American Beauty, Alan Ball
PRO: Harrowing portrait of suburbia, and he didn't even need to bring in Pauly Shore.
CON: Attempts at poignancy where there is none; satire is a bit too thin and obvious, and who the hell would want to have ever had sex with Kevin Spacey? (Guys, don't answer.)
Being John Malkovich, Charlie Kaufman
PRO: Charlie Sheen. You know it.
CON: Too bad he didn't co-write with Valerie Solanis, so it could have been called "Being Up John Malkovich's Ass."
Magnolia, P.T. Anderson
PRO: Crying, reflection, singing, dancing, and frogs. The stuff that Oscars are made of.
CON: This movie was 3 hours and 20 minutes long. At that length, why stop there?
The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan-a-ding-dong
PRO: Otis! My man!! Listen, $300 million doesnt' lie, does it.
CON: Hard task at hand, with this kind of dialogue. KID: I see dead people. BRUCE WILLIS: Mwaaaa mwaa mumble mumble growff burble blah.
Topsy-Turvy, Mike Leigh
PRO: Lots of great moments of creative inspiration, and some great dialogue.
CON: No crying, no emoting -- did Mike Leigh really write this?
The Cider House Rules, John Irving
PRO: It's his first Oscar nomination, which means he's finally catching on.
CON: Yeah, adapting your own book is hard or something.
Election, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
PRO: Great stuff; gives Matthew Broderick a great anti-Ferris Bueller part to play.
CON: Didn't exactly pack 'em in while the masses were out watching Big Daddy, folks.
The Green Mile, Frank Darabont
PRO: Sympathy vote since Stephen King was nearly demolished in an argument with a truck; this guy seems to have figured something out about King's writing that nobody else in 20 years managed.
CON: Stupid is as stupid does. Second time this guy's gotten snubbed as director for re-writing Stephen King - figure he doesn't even show up.
The Insider, Michael Mann
PRO: Wears two hats, although not at once. We think.
CON: Adapt, Mr. Mann - not "make up whatever the hell I feel like."
The Talented Mr. Ripley, Anthony Minghella
PRO: Great portrayal of upper-crust laziness.
CON: Filming an audio book of the novel would have made a better movie.
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