A Civil Action, Conrad L. Hall
PRO: Hides John Travolta's girth with shadowy overcoats. That's impressive.
CON: This movie was completely overlooked in most other categories for good reason; subtle work without great sunsets, pretty horses, or the Terminator.
Elizabeth, Remi Adefarasin
PRO: Sort of like a commercial for 16th Century real estate; if I got to linger around Cate Blanchett, I'd get out a big-ass camera, find a writer, and make something, ANYTHING.
CON: C'mon, Gothic and Romanesque cathedrals; dark hallways, the bags under Geoffrey Rush's eyes. How hard is this?
Saving Private Ryan, Janusz Kaminski
PRO: Some of the most complex, unsettling photography to be captured on screen, with the possible exception of that Carrot Top movie. Makes everybody in sight look unattractive.
CON: CON: Europe is less picturesque than The Thin Red Line's Asia.
Shakespeare in Love, Richard Greatrex
PRO: Found naked breasts. Turned on camera. Hurrah.
CON: Not quite spectacular or panoramic enough.
The Thin Red Line, John Toll
PRO: More a feast for the eyes than a coherent movie, certainly not Toll's fault. Wisely avoided shooting George Clooney for more than 30 seconds. Shot mostly during golden hour, under ridiculous demands from Rip Van Malick.
CON: For all the carnage, Private Ryan was bloodier and this was somehow, well, pleasant. Travolta looks like a gay porno star who let himself go.
PRO: This award pretty much screams Elizabethan England.
CON: If it wins, shouldn't the Oscar be given to Inigo Jones or a bunch of dead friars or something?
PRO: gives "colorization" a whole new meaning;
CON: could have dusted off "The Dick Van Dyke Show" set and nobody would have been the wiser.
Saving Private Ryan
PRO: Most realistic severed arms this side of Def Leppard.
CON: Possibly dynamited the sets from other European films and then tossed some pebbles around.
Shakespeare in Love
PRO: Restoration of the Rose Theatre was so convincing, Judi Dench bought it. You want to argue with her?
CON: crowded theaters, dingy pubs -- they must have searched all over London for those.
What Dreams May Come
PRO: Sweeping color scheme was among the most original of the year.
CON: Which still doesn't make Cuba Gooding any more tolerable.
Life is Beautiful
Out of Sight
The Thin Red Line
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