Posts tagged “1995

Mike’s Top Ten of 1995

1995 feels like the year where the decade in film starts to shift gears and become something else. There’s a weird sort of half-decade thing going on with the 90s. The early 90s feels like it’s half-getting over the 80s and half-burgeoning independent cinema. Then the last half feels sort of like they took independent cinema and made it part of the mainstream so it sort of… it’s like how the 70s was a whole decade of auteur directors making all these great movies. And then Hollywood took them in and the 80s happened. (The 80s is much more than that, but you know what I mean.) It feels like that happened mid-decade and then the late 90s is just all just kind of a big mess of whatever the byproduct of that is.

But in terms of this particular year… it feels like one of the weaker ones of the decade. There’s stuff I really like here, but not a whole lot I love. Aside from the first handful of movies, everything else would be #8 or lower most other years this decade. Which happens. Not every year can have your favorite movies of all time. Even the lower tiers feel kind of ho hum as compared to what some of the other years have.

Though, just glancing at what’s to come, this year is responsible for a few of cinema’s most iconic and recognizable moments. So there’s that. (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1995

1995 is one of the strangest years in recent Academy history. Because seemingly, Apollo 13 was the film this year. It won all the major precursors — the PGA, the DGA (this is one of the only 6 times in history where the DGA and Oscar winner differed), SAG — and yet was almost completely shut out here. Must have been a real interesting race, that’s for sure.

Aside from this category, Braveheart also wins Best Director for Mel Gibson (talked about here), which is a good decision by virtue of the fact that Ron Howard wasn’t even nominated in the category. Then Best Actor was Nicolas Cage for Leaving Las Vegas (talked about here), a decision I love. (It was him or Anthony Hopkins, and Hopkins had one already.) Best Actress was Susan Sarandon for Dead Man Walking (talked about here). I don’t like this decision, I felt Elisabeth Shue was much better in Leaving Las Vegas, but Sarandon was going to win one anyway, so this was as good a time as any. Best Supporting Actor was Kevin Spacey for The Usual Suspects (talked about here). I can’t be objective on this category, so I just say good for him. And Best Supporting Actress was Mira Sorvino for Mighty Aphrodite (talked about here), which was a perfect decision. She was amazing in that movie.

But this category — I wonder what it is that led to such a drastic change in voting. Was it that Braveheart was more emotional for the voters? Actually, what I bet it was is that people saw Apollo 13 as more of a populist film without any heart, whereas the Academy can never turn down an actor-director. (By the way, I also see this category as directly responsible for what happened in 2001.)

BEST PICTURE – 1995

And the nominees were…

Apollo 13 (Universal, Imagine Entertainment)

Babe (Universal)

Braveheart (Paramount, Icon)

Il Postino (Miramax)

Sense and Sensibility (Columbia) (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1995

I like 1995. Because it’s overall solid. It’s one where I don’t disagree with the choices. I’d just simply, have gone another way. You know. It’s like passing away as opposed to dying. One just feels better. Then again, one also doesn’t involve going down in a hail of gunfire at the Vatican. So there are pros and cons.

Braveheart wins Best Picture. I like Braveheart. I just like Apollo 13 more. Mel Gibson wins Best Director for the film (talked about here), which works, since Ron Howard wasn’t nominated. So Mel dominated that category. Best Actor was Nicolas Cage for Leaving Las Vegas (talked about here). Perfect choice, despite the stacked category. Best Actress was Susan Sarandon for Dead Man Walking (talked about here), which had been coming to her for a long time. I personally would have gone with Elisabeth Shue, but the decision was still good. And Best Supporting Actress was Mira Sorvino for Mighty Aprhodite (talked about here), which I love very much.

So there’s no real decision this year where I’m vehemently against it. I like that. And then there’s this category, and, aside from some questions about legitimacy (it’s kind of a lead performance), no one can really argue with this one. It’s pretty awesome, in fact.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1995

And the nominees were…

James Cromwell, Babe

Ed Harris, Apollo 13

Brad Pitt, Twelve Monkeys

Tim Roth, Rob Roy

Kevin Spacey, The Usual Suspects (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1995

I get in a lot of trouble with 1995. It’s one of those things where — whenever I disagree with the majority, and don’t like something everyone loves, I keep my mouth shut. It’s a no-win situation. If they find out you don’t like something, they start attacking you, because why don’t you like it? And why do you like that other piece of shit instead? And it get malicious. And who needs that? So I just keep quiet. But here is kind of where a few of those things I don’t like come to light. There are two films in particular here that people seem to love that I just don’t.

Braveheart wins Best Picture, which, I don’t really think was a great decision. Braveheart is a great film, but, I think Apollo 13 was a better film (based on the nominees). Just because, each has its problems, and I find Apollo 13 to be the more watchable film and the one that holds up better. Braveheart‘s a little too romanticized for me. And people love that film, which is why I hate to speak ill of it. But, it really shouldn’t have won. And Mel shouldn’t really have won Best Director for it. But since Ron Howard wasn’t nominated (which I talked about here), it was a good decision. Then, Best Actor was Nicolas Cage for Leaving Las Vegas, which I think was a great (albeit tough) decision (which I talked about here). Best Supporting Actor was Kevin Spacey for The Usual Suspects, which speaks for itself. And Best Supporting Actress was Mira Sorvino for Mighty Aphrodite, which I’m over the moon about (as I said here). So that’s 1995. In all, a very good year.

Now, my main dissension that shows with this year is in thinking Braveheart shouldn’t have won Best Picture, and here. I just don’t like Dead Man Walking. People just love saying that Sean Penn should have won Best Actor for it, and think Sarandon winning was a great decision. And I just don’t get it. I mean, the film was fine, but, I don’t think it should have won anything it won. And that’s where most people get upset. But, I’m gonna be honest with you, I just don’t see what the appeal with the film and that performance is.

BEST ACTRESS – 1995

And the nominees were…

Susan Sarandon, Dead Man Walking

Elisabeth Shue, Leaving Las Vegas

Sharon Stone, Casino

Meryl Streep, The Bridges of Madison County

Emma Thompson, Sense and Sensibility (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1995

1995. Braveheart. Decent year, not a great year. Like Braveheart a lot, but, Best Picture? Not sure. Still a good choice based on the nominees, I think.

Mel Gibson wins Best Director for it — an easy (and good) decision based on the fact that DGA winner Ron Howard wasn’t nominated (talked about here). Nicolas Cage wins Best Actor for Leaving Las Vegas, which I love as a decision, as I explained here. Susan Sarandon wins Best Actress for Dead Man Walking, which I really don’t like as a decision (she should have won one, but not this year. Elisabeth Shue should have won). And Kevin Spacey wins Best Supporting Actor for The Usual Suspects, which, aside from the whole lead/supporting thing, is an awesome decision.

So in all a pretty good year, capped off by this decision, which, despite my track record, I really love. A lot.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 1995

And the nominees were…

Joan Allen, Nixon

Kathleen Quinlan, Apollo 13

Mira Sorvino, Mighty Aphrodite

Mare Winningham, Georgia

Kate Winslet, Sense and Sensibility (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1995

1995, a good year, mostly because they made the best choice. Other than that, I’m not sure how great a year it was. Braveheart is a good film, but is it a Best Picture winner? In a year with better nominees, probably not. Or maybe even still. I don’t know. I only work with what I’m dealt. As it stands, the film was the best choice among the nominees. I love Apollo 13, but I don’t know if I’d give that Best Picture. And as much as I love Babe, it was never going to win.

Mel Gibson deserved to win Best Director. The reason for this is, Ron Howard, who won the DGA award for Apollo 13, wasn’t even nominated for the Oscar. Which made Mel a by default best decision there. And then Best Actress this year was Susan Sarandon for Dead Man Walking, a decision I do not like at all. Not even a little bit. I like that she has an Oscar, but, she beat better performances. Best Supporting Actor this year was Kevin Spacey for The Usual Suspects, which is such a good decision it doesn’t even matter whether he was lead or supporting. And Best Supporting Actress was Mira Sorvino for Mighty Aphrodite, which was a fucking fantastic decision. So, in all, it’s a good year for choices, but, I don’t know, I still can’t decide what I think about the year as a whole.

BEST ACTOR – 1995

And the nominees were…

Nicolas Cage, Leaving Las Vegas

Richard Dreyfuss, Mr. Holland’s Opus

Anthony Hopkins, Nixon

Sean Penn, Dead Man Walking

Massimo Troisi, Il Postino (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1995

At first glance, you’d think maybe they fucked up 1995. After all, this is one of six years where the DGA Best Director award and the Oscar for Best Director didn’t coincide. In fact, this is the second time in (exactly) a decade where the DGA winner wasn’t even nominated for Best Director at the Oscars. 1985 Steven Spielberg (rightfully) won the DGA for The Color Purple, and wasn’t even nominated for the Oscar. This year, Ron Howard won the DGA for Apollo 13 and wasn’t nominated for the Oscar.

Now — notice how I said “at first glance” — I really don’t think this is that big a deal. I think we’ve all established (see: 2001) that the Academy just fucking loves Ron Howard. However, I didn’t love the direction of Apollo 13. I mean, yeah, it’s a great movie, I watch it all the time, but, aside from having awesomely shot space sequences, the movie is about as generic as a Michael Bay movie in terms of character development. It’s so superficial it’s crazy. So, I’m kinda glad he wasn’t on this list of nominees, just so I wouldn’t have to worry about where I’d put him in my rankings.

Oh, yeah, recap. Best Picture went to Braveheart, a film I still can’t get a bead on. I like it, I like watching it, but is it really a Best Picture worthy film? I think the answer is yes and no. Yes, because this year was weak as fuck and it was the best choice, and no because, just, no. I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel like a Best Picture film to me. So, there’s that. Best Actor went to Nicolas Cage for Leaving Las Vegas. This year was stacked in terms of Best Actor and there were several good choices that could have been made. Best Actress went to Susan Sarandon for Dead Man Walking. I’ll speak my piece on that when the time comes. Best Supporting Actor was Kevin Spacey for The Usual Suspects. Kind of a lead, but, I think we’ll all take that one. That movie is boss. And Best Supporting Actress was Mira Sorvino for Mighty Aphrodite, a Woody Allen film I actually like. Gasp. I know. I was surprised too. (more…)