Mike’s Top Ten of 1999
In my mind, 1999 is one of the golden years of cinema. There are so many amazing movies that came out this year. And while it’s probably not all-time historically one of cinema’s absolute best years (though time is really the only judge of that), it’s the fact that it’s bolstered by a lot of movies from my childhood that makes me consider it as such.
This is also one of those years where I feel like most of us have at least 3-5 movies exactly the same on all of our top ten lists. Though I will also say, the other 3-5 are ones that feel hyper-specific to me and me alone. I doubt anyone but me would have this particular list as my top ten. Especially since you could go like 30 deep this year and get an amazing list out of it.
This is also one of the landmark years for a lot of reasons, most notably because the action genre was completely revolutionized this year and special effects took a giant leap forward. We also got a groundbreaking horror film, Star Wars came back, and, if you’re my age, there’s like 20 movies this year that you specifically remember from growing up that, in some way, had huge impacts on your life. It’s a really great way to end a decade/millennium. (more…)
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…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1999
Most people know 1999, so I’ll save the editorial.
American Beauty wins Best Picture, Best Director for Sam Mendes (talked about here), and Best Actor for Kevin Spacey (talked about here). Hilary Swank wins Best Actress for Boys Don’t Cry (talked about here), and Angelina Jolie wins Best Supporting Actress for Girl, Interrupted (talked about here). All pretty standard. I’m sure most people have opinions on this year.
And this category — I understand it, but don’t love it. Michael Caine is Michael Caine. I get it. Performance-wise? Terrible choice. Why not Cruise, I have no idea.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1999
And the nominees were…
Michael Caine, The Cider House Rules
Tom Cruise, Magnolia
Michael Clarke Duncan, The Green Mile
Jude Law, The Talented Mr. Ripley
Haley Joel Osment, The Sixth Sense (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1999
I’ve talked about 1999 a bunch already. American Beauty wins Best Picture, Best Director for Sam Mendes (which I talked about here) and Best Actor for Kevin Spacey (which I talked about here). Angelina Jolie wins Best Supporting Actress for Girl, Interrupted (which I talked about here), and Michael Caine wins Best Supporting Actor for The Cider House Rules. That’s about it. It’s great having said a lot of the stuff you’ve wanted to say about a year already. You can get right into the category.
And while we’re on that — what the fuck? Look, I don’t dislike Hilary Swank, she tries and she’s likable. But what did she do in this performance that was so good to have beaten Annette Bening? Are people just unwilling to say that because of the subject matter? Personally, I think the Academy once again went with the “likable” over “unlikable” character bullshit they’re known for. Which really fucked things up, historically. Great job, guys.
BEST ACTRESS – 1999
And the nominees are…
Annette Bening, American Beauty
Janet McTeer, Tumbleweeds
Julianne Moore, The End of the Affair
Meryl Streep, Music of the Heart
Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1999
1999. This is the last category from this year, right? I feel like I’ve done them all. Supporting Actress, yes — that was Angelina Jolie for Girl, Interrupted. Director, yes — that was Sam Mendes for American Beauty. American Beauty also won Best Picture. Actor is here. Which leaves, Best Actress. I haven’t covered that yet. That was Hilary Swank for Boys Don’t Cry. And then Best Supporting Actor, which, I haven’t covered either. Really? It feels like this year is always coming up. Well, Supporting Actor was Michael Caine for The Cider House Rules.
What else do we need to cover here? Can we just get into it? Actually, let’s break this category down. I like how it’s structured. First, we have the veteran nomination. That’s Richard Farnsworth. Never really was one for the Academy, but is old and gives a fairly poignant performance. That’s all they need to nominate you. Then we have “actor’s” performance. Which is Sean Penn. That’s one where, he’s a dude who they know is completely dedicated to his work, and they saw what he could do in Dead Man Walking, and now have him on the radar. I feel like it’s, they makes them bridesmaids a few times until it’s their turn to be a bride. I really think that’s what it is. The Academy Awards are like marriage. Then the second time they win is either a marriage after a nasty divorce (the comeback) or the renewal of the vows. Oh, plus the Sean Penn one was a Woody Allen film. They’re just looking to nominate an actor in a Woody Allen film. Anyway, so there’s the veteran and then the actor who they’re sort of gearing up to win one one of these days. Then we have the other three. Here’s where I find it gets really interesting. (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1999
Ah, Best Director ’99. I was originally going to end Best Director month with this one (since I’d already done 2000-2010, and this would have been the most recent category left and the most fitting to end with), but I decided to wait because I knew this would be a nice break for me in a month like this. Talking about this category is like when, on a test, after three long essays on the Boer wars, you get a question like, “So tell us why Nixon fucked up in the 70s.” And you’re like, “I know that! I can write twice what they want me to without pausing for thought!”
1999 was a good year. I think I explained it once as being a bit, on the nose. Don’t get me wrong, I love American Beauty — I fucking love that movie. I’d have voted for it all the way — but, it’s kind of, I don’t know, it feels too easy. It’s because the film is kind of stagy. Which doesn’t so much affect Best Picture as much as it affects this category. But we’ll get to that in a second. First let’s recap:
Best Actor this year was Kevin Spacey for American Beauty. Best Actress was Hilary Swank for Boys Don’t Cry (don’t get me started on this one), Best Supporting Actor was Michael Caine for The Cider House Rules (or this one), and Best Supporting Actress was Angelina Jolie for Girl, Interrupted (I talked about this one already).
So now, we come to the big conundrum — do I vote for the director of the movie I’d have voted for Best Picture, or do I vote for the director who directed the hell out of his movie and was much more “flashy” in his effort? What do you do? Pop quiz, hotshot. (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1999
I think this is the most recent category I’ve done since before the Oscars this year. I like to throw in one everyone knows amidst all the older ones.
If we recall, 1999 is one of those years that had a lot of good films, and really, there were a lot of good choices they could have made. A lot of people didn’t like the choice for Best Picture, even though a lot did. I think American Beauty was a fine choice. Did Sam Mendes need to also win Best Director? That’s up for discussion. But, they often coincide, so, it’s not that surprising. Best Actor was Kevin Spacey, which is a point of debate amongst people, which, I’ll make my feelings known whenever I get to it. Best Actress was Hilary Swank for Boy’s Don’t Cry, and Best Supporting Actor was Michael Caine for The Cider House Rules. I’m trying not to give my opinions away, because, at this rate, it’s so recent, everyone’s seen the movies, so I don’t need to pimp them, so really all they amount to is who the vote is for and what the rankings are. So there’s really not that much to say as preface.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 1999
And the nominees were…
Toni Collette, The Sixth Sense
Angelina Jolie, Girl, Interrupted
Catherine Keener, Being John Malkovich
Samantha Morton, Sweet and Lowdown
Chloë Sevigny, Boys Don’t Cry (more…)