I deliberately held back on this one. This is a major category that a lot of people have strong opinions on. So of course I was gonna hold back on it. Anticipation is key.
As for 1998 — Shakespeare in Love wins Best Picture, Best Actress for Gwyneth Paltrow (talked about here) and Best Supporting Actress for Judi Dench (talked about here). Steven Spielberg wins Best Director for Saving Private Ryan (talked about here), and James Coburn wins Best Supporting Actor for Affliction (talked about here). I think everyone knows these categories pretty well. No need to editorialize in this intro.
Now this one. Obviously a sore spot for many people. I think we all understand that Roberto Benigni was one of the worst choices ever in this category. That’s not really the part people argue over. The part people argue over is who should have won instead. Some people say Edward Norton, some say Ian McKellen. Which do I take? You’ll have to keep reading to find out…
Look at me, mysterious fucker.
BEST ACTOR – 1998
And the nominees were…
Roberto Benigni, Life is Beautiful
Tom Hanks, Saving Private Ryan
Ian McKellen, Gods and Monsters
Nick Nolte, Affliction
Edward Norton, American History X (more…)