PRO: Fabulous costumes and settings capture the glory of a time when royals didn't carry on affairs with horsey blondes and shill for Weight Watchers.
CON: Plot involves more than three characters; Shakespeare in Love will split costume drama vote.
Life Is Beautiful
PRO: Manages to squeeze warmth out of this century's coldest and most horrible event; best Italian movie since those spaghetti Westerns with Clint Eastwood (yes, we are including Cinema Paradiso)
CON: Foreign movies rarely nominated; Eastwood's not in this to kick some Nazi butt. A best Foreign Language film nominee -- and they usually take the safe route by going there. Not here.
Saving Private Ryan
PRO: Heroic, old-fashioned war movie that's more brutal than all other movies from this year put together; meshes well in tradition of really looong Best Picture winners; Spielberg factor.
CON: Does not look great on tape; Tom Hanks' likeability, while larger than the Axis Powers, starting to wear thin; Spielberg didn't exactly help Best Picture aspirations for, oh, Jaws, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Color Purple...
Shakespeare in Love
PRO: Concept (venerable writer+romantic comedy) is like chocolate with vitamins; Academy likes cute Fiennes boys; clever, referential play-within-a-play construction; the much-touted Gwyneth
CON: Lowest body count of all best picture nominees; leads give new meaning to "lean and hungry look"
The Thin Red Line
PRO: Terry Malick seen as the J.D. Salinger of filmdom; picture is a visual feast; award seen as reparations for Errol Morris' The Thin Blue Line loss in Documentary category a few years back; smart enough to leave out George Clooney for most of the picture
CON: Dialogue can be heavy-handed/boring; remove dialogue entirely and this could be a documentary about watching trees grow; hermit Malick reportedly sends back his ballot form every year with Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo as a write-in candidate.
please input your name:
please input your e-mail address: