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February 16, 1995 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Everyday we communicate with
Qountless numbers of people in sev-
eral different ways, chatting over cof-
fee, writing letters, silently winking
at the stranger across the room. One
of the fundamental human traits is our
ability to communicate with others.
But, sometimes what should ide-
ally be a simple task becomes twisted
and complex. Somehow we are sud-
denly rendered speechless or just can't
bring ourselves to say what is really
on our minds.
You know how it is when some-

In Oscarland, life
is not like a box o



chocolates. You
usually know what

thing throws you for a loop and no
words come to mind. Like when that
ferson you have been trying to get to
otice you finally does. Or when your
roommate gets a hair cut that makes
her look like Mr. T and you have to
tell her that she still looks as beautiful
as before.
It is when our ability to talk with
one another breaks, down, that we
often begin to experience conflict.
Communication also deteriorates
when we don't take the time to try and
Understand those with who we are
attempting to talk. We don't always
think about what may be going on
with the other person which could
affect the way we relate to each other.
Part of the conflict between races,
genders, classes, right down to indi-
viduals stems from communication
gaps. Even those who pride them-
selves on their verbal or written skills
lake assumptions about others which
blur the lines of communication.
It seems to me that we should
spend a little more time trying to
isolate what exactly are the gaps that
we try to communicate across. We
should spend a little more time trying
to talk to each other with a little more
respect for the other person's point of
view. Why does such a simple thing
ften seem so difficult?
This discussion shouldn't be lim-
ited to large societal issues. While
strengthening how we communicate
will definitely help those, it is also
important to think about how we con-
nect with people one-on-one.
I have a friend who seems to be
speaking a different language than I
am lately. Every time I start to tell him
a story, he kind of looks at me with
his blank stare. I could swear I was
speaking English but somehow we
are not communicating well.
I have to wonder if it not really
about what we are saying but some
other tension between us. Maybe we
are just too busy to try and talk to each
other or maybe we have other things
on our minds that are clouding what
we are saying to each other.
Because we recognize the prob-
Oems we are having in speaking to
each other, we are one step closer to
more effectively being able to com-
municate. And I believe this is what
we should do in all aspects of our
human contact. When something isn't
working, stop and try and figure out
how to fix it.
Verbal communication may be the
most common but is not always the
post interesting. How many times
have you caught the eye of a complete
stranger and shared the moment of a
smile or grimace. I love it when I
notice something and see that only
one other person saw it too.
It's like when you see someone
walking with toilet paper on the bot-
tom of their shoe and you and the
stranger next to you at the computer
e it. You both look at each other and
share a laugh. That is effective com-
munication, people connecting on a
very basic level.
And perhaps, to get even more
theoretical, I would argue that some-

you're going



y Jo
D a i 1 y

s h u
A r t s


R i

c h

W r i t e r

in mid-
the catch
phrase around
entertainment circles is:
"This is the day when Holly-
wood wakes up early." The
day, of course, is when the GAL
nominations for Academy Awards are an-
nounced in front of a throng of reporters,
cameramen, celebrities and movie fans alike.
This year, many a Hollywood resident awoke
at 5:30 a.m. on Valentine's Day to see if the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sci-
ences would show some love for his or her
favorite film or his or her personal achieve-
ment in a movie.
This year, there were few surprises yet
many a disappointed spectator, as "Forrest
Gump" came away with 13 nominations -
one shy of the all-time record set by "All
About Eve" (1950). Following that came
"Pulp Fiction," "Bullets over Broadway"
and "The Shawshank Redemption" with
seven each. Other major films receiving
multiple nominations included "Quiz Show,"
"Four Wed- _
dings and a
Funeral" and
"The Mad-
ness of King
With the ex-
ception of
the quietly-
h e r a I d e d
none of these
tallies is a
major sur-
prise. If any-
thing, the big
with this
year's nomi-
nations are
the movies,
and directors
who were ig-
theless,it was
no surprise'
that the few
movies most"
so cited. The
Oscar nomi- "Forrest Gump" garnered
nations can another Best Actor nomin
usually be
based upon the nods given to movies at the end
of the year by various critical and media
organizations, such as the Golden Globes, the
Los Angeles and New York film critics soci-
eties and the National Board of Review.
This year, the awards handed down from
these groups varied from one film to the next,
but they were nevertheless indicative of who

bers of the Academy for best
picture of 1994. Joining this elite
club is the amusing and inven-
tive British import, "Weddings"
and the prison drama,
"Shawshank" (interestingly,
the first movie based upon a
Stephen King story that has been
nominated for best picture).


While these films all represent the cream
of the Hollywood crop, none stand out as
entirely deserving of being called "Best Pic-
ture" (joining a group of classics which in-
cludes "Gone with the Wind," "Casablanca"
and "The Godfather," to name a few).
Perhaps the only glaring omission from
this group of films is "Hoop Dreams," the
documentary widely considered among crit-
ics to be the best motion picture of the year.
Unfortunately, any hopes of this film being
nominated for best picture were clearly unre-
alistic in light of the fact that documentaries
have never been nominated for Oscar's top
prize. Also missing is the popular dark com-
edy, "Ed Wood," left out perhaps as a result of
its outlandish content (even though the more
shocking, yet also more popular "Pulp" is
race would ap-
pear to be an
easy win for
the truly ordi-
nary "Gump."
One might
whether this
film would
have been so
had it not
earned over
the box office
and become
oneof the most
popular mov-
to be that an
A Academy
Award would
help an out-
standing film
earn more
- money; how-
ever, it appears
that financial
ominations, including success may
for Tom Hanks. help this me-
diocre movie
win an Oscar.
And this result would be unfortunate, be-
cause all of the other best picture nominees are
superior to "Gump," especially "Pulp." In
order for this innovative picture to capture the
top award, there must be a strong (and un-
likely) campaign against "Gump" as the best
film. What usually counts most in best picture
voting, however, is the popularity of a film-

to "Pulp" director Quentin Tarantino, who has
already taken home the best director prize
from both theLos Angeles film critics and the
Cannes film festival. Tarantino's achievement
far surpasses Robert Zemeckis' solid-yet-bland
direction of "Gump," as well as Robert
Redford's simple work on "Quiz Show" or
Woody Allen's typical creation of "Bullets
Over Broadway."
Krzysztof Kieslowski may be the only
surprise in this category, earning a nomination
for his praised foreign film "Red." His inclu-
sion in the director group means the surprising
omission of otherdirectors, most notably Frank
Darabont for "Shawshank" and Tim Burton
for "Ed Wood." But the odds must favor
Zemeckis - also the director of such popular
films as "Back to the Future" and "Who Framed
RogerRabbit?"-who could easily be boosted
to a win on the tail of his "Gump"juggernaut.
If Tarantino does not win best director, he
will almost certainly get an Oscar for his
brilliant original screenplay for"Pulp," which
already won the best original screenplay award
from the Los Angeles film critics as well as the
Golden Globe. Likewise, the screenplay for
"Gump" should win in the best adapted screen-
play category. Neither of these works faces
much competition in their respective catego-
ries of writing.
Competition is, as always, much stronger
in the acting categories. As is frequently the
case, the best supporting actor category is the
most competitive, with five strong candidates
and three nominees with realistic chances of
winning. The favorite has to be Martin Landau
for his portrayal of an aging Bela Lugosi in
"Ed Wood." Previously nominated for his role
in "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989), this

veteran actor should win the award after re-
ceiving nods from most of the major film
critics circles and the Golden Globe, as well as
in recognition of his long career of quality
Other possible victors in this category are
Gary Sinise in "Gump" and Samuel L. Jack-
son in "Pulp." Each gave wonderful perfor-
mances; however, a split in votes between
supporters of the two popular movies should
cancel out each actor from the running. Miss-
ing from this fine group are "Pulp's" Bruce
Willis as well as notable members of the
ensemble cast of "Quiz Show," especially
John Turturro and David Paymer. Neverthe-
less, the inclusion of veteran stage actor and
writer Chazz Palminteri (overlooked in his
fine performance in last year's "A Bronx
Tale") is a pleasant and welcome surprise to
this strong group of actors.
The same can not be said for the best
supporting actress category in which Diane
Wiest seems a sure winner for her role in
"Bullets." Like Landau, Wiest has already
received many of the early critical awards,
and she faces little competition from the
other actresses nominated in this category.
Uma Thurman may have a chance of win-
ning for her brief role in "Pulp," but her
performance was probably not popular
enough to gain her the nod.
Surprisingly left out of this group are young
Kirsten Dunst for her startling performance in
"Interview with the Vampire" and Robin
Wright for "Gump." Although Wright's job
was not at all outstanding, one might have
expected the popularity of "Gump" to help
bring her the nomination.
See OSCARS, Page 5

13 no

And the nominees are.

Best Picture
"Forrest Gump"
"Four Weddings and a Funeral"
"Pulp Fiction"
"Quiz Show"
"The Shawshank Redemption"

Best Supporting Actor
Samuel L. Jackson, "Pulp Fiction"
Martin Landau, "Ed Wood"
Chazz Pnalminteri, "Bullets Over Broad-
Paul Scofield, "Quiz Show"
Grv Sinise. "Forest Czmn"


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