The Oscars 1999. The last shot before the millenium. My reaction? Yawn. The minute I read the nominee list, it was though I'd just sat through the entire debacle, survivable thanks to the screechy reprieve from skeletal, self-titled fashion critic Joan Rivers and her scary, genetic-defect daughter.
To me, the real race is for best song. Check out these gems:
"I Don't Want to Miss A Thing" from Armageddon (Even though the idea of seeing Steven Tyler and those lips, and the hair and the bad clothes on the Oscars is kind of intriguing in a gross, class- clash way, I think this number calls for Debbie Allen style "footloose" choreography with astronaut costumes);
"The Prayer" from The Quest - (if it's the Andrea Bocelli thing, well OK, but I don't think it is. And if I am confused that it could possibly have some merit by being that new age song recorded by Anrdea Bocelli and not some dumb animated movie theme song sung by repeat has-been Donny Osmond, then I think the older academy voters might be confused, too);
"A Soft Place To Fall" from The Horse Whisperer (I read this song title twice thinking it was a joke title. Who even knew there was a song with this endless film..but, come on, a movie about a horse getting creamed by a Mack Truck and this is the song you come up with? Hello? Why not call it "A Horse Had To Die For Us To Love" or how about "What's It All About, Wilbur - Love Theme From Horse Whisperer");
"That'll Do" from Babe 2 (how about "Well Done Pig" or "Bright Lights, Pig
"When You Believe From The Prince Of Egypt" (One of my personal "E-Ppp!" favorite sound-bytes this year was the Oprah Show where Whitney and Mariah screeched out this song like two cats sitting on a fence, then proceeded to talk some major New Jersey street talk. Whitney opened her pretty mouth and Newark fell out. Whitney should get a Mini Oscar for setting a new record of using the word "girl" in one sentence).
OK, onto the other awards...
Saving Private Ryan, even though I won't see it. Why see it? I already know it's well done, well acted and that I don't need to see bloody arms flying across the sandy shores to cast this vote. Besides, I signed a petition that reads "War Is Bad And I Don't Support It" that is currently circulating among all of us "Anti-Bloody Limbs" people who nevertheless want to further the annual acknowledgment of Spielberg and his causes.
Ian McKellen for an extraordinary performance in Gods and Monsters. Nick Nolte is a long shot because Oscar hasn't rewarded a raging alcholic on film since Susan Hayward in "I Want To Live!"
Tom Hanks-it's not his year; he must be punished for bringing the insanely catchy and
stupid song "That Thing You Do" into public consciousness.
Roberto Ben-whatever would have been a great candidate if he hadn't gone on every talk show from Today to The View and made such an ass of himself. Edward Norton is too
young and dated Courtney Love.
Cate Blanchett for Elizabeth because it's happened before. Bette Davis already won for this in the 1930's. And come on..a drama (plus) about a British (the Brit card) Queen (Royalty, another plus) who ages (makeup), fights foes (heroine!) starring a woman who no one knows at all but who seems fierce? Sounds like a show-in. It's not Gwyneth's year, though her impersonation of Sharon Stone on Saturday Night Live last week should get her at least a little prize. But Gwyneth, like Tom, must be punished for A Perfect Murder and (worse!) Hush.
Meryl Streep is great but one more stoic yuppie momma dying of cancer who lyp syncs with her kids and comes to term with her younger female counterpart and I'm outta here.
Emily Watson is a dark horse - just a little obscure, kind of a wispier, more neurotic Helena Bonham Carter. And who the hell knows the other one? Fernanda what? Oh yeah, the one who talked way too long when her film won Best Foreign Language Golden Globe. Not on Oscar she won't.
The Supporting categories are a wash; the actresses are mostly British, all talented, no one dying or recently dead, no 10 year olds...the actors are all fine, no sentimental favorites. I mean are we all going to go all misty over "screen legend" James Coburn? Or tooth picking sucking Ed Harris? Or, gross, Billy Bob Thornton without that scary cleavage-sporting, stalker of an ex wife. Personally, my votes are with Kathy Bates who rocked in Primary Colors and James Coburn, the Burt Reynolds of 1999.
The only other ones I care about are:
Adapted Sceenplay: Gods and Monsters
Best Original Screenplay: Bulworth
Shakespeare In Love can take everything else
But what about a few that were overlooked?
Best Murderous Couple: You could really believe Michael Douglas and Gwyneth
Paltrow would try to kill each other in "A Perfect Murder". Her dying
words: "He...really ...is...too...old...for...me."
Best Fake Dog and Bad Tanning Experience : There's Something About Mary
Best Movie That Made You Glad You Really WERE At Studio 54, Because It Was
So Much More Fun: 54
Missing in action are Christina Ricci, Lisa Kudrow and Lyle Lovett from The
Opposite Of Sex! That was the funniest film, with the best line from a
movie this year: "Look for me first in any crowded room." I know they
missed the boat, along with Jim Carrey and a few others.
Due to the fairly bland lineup, this year at Oscar we need some serious
rivalry, some strange pairings to really make it watchable. I mean this is
the America of 1999. We've been through Bill, Hill, and Monica so our
shockometer is more finely tuned. The bar is raised. For pure entertainment value who can compete with a trembling, bloated, WAY overpaid Linda Tripp saying "I am you"?
Maybe if Jerry Falwell shows up with Tinky The Teletubbie
If Elizabeth Taylor pops in
If Gwyneth and Ben and Brad and Jennifer sit near each other
If Redford, Jack, Anjelica, Warren, Shirley, John, Lauren, Julia, Susan and
a few biggies show
If Cher sings the Horse Whisperer song