The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1999
1999. Not terribly much to say here. 1999 as a year had a lot of good films. It’s one of those years where a field of 10 would have been helpful, because there were a lot of films (specifically The Matrix) that would have probably gotten on the final list.
Outside of this category, American Beauty won Best Actor for Kevin Spacey (talked about here) and Best Director for Sam Mendes (talked about here). It should have also won Best Actress for Annette Bening, but Hilary Swank won for Boys Don’t Cry instead (talked about here). Michael Caine won Best Supporting Actor for The Cider House Rules, in what was essentially a veteran win (talked about here). And Angelina Jolie won Best Supporting Actress for Girl, Interrupted (talked about here).
This is one of those years where the race was not terribly interesting. From the looks of it, American Beauty was the film all the way through the race, with The Insider as a film people would have liked to have seen win, but never really caught any momentum at all (no acting nominations). The Sixth Sense got that blockbuster/unexpected surprise spot (a la The Blind Side and The Help, for recent comparisons). The Cider House Rules got the “classic” Oscar bait film spot. Or, as it’s known in this era — the Miramax spot. And The Green Mile is that on-the-nose, emotional film that tugs at the heartstrings, but is looked at disparagingly by real Oscars people (like Million Dollar Baby). It’s a good list from an academic perspective, but otherwise pretty average, bordering on weak. There are really only two films here, and only one really ever had a shot here. This was American Beauty all the way.
BEST PICTURE – 1999
And the nominees were…
American Beauty (DreamWorks)
The Cider House Rules (Miramax)
The Green Mile (Castle Rock Entertainment, Warner Bros.)
The Insider (Touchstone Pictures)
The Sixth Sense (Hollywood Pictures) (more…)