Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fisti Awards Update (1998)

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!

10 comments:

  1. Well... at least it's not Shakespeare in Love.

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    1. LOL, that's it?!?! Come on, I know you have more to say than that!!!

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    2. I LOVE Shakespeare in Love :)

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    3. I do too! I saw it a few years back for the first time and was so delighted it beat out Saving Private Ryan! It gets so much hate, but it's such a beautiful film. I hate that it so often gets criticized.

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  2. Saving Ryan's Privates really pissed me off. Sorry for stating it so boldly. The first 20 minutes was excellent but the rest, as if only the Americans were there to save the day like Mighty Mouse bothered me. Spielberg even gave a little snide dig that the troops in Caen were holding them back. We Canadians took Caen and that was the size of Hamilton, Ont.! If it wasn't for us Canucks at Juno Beach the Americans may have suffered like we did at Dieppe. Don't get me started. OK I love War films overall but I am not a fan of the Thin Red Line either. I actually found it long and prodding. Shakespeare in Love is nice and good but should not have won the Oscar. I love Gods and Monsters and felt that should have won for a few like Ian Mclellen. I am also a sucker for Life Is Beautiful and What Dreams May Come. The last is one of my favourites especially in the art direction and effects and I thought Robins Williams did a great performance

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    1. LOL, I love when people get so passionate about film! Yeah, I just didn't buy into it at all. It felt too self congratulatory and monotonously boring. I do understand your complaints with the factual narrative as well, but I'm so underversed in the historical aspects that I didn't catch those.

      I find Life is Beautiful to be sort of embarrassing and I haven't seen What Dreams May Come.

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  3. Wild Things is an inspired choice. Kudos to you. I wouldn't have went that route, but I love your boldness, there. Not to upset Birgit, but I probably would have went with Saving Private Ryan or Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Whether or not it was completely factual, I just love the way SPR told it's story through action and found it to be an intense watch. Lock, Stock is just a towering achievement in circular story-telling. My "out there" nom would probably be He Got Game. I also loved The Truman Show, Pleasantville, and The Big Lebowski. Don't get me wrong, I love Wild Things, too, but after these others.

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    1. Glad you're a fan of my boldness! Film is so subjective, so I have no qualms with you listing off films you prefer to my winner. I knew going in that this was going to be a pretty ballsy pick, and not one many would agree with.

      I like He Got Game, mostly for Washington's tremendous performance. I like The Big Lebowski as well, but it kind of fails to be brilliant Coen for me...it feels almost too light.

      I LOVE that you LOVE Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. I thought for sure that I was going to get ripped for my Ritchie nomination, but YAY for someone agreeing with me on it!!!

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  4. I LOVE these!!! And I've actually seen ALL of the films! :D

    Your impartiality is wonderful. I do my best to be as impartial, but I think the Fisti's take the cake. For instance, I nominate Great Expectations for Best Picture and Best Director, but I'm not sure that's very bold. :)

    The Guy Ritchie nod is one of my favorite Fisti nods ever. I wouldn't put him in my top 5, but I'd love to nominate him for something like that. And Wild Things is in my top 10, so it's awesome to see it winning some big awards. Thrilled that you loved The Celebration by the way. That's still in my top 100 of all time. At the moment, I'd put Saving Private Ryan at #5, so it might fall off eventually.

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    1. Yes, I remember you recommending Festen to me when you saw how much I loved Bo Larson's performance in The Hunt. SO GLAD YOU DID! Just wait till I post my acting ballots. Honestly, these are some of my favorites ever, especially the Supporting ones.

      And Great Expectations is bold, considering that it isn't universally lauded. I personally really liked it, and I hand it a few noms in the techs. It's a beautiful film, and Paltrow is AMAZING.

      What a year she had.

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