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CNN.com film critic Paul Tatara  

1999 Academy Awards: Whither 'Boys Don't Cry'?

(CNN) -- Here we go again. The more you think about the increasingly tainted process of handing out Academy Award nominations, the more annoying it gets. A few out-and-out grandstanders are always thrown into the mix, and they have a better than average chance of walking away with the statue in a weak year. More often than not, though, the nominees are pretty sensible. Unlike the Grammys -- where the award might as well be a framed bank statement -- talented people often win Oscars. It's simple enough to spot the chaff, and legitimately powerful movies usually receive their fair share of nominations.

Not this year, though. Frankly, the Academy wimped out. If anyone understands why a bucket of porridge like "The Green Mile" is more worthy of a best picture nod than the heartrending "Boys Don't Cry" or David O. Russell's nearly visionary black comedy, "Three Kings," feel free to drop me a postcard explaining the situation. Don't worry; I won't mind if you use a crayon.

The following are my predictions for this year's ceremony. I've also listed a few films and performances that I think were unjustly overlooked by the Academy. Please don't use this as a guideline to place bets with your bookie. There's no way to accurately gauge the effect that hard-sell studio campaigns will have on malleable voters. Only time will tell if Miramax has convinced people that the modestly successful "The Cider House Rules" is actually "Citizen Kane: The Apple Picking Years." » First category

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