Battle gearing up for Oscar trophies
Web posted on:
From Correspondent Sherri Sylvester
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- He had just won an Academy Award for his touching portrayal of "Forrest Gump" when, in a self-disparaging comment, Tom Hanks told reporters almost four years ago that "Academy members will hurl themselves off the third tier of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion before they ever nominate me again."
Prepare to duck and cover, Hanks: Oscar voters are expected to jump at the chance to honor Hanks and his Spielberg-led star vehicle this year, "Saving Private Ryan."
Says Anne Thompson, the West Coast editor for Premiere magazine: "'Saving Private Ryan' is the film that will dominate the Oscars this year. It's a way, way out there front-runner."
It may seem early, but the Oscar campaign is already in motion, with industry soldiers bombarding voters and civilians with quotes from critics.
This may be the year that big-name stars outrank lesser-known independent actors, many of them in near-death roles. For example, Brad Pitt plays Death in his widely anticipated "Meet Joe Black" role. Susan Sarandon and Meryl Streep are near death in "Stepmom" and "One True Thing," respectively. And Robin Williams' dead character explores the afterlife in "What Dreams May Come."
"It deals with such emotionally intense issues," Williams said of the part. "I said, 'I don't know if I want to deal with this for four to five months, being near that type of dark, pain and loss and all those things that are kind of at the core of this.'"
Williams has another shot at Oscar as a doctor in "Patch Adams," and Streep gets a second chance with her appearance in "Dancing at Lughnasa." Meanwhile, Meg Ryan may get her first nod for "You've Got Mail," in which she stars opposite Tom Hanks; and Jim Carrey could be golden for "The Truman Show."
Carrey has said of his performance as Truman: "It's almost like you're naked, and you're saying, 'OK, this is me now, so if you reject this, it's my essence you don't like.'"
Fortunately for Carrey's ego, most people did like his work. "'Truman Show' was really well-reviewed, so at the end of the year, when all the critics groups start voting, it should do very well," Thompson says. "Jim Carrey has a shot, even though he's a comedian."
Another movie reminiscent of the idealistic 1950s, "Pleasantville," may have a chance to be recognized.
And Oprah Winfrey may meet Oscar for her "Beloved," despite its disappointing performance at the box office.
"This is part of the reason I was born," Oprah said of the production, which director Jonathan Demme guided from the pages of Toni Morrison's prize-winning novel to the screen. "I will do other films, but nothing will come close to meaning what this has meant to me at this particular time."
Twice-nominated actor John Travolta ("Pulp Fiction," "Saturday Night Fever") may get another shot at the gold with "A Civil Action," in which he plays a lawyer representing children with cancer.
Other possible contenders include "Hurlyburly," with real-life couple Sean Penn and Robin Wright teaming up for an adaptation of the David Rabe play, and "The Theory of Flight," starring Kenneth Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter.
Yet one of the most anticipated films this winter is Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line." Its subject is World War II, and it may be battling "Saving Private Ryan" for the best picture prize.
Back to the top
© 2000 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.