SF in film and TV
The Truman Show was cited three times in this year's Academy Awards (Oscar) nominations, announced Tuesday morning -- but not, significantly, in the Best Picture or Best Actor (for Jim Carrey) categories. Though perceived as a front-runner for many of the top categories, the film earned nominations only for director Peter Weir, writer Andrew Niccol, and supporting actor Ed Harris. Otherwise there were few surprises among this year's nominations, with other expected front-runners doing well: Saving Private Ryan earned 11 nominations, Shakespeare In Love 13, and Life Is Beautiful 7. The Thin Red Line, a highly anticipated war drama directed by Terrence Malick, managed a Best Picture nomination despite a mixed reception from critics and audiences, as did Elizabeth, a historical drama criticized by historians in much the same way many SF films are disdained by SF aficionados. It was Elizabeth, perhaps, that slipped onto the final ballot in place of The Truman Show.
As is common each year, SF films scored better in the technical than in the major categories: Pleasantville earned nominations for art direction, costume design, and dramatic score; What Dreams May Come, for art direction and visual effects; Armageddon, for sound, sound effects editing, and visual effects; Mighty Joe Young, for visual effects.
Gods and Monsters received nominations for adapted screenplay and best actor (Ian McKellen).
The Truman Show would have been the most SF'nal film to receive a Best Picture nomination since E.T. the Extraterrestrial in 1982. Only a handful of other SF films have ever been Best Picture nominees -- Star Wars in 1977, A Clockwork Orange in 1971, and Dr. Strangelove in 1964 -- though several other nominees for Best Picture over the years have had fantastic themes or have been of SF'nal interest, including Apollo 13 and Babe (1995), Beauty and Beast (1991), Ghost (1990), Field of Dreams (1989), The Right Stuff (1983), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Heaven Can Wait (1978), The Exorcist (1973), Doctor Dolittle (1967), and Mary Poppins (1964).
Other Movie Notes
(Wed 10 Feb 99)
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