|Richards and Campbell, waiting to hear their names on nomination morning...|
So, I'm slowly getting the 1998 Fisti Awards done and ready for publication, but this may take a little while since I have some other obligations here and elsewhere. So for now, let's talk about Best Picture, Director and Film Editing! You can check them out here, but I've also included them below. As you'll see, I went a little mainstream, MTV Awards here, fawning all over a certain film(s) that the average Oscar watcher/lover may find unworthy of a prestigious accolade, but these are the Fistis and we are not impartial!
So bring on the love for Wild Things!
Off the top of my head, Guy Ritchie's director nom is one of my favorites simply because I feel like he's not given the respect he deserves for what he achieved here. His filmography as a whole may not be incredible or anything, and he may have resorted to creating nothing but Blockbuster fodder, but his beginnings were rich with real promise, and he started a movement with his stylistic approach to film-making that wasn't really seen in other directors at that time.
So, let's look at these noms:
I feel like this is a nice range of styles, themes and genres here. We have the gritty family drama, the enriched biopic, the ant-war art house piece, the social satire and the tacky sex-thriller. LOL at the sex-thriller winning. Oh, the power of a three-way!
This is a real showcase for director's directors, with five men who absolutely infuse their own styles into each of their films. I do know that it seems odd to have John McNaughton missing from the Top Twelve entirely, but this isn't the first time that a Best Picture winner isn't accompanied by a Director nom (look at 2011 as well). His style and direction was obviously key to the success of the film, but this year was so rich with director's flexing their stylistic muscle.
A note on Spielberg; I kind of hate Saving Private Ryan. That being said, the opening scene is flawlessly directed, and while I found the rest of the film to feel like a preachy bore, the strength of this action scenes was enough to secure Spielberg a spot in my Top Twelve. His Oscar win, over Malick though, is just gross.
Here is where you have to separate the whole 'Best Picture' from 'Film Editing'. So often I see that AMPAS just checks the boxes of the films they love most without really understanding what Editing means. I personally don't like Out of Sight that much, and found Happiness to be severely flawed, and yet both films are really brilliantly edited, and so they attain nominations here. Even the aforementioned Saving Private Ryan winds up in the conversation, despite my dislike for the film itself.
But honestly, this was all about Wild Things; seriously.
So that's it for now. More will come, maybe tomorrow (but I doubt it), but definitely next week. What do you think of these picks so far? Is Wild Things too tacky, too offensive, too mainstream for this kind of adoration? Am I too hard on Saving Private Ryan? Did you notice that Shakespeare in Love was in my Top Twelve? What are your thoughts on this year as a whole? I've always considered it one of the lesser years of the 90's, to be honest. This, along with 94, feel lacking as a whole. I love my Top Five (in both years) and yet I never really felt (and still don't feel) like there is a bounty to choose from.
Now, I leave it to you to comment and discuss!