are as cosmetically dazzling as Topsy-Turvy is.
BEST SND. EFFECTS

Fight Club
The Matrix
Star Wars, Ep I: The Phantom Menace

No surprises, though I personally thought the booming chug of pod racers was the coolest thing I heard all year.

BEST VIS. EFFECTS

The Matrix
Star Wars, Ep I: The Phantom Menace
Stuart Little

With $600 million between them, these movies were not kidding around, though rewarding the people who brought Jar Jar Binks into being seems generous indeed.


For more information, including Short Film nominations, and news on presenters and the
telecast, visit the Academy website or its complementary official site for the 1999 Academy Awards.

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