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March 18, 1999 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-03-18

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6B - The MIc n Daily- Weekehdi, e agdZilTe ;T uTrsday, taM 18, 1999

Film reviewers pick
their 19l98 favorites

*The Mihigan Daily-I \ekend, etC. Magj
Payback notion can help to sway some Acac

Matthew Barrett
1. Rushmore
2. Saving Private Ryan
3. Happiness
4. Out of Sight
5. Shakespeare in Love
6. A Simple Plan
7. The Truman Show
8. The Spanish Prisoner
9. He Got Game
10. The Thin Red Line
Soderbergh returned to form, Solondz
scored the controversy and Spielberg
will likely win the Oscar, but the real
jewel of 1998 is "Rushmore." Original
.and refreshing, this story of an endear-
ing teen, a depressed tycoon and their
battle over a first grade teacher appeals
to audiences of all ages, and should for
generations to come. Plus, it has Mr

Bryan Lark
1. Out of Sight
2. Saving Private Ryan
3. Happiness
4. Shakespeare in Love
5. Rushmore
6. Gods and Monsters
7. A Simple Plan
8. Life is Beautiful
9. The Truman Show
10. There's Something About Mary
Just like the uncut diamonds that drive the
plot of Steven Soderbergh's "Out of
Sight;" the film itself might look like a
plain old rock -ifa rock with an Elmore
Leonard pedigree. But beneath its exteri-
or lies a cinematic gem that finds its foun-
dation in lust and builds upon it with sus-
pense, wit, technical trickery and real res-
onance. Sodeibergh deserves more than
just his status as the other Steven.

1. Shakespeare in Love
2. Rushmore
3. Out of Sight
4. The Spanish Prisoner
5. Life is Beautiful
6. The Opposite of Sex
7. Gods and Monsters
8. A Simple Plan
9. Saving Private Ryan
10. The Truman Show
"Shakespeare in Love" is a completely
ingenious story that captures creative
film making and storytelling at its
finest. It touches on the humorous and
the sensitive, while, at the same time, it
stimulates thoughts abput Shakespeare's
true inspiration. "Shakespeare in Love"
is a film that longs to be loved and ought
to be loved as the year's best.
Erin Podolsky
1. Out of Sight
2. Happiness
3. The Truman Show
4. Rushmore
5. Shakespeare in Love
6. Saving Private Ryan
7. The General
8. There' Something About Mary
9. The Big Lebowski
10. The Thin Red Line

Continued from Page 28
unseen "Save the Tiger," a win that can
only be explained as recompense for his
"Some Like It Hot;' "The Apartment;"
and "Days of Wine and Roses" losses.
But the payback rule isn't foolproof, as
evidenced by first-time nominee Lauren
Bacall's shocking loss in 1996's support-
ing actress race to written-off underdog
Juliette Binoche in "The English Patient"
This illustrates the second-most impor-
tant rule of Oscar politics: Don't attempt
to forecast the supporting actress category.
This is the left field of the baseball dia-
mond that is the Academy Awards, as
most often the Academy chooses, without
warning, to honor ingenues and wacky
comediennes over respected character
actresses - Marisa Tomei over Joan
Plowright and Judy Davis in 1992 and
Mira Sorvino over Joan Allen and
Kathleen Quinlan in 1995, just to name a
few recent examples.
Though comedy is often king - or
queen - in the supporting actress catego-
ry, the Academy rarely sees anything
funny about giving awards to comedies.
Of the Academy Awards' 70 Best
Picture winners thus far, only about 10 are
comedies, from 1932's sweeper "It
Happened One Night," to the sad-funny
weepers "Terms of Endearment" "Driving
Miss Daisy," and "Forrest Gump"
The last all-out comedy to triumph was
Woody Allen's 1977 "Annie Hall," which
stands as an exception to two other Oscar
rules: First, that length does matter and
second, that Oscar is stuck on the past.
"Annie Hall" breaks the former rule by

running less than 100 minutes, one of
only two Best Pictures (the other being
"Driving Miss Daisy") to do so - the
average Best Picture running time,
according to Oscar scholar John
Harkness, is 156 minutes.
"Hall" breaks the latter rule not
because of its running time but because of
its place in time - Oscar usually honors
history when it comes to Best Picture.
Eight films have won Best Picture so
far this decade and only one, "The Silence
of the Lambs," was set entirely in a time

contemporary to its release.
With "Annie Hall," "Rocky," "The
French Connection;""One Flew Over the
Cuckoo's Nest," and "Kramer vs.
Kramer," the '70s were much more pre-
With five of five Best Picture hopefuls
set before Armistice Day - some mere
days prior, some entire centuries - this
year looks to be less so.
But in any year Oscar's political agenda
extends into the Best Director category.
The Academy looks first to the Director's

Guild of America when bestowing
highest honor upon a director.
The number of times a director t
home DGA honors, announced pric
the Oscar ceremony, and fails to win
Oscar can be counted on one hand.
According to this Oscar policy,
year a certain Steven Spielberg, hon
by the DGA for "Saving Private Ry
will storm the podium again.
In fact, Spielberg seems to have r
tered the game of Oscar politics, spe
cally in 1993 when he was despera

courtesy of Universal Pictures
George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez get very close and friendly in Steven Soderbergh's
"Out of Sight," one of the year's best films.


Aaron Rich
1. The Thin Red Line
2. The Celebration
3. A Simple Plan
4. The Butcher Boy
5. Saving Private Ryan,
6. Happiness
7. The General
8. Buffalo '66
9. Affliction
10. He Got Game
Terrence Malick revolutionizes movie
making in "The Thin Red Line" by
adding true beauty - in all aspects of
his film - to poetic cinema. Malick's
vision of the world is crisp and emo-
tional, highly sensual and his ideas
transcend every-day narrative scenar-
ios. "The Thin Red Line" ranks highly
in a small class of the best films ever

Ed SholiUnsky,
1. Saving Private Ryan
2. Out of Sights
3. Zero Effect
4 The Big Lebowski
5. Life is Beautiful
6. The Truman Show
7. Central Station
8. A Simple Plan
9. The Thin Red Line
10. Rushmore
Though much attention has been paid to
the battle sequences in "Saving Private
Ryan;"the film's real action comes in the
film that lies between them. It's the raw
humanity and emotion that Steven
Spielberg brings to the work that makes
it a masterpiece, differentiating it from
the classic war films it honors.
Excepting the present day sequences,
this is a true cinematic treasure.



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