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Oscars 2000 Friday, 24 March, 2000, 17:40 GMT
The Oscars: Your views
In the week before the Oscars, BBC News Online asked you to send us your views on who you would like to win and what you thought of the movie industry in general.


Here is a selection of your comments:

As a serious film buff I feel that I'm the only one who looks forward to the Oscars. I believe that the Academy does give recognition to independent films as well as "Hollywood" blockbusters. I've been disappointed by some of the great films that have been left out in the past, but the Oscars is pure drama in itself. All the good and bad aspects of the American film industry will be there in all its glory. Viva Oscars!
Dan, Hawaii, USA

With a few exceptions, I feel that the Oscars pander more to the big studio mind candy productions than to smaller (or indeed any non American) films. I think we tend to forget that the Oscars are an American ceremony and reflect that most strongly.
Gus Morgen, England


Being John Malkovich, again is a brilliant piece that was glossed over in favour of the block buster American Beauty.

Andrew, USA
Best Films are never best films, by all accounts Boogie Nights was superb and Burt Reynolds deserved an Oscar. Being John Malkovich, again is a brilliant piece that was glossed over in favour of the block buster American Beauty. Kevin Spacey is excellent and should be recognised, but ther are some weak performances in the line up. Nobody is ever going to be happy apart from those involved with the winners, sit back watch Hollywood make fools of themselves and remember that England provides most of the support work in ALL of the Hollywood films. And we do not even get a look in when it comes to foreign films. If our government gave half as much money into the industry as the American's we'd wipe the floor with them.
Andrew , New York

Having tracked the Oscars for a number of years I believe that they more or less get it right. It is after all a subjective view of what makes a good movie, actor, etc. However, during the last few years there has been a tendancy to pile all of the chips onto a single overhyped and well marketed film, regardless of merit. The epitome of this was Titanic. A film that was more a triumph of technology than a well crafted piece of cinematic art. The casting, script, and quality of acting were poor, and yet it was judged a better film than Ben Hur, South Pacific, Citizen Kane....and so on
Bob, UK

There are a lot of people suggesting that the Oscars is all about politics, and they are right of course. It has been like this for time and memorial and is simply an oppurtunity for back-slapping amongst the Hollywood community (on that note, isn't it time Tom Cruise won one?). If it is truly on merit you wish a film to be judged you should look to all the independent film festivals like Sundance, Berlin, London and Cannes (to an extent).

However, watching it is great entertainment and those who look down with artistic snobbishness on it should avoid watching it. Enjoy the glamour and take it at face value as I'm sure even those intimately involved do anyway.
Iain Matthews, Scotland

The Oscars are a shallow event, and it is case of style over substance but then so is America. Any other way would surely not seem right.
Dominic Smith, UK

I have doubts that the Oscar goes to the real good ones. I have the feeling that this award has nothing to the with the quality of the production or acting ability of the actors and actresses in question. It's the PR and fancy parties that matter the most.
Cigdem Dalay, Turkey

Alfred Hitchcock never won. Neither did Cary Grant. Says it all.
Drella23, UK


However, the academy has once again shamelessly ignored a controversial film that is more than equal to American Beauty and simply better than the rest of the board - Fight Club. Edward Norton's performance is simply breathtaking throughout and until Norton and other films and filmmakers are given the recognition they deserve it will remain a flawed event.

Steven Loftis, UK
Well, American Beauty will obviously sweep the board and that is probably the best that can be expected (hopefully, though unlikely, with something for Being John Malkovich also). However, the academy has once again shamelessly ignored a controversial film that is more than equal to American Beauty and simply better than the rest of the board - Fight Club. Edward Norton's performance is simply breathtaking throughout and until Norton and other films and filmmakers are given the recognition they deserve it will remain a flawed event. But one only has to look back throughout Oscar's history to see a chain of vastly under awarded films and filmmakers. Consider Pulp Fiction's sole Oscar for best screenplay or the fact that Martin Scorsese has never won a single Oscar despite having been audaciously asked to present a life time achievement award two years ago. It wasn't even until 1969 and Midnight Cowboy that the best picture was awarded to an X rated film.
Steven Loftis, UK

I'm really torn between "American Beauty" and "The Sixth Sense". If you were taken by surprise by the ending of "6th" (as I was) then that film will have had a major impact on you. Ideally I would like to see Best Picture, Director, Actor and Actress go to "...Beauty", and Bestr Supporting Actor and Actress go to "6th". Haley Joel Osment's performance was superb by ANY standards, and Toni Colette was under-rated. Of course, not being able to see "Cider House Rules", "Tumbleweeds" or "Boys Don't Cry" before the awards is always a problem. Still, my two faves gave me such a good experience it would be hard to beat them. The last time I felt like this was the "Braveheart"/"Babe" year: I came away very satisfied then, and I hope I feel the same way this year. :-)
Colin Kerrigan, United Kingdom


I will watch and hope that Hilary Swank is honoured for her bravura peformance.

Hank Feldman, USA
"Boys Don't Cry" was the best American film of 1999, yet neither the film nor the director were nominated for Oscars. Hilary Swank and Chloe Sevigny both deserve top accolades for their searing, engrossing performances. "All About My Mother" was a better film than any of the five movies nominated for best film, yet unlike "Life Is Beautiful", an overrated, tasteless joke, it did not receive a nomination as best feature film as well as best foreign film. Oscar is Hollywood self-aggrandizement, and has nothing to do with "best" film/ performance. Sam Mendes will be given an Oscar for best director, yet Martin Scorcese has never won one. Deborah Kerr is the only actress to have been honored three times by the New York Film Critics, yet she never won an Oscar. The list goes on...Richard Burton, James Mason, etc., etc., etc. But I will watch and hope that Hilary Swank is honoured for her bravura performance.
Hank Feldman, USA

I do really agree with those who say that too many times Oscars have been a prize awarded TO the Box Office, of FOR the Box Office (e.g. in Europe). This should be avoided if Oscars must be a distinction of artistic qualities. I think this year we find among the candidates a much better quality than usual, and perhaps the Academy has understood that it's time to change. The public is tired of special effects and bad people dying two or three times in an orgy of blood. So far I have only seen American Beauty, Sixth Sense and Insider, but I have heard a lot of good also on Magnolia, Mr Hartley or The House of The Cider. American Beauty is definitely one of the best American movies of the last years. The Sixth Sense is very close however, and I would have liked a nomination for Bruce Willis, surprisingly good. The Insider for me was far too slow, but Russell Crowe gives a very good performance.

Private Ryan, no matter what it won, just a below average war movie, with unjustified claims of moral purposes vs. a clear feeling of American nationalism throughout the movie. Instead The Thin Red Line was a great pacifist movie which deserved more recognition.

Stefano Curotto, Italy
Reading the posts here, I really notice how difficult it is to have a common view on things (and movies). Independence Day is a movie I would have willingly awarded a double x-rated, at least to prevent younger brains from damage. Titanic was for me a wonderful love movie, an area where some people seem to be ashamed to recognize any quality: a masterpiece in its field. I found Private Ryan, no matter what it won, just a below average war movie, with unjustified claims of moral purposes vs. a clear feeling of American nationalism throughout the movie. Instead The Thin Red Line was a great pacifist movie which deserved more recognition. And Annette Bening as an hysteric middle aged woman is simply fantastic, even if I could never suffer her in previous movies. The thing on which people who love cinema should agree is that we should cheer for a return to good actors and good scripts, leaving aside pure violence and special effects.
Stefano Curotto, Rome, Italy

The Academy Award is moving towards identifying values and mores in society. I think this is great because the film industry is the biggest media and to send the wrong signals in society would further deteriorate society: "American Beauty" identifies with dysfunctional societies in general and not just American; The "Green Mile" condemns the death penalty; The "Hurricane" pointed out reconciliation by a person who had been imprisoned (very much like Nelson Mandela?); The "Insider" pointed out the "unchecked passion" in the business world of greed; In "Boys Don't Cry", it brings across issues that some people behaved differently and should not be discriminated!
Dominic Chan, Singapore

If Oscars are for politically correct films as many writers seem to say, then perhaps that's why continental Europe and the UK has its own awards ceremonies.
Geoff Nunn, Luxembourg


My cousin summed up what American Beauty is all about when, while viewing with her husband, turned to him and whispered: "What are they trying to do in this movie - break every commandment."

Don Munro, USA
From its first scenes, including Kevin Spacey's shower masturbation scene, "American Beauty" disgusted me, and it mortifies me to think that audiences around the globe might walk out of this picture thinking that it portrays the state of American family life. My cousin summed up what "American Beauty" is all about when, while viewing with her husband, turned to him and whispered: "What...are they trying to do in this movie -- break every commandment." This just confirms my long-time feeling that Hollywood has a totally different set of morals than the rest of America.
Don Munro, USA

If 'Magnolia' was released too late for Tom Cruise to be nominated, how come the brilliant Aimee Mann is up for Best Song for 'Save Me' from the movie's soundtrack?
Jonothan, Scotland


But how about that unique production from Wim Wenders/Roy Cooder, Buena Vista Social Club.

John Nevitt, England
American Beauty was a well crafted film which is not surprising from a British Director with roots in theatre. Kevin Spacey was wonderful. On another note Jude Law should also get recognition. But how about that unique production from Wim Wenders/Roy Cooder, Buena Vista Social Club. Truly brilliant to see all those old music legends from Havana being re-discovered and basking in the glory of Carnegie Hall. Wonderfully life-affirming but probably not commercial enough!
John Nevitt, London, England

The Cider House Rules is a moving, thought provoking movie which will never win a deserved Oscar due to it's subject matter. Middle America will never accept an Oscar winning movie which deals with abortion and incest - they prefer to moralise or ignore such things. Michael Caine is just wonderful in this movie
Susan, Scotland

The only reason the awards exist is to increase box office receipts for American movies playing in the United States. It wasn't that long ago that one studio controlled Academy voting for the major studios. I'm sure it's less biased now (nudge nudge wink wink).
Charlene, Canada

The Oscars have always tended to reward the fare of the big movie houses over those of independent film makers. If Hillary Swank wins the Oscar for best actress in Boy's Don't Cry over the histrionics of Annette Benning in American Beauty then the Oscars will finally be moving towards rewarding cinema as art rather than cinema as fodder for the middlebrow.

As for the undying love of some of the contributors towards the risible Shawshank Redemption, I would argue that the apple pie moralism that that movie expresses is exactly what the Oscars should try to avoid. Those who see the Shawshank Redemption as a world away from the winner that year, Forrest Gump, are about as far-sighted as those who believe George W Bush is a racy and radical alternative to Al Gore.
Ben Jones, Washington, DC USA

I believe that the Oscars most frequently neglect other big movie BoxOffice hits which earn alot of accreditations. For example, the movie Independence Day, which did not earn any nomination. The Academy Awards should include more action down-to-earth movies to refreshen its otherwise boring ceremony.
Oneil Kumar Jnr, Fiji Islands


Keep in mind you are dealing with a nation who can't remember Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant or any of the older stars due to this country's pointed predilection to youth!

Anita Hartz, USA
As an ex-pat living in San Francisco, I am one of the lucky ones. Not only do I have the opportunity to see Hollywood films, but here in San Francisco, we have an extraordinary amount of independent films showing. I think that the Independent Spirit Awards and Redford's Sundance Festival are the things to take interest in. Oscar night is a political occasion and maybe, just maybe, Denzel Washington will win an Oscar for The Hurricane, but only because Holywood feels guilty, or has bowed to pressure to honour a Black American. Let's face it, today's Hollywood films are generally sentimental, schmaltzy epics that anybody in their right mind or with a modicum of critical ability would avoid like the plague. Otherwise, why would Terence Stamp's superb performance in The Limey have gone unnoticed? Keep in mind however that you are dealing with a nation who can't remember Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant or any of the older, stars due to this country's pointed predilection to youth!
Anita Hartz, USA

Absolutely, I liked American Beauty but yes. Better films - there are a few. For example, what happened to Fight Club then? The truth is still that the Academy is for pansies - nothing too controversial and tirelessly marketed is the game so I will be in washing my hair untill incredible talents like Edward Norton gets the big trophy.
Zoe, UK

Martin Scorsese has never won an Oscar, what more is there to say.
Scott, UK

The Academy voters will always without fail award Oscars to a) Actors who have never been nominated before (or are likely never to be nominated again) or b) actors who are old and likely not to be around for the next ceremony. It's cynical, I know, but just look at the winners ... Too many deserving actors/directors miss out because of this mawkish sentimentality
Sue, UK


The truth is still that the Academy is for pansies - nothing too controversial and tirelessly marketed is the game so I will be in washing my hair untill incredible talents like Edward Norton gets the big trophy.

Zoe, UK
I could never understand why Helen Hunt won best actress for As Good As it Gets over Judy Dench, who gave a far superior performance.

Probably she won because that year she was the lone American amongst the nominees. What real movie did she do before, and really what has she done since!!!

I think this American Beauty will win most of the Awards. Would be nice to see Richard Farnsworth win, but I think Kevin Spacey will win. Oh well, I shall watch them anyway as I do every year
J Gibbs, Canada

A film of our time. Covers so much that we know but don't talk about easily, except with the word 'dysfunctional'. Thank goodness the film also had a great sense of humour and, where appropriate, did't take itself too seriously.
Harry Amson, England

This year seems to be one of the most open races in years. However American Beauty is going to sweep the awards. Although that may not be a bad thing, some recognition needs to, and should go, to the other films.

The Sixth Sense was an excellent film, with a performance from Bruce Willis that, although doesn't deserve an Oscar, deserved a nomination.

Michael Caine deserves to win simply because he is one of the best actorsof the last 40 years. His canon although it contains a degree of dross has films like Sleuth, The Ipcress File, Hannah and her Sisters and Get Carter.
J. Anderson, England

How Forrest Gump got an Oscar ahead of The Shawshank Redemption I will never understand. Maybe the secret is to have a film that makes America feel good about itself.
G Yar, UK

The Oscars, in my view, tend to be political. How else are you going to explain why The Colour Purple did not win an Oscar the year it was made, despite the fact that it was nominated for several. Apparently, the Academy had their own unpublicised agenda or criteria. Denzel Washington is a superb actor in The Hurricane, but is the Academy truly interested in quality actors or films? Some other issues are taken into account too. It will be fun to know how, where and why they pick their winners.
Yetty, Oxford, England


The young boy in The Sixth Sense deserves an Oscar

Carol, Italy
The film which should have received an Oscar nomination for best film is Toy Story 2. The animation and graphics were truly amazing, at times it seemed that these cartoons were real people. I enjoyed the original but this was even better.
Anthony Roberts, England

A public forum for deciding the best picture would be a good idea but internet and phone polls are easily rigged and hijacked. If Belle & Sebastian ever release a movie the gong is theirs for the taking.
Asif Khan, UK

I thought that American Beauty was the usual "Americanata". The young boy in The Sixth Sense deserves an Oscar.
Carol, Italy

I'd let the people decide for best picture by having an internet and phone poll vote. It appears that everyone not on the Oscar voting committee realises how contrived and biased the system currently is.
Alfred Noakes, UK

Film is an art, even before it is an industry. To approach it almost only as an industry, as the Academy does, means that the art in film will always be overlooked.
Jeroen, Netherlands


I'm PRAYING for Denzel to take the Best Actor Oscar on 26 March!

Omar, USA
Everyone knows that on many occasions the best films do not receive nominations. This time however, two of the five films nominated for best picture made my top ten list for 1999 (American Beauty and The Insider.) Unfortunately, the best film of year, Eyes Wide Shut, was shut-out and Being John Malkovich (the second best of 1999) should have received a best picture nod. All I can say is, I'm PRAYING for Denzel to take the Best Actor Oscar on 26 March!! Who knows, there may even be a tie - Washington and Spacey could share the award!!
Omar, New York, USA

I have sometimes questioned the choices for Oscar winners. Sometimes movies, actors and actresses that I like have won, sometimes not. But I completely lost faith last year when Shakespeare in Love (which was not a bad movie) won over Life is Beautiful, which is one of the best films I've ever seen. Why did is lose? No big name star (in the US at least) and it was a foreign language film. They should change the award from "Best Picture" to "What We Think is the Best Picture in the English Language". What is really amusing is that many people actually believe that Saving Private Ryan won best picture last year!!!
Roberta, USA


The problem with the Oscars these days is that it's not the best movie of the year that gets awarded, it's the most politically correct! Movies and politics do not mix!

Richard, Wales
I agree with John Airey who thought the Shawshank Redemption should have been nominated rather then Forrest Gump. The problem with the Oscars these days is that it's not the best movie of the year that gets awarded, it's the most politically correct! Movies and politics do not mix!
Richard, Wales

Why does everyone take this so seriously? It's only hype, publicity and superficial gliltz. Surely we're all grown up enough to realise that just because something is called 'Best Picture' doesn't mean it will be the most popular or even that I or you as individuals will like it (I hated Titanic). It is the personal view of a few which gives these results. Box office receipts show the films which are truly appreciated and their fame grows by word of mouth and critical reviews, not by who-won-what at the Oscars. I don't think I've ever watched a film just because of the awards it won because it would not in any way increase my expectations of its appeal. It either has a story / setting / actor/actress which appeals to me or I don't bother watching it. You could argue for days about who was best and which film was best, but it's all personal opinion. Could you agree on history's best actor? Best film? No. So don't expect to agree on one year's output.
Jenni, UK

It's all a matter of opinion - and what's "in". Of course in the States the movie tastes differ totally from Britain or most other cultures. Unfortunately, to many Americans, the States is the world. So, I personally don't watch the Oscars - never have (it's not entertaining!). I prefer to do or watch something entertaining. As a 25-year-old, I am starting to find that TV and movies are becomming a bit boring.
Jo, Netherlands

Martin Scorsese has never won an Oscar, what else is there to say?
Scott, UK

Hollywood is all about appearances - who looks good on TV, which dress Gwyneth Paltrow wears, etc. Who cares? The Oscars are a sham. Take Judi Dench's award last year. They do not mean a thing. Talented actors and brilliant films are always overlooked - take The Talented Mr Ripley and Al Pacino. However, those actors who only go into the business to win an Academy Award are morons. Awards don't count. What does is having the ability to move the audience, making an impact, challenging prejudices, and bringing joy into the lives of millions. Leonardo DiCaprio is one such person. He has an amazing ability to unite the world. His films are loved by people from Manchester to Sydney. This is what is important, not having a shiny statuette on the mantlepiece!
Selena Zafar, UK

There is no denying the originality of "American Beauty",having said that Hollywood has not always been correct. It took Al Pacino the best part of his career to get an oscar for a role that was good,although can no means be compared to "Dog Day Afternoon" or "And Justice for All" The Oscars are watched by millions across the world, but let us not forget that they do not represent the choice of the people.The Oscars is an evenings entertainment to see the stars dress up for a Hollywood tradition, nothing more nothing less.
Nabeel Hamarain, U.A.E.

I suppose my already shaken faith in the integrity of the Academy Awards was irretreivably destroyed after Titanic was awarded Best Picture. As a result, I don't doubt American Beauty will walk off with a number of awards which should have been bestowed on movies which took chances (Being John Malkovich) or did exactly what movies are supposed to do--entertain (The Sixth Sense).
Carrie, USA


Who wants to sit through an endless tribute to Hollywood-American wretched excess?

Peter C Kohler, USA
I take the discovery of the stolen Oscars in a rubbish tip as a good omen. This cinema buff avoids the tedious annual ritual of "Oscar Night" like the plague. Who wants to sit through an endless four-hour (plus) tribute to Hollywood-American wretched excess? Do people really want to hear those tasteless jokes from Whoopi Goldberg or whomever or sit through the de rigour PC diatribes from "activist stars" wearing those little red bows on the lapels of laughably bad (but way hip of course) clothes? Me, I'm going to go out and see "Topsy Turvy" for the fourth time on Oscar night-- a brilliant British film that charmed audiences and critics and, of course, was all but forgotten by the glitterati of Hollywood.
Peter C. Kohler, USA

American Beauty is a very good film (surprisingly so for an American-made film), but it isn't THAT bloody good. For instance, it pales in comparison to Magnolia, released too late to get in for this round of Oscars. But will Magnolia get the same rapt adoration, coming as it does from the independent side of the industry?

The Oscars regularly succeed in overlooking the worthiest films. The whole event is an ever-crasser fab-fest of Hollywood patting itself on the back, with the outcome often determined by the schmoozing and marketing ability of the studios whcih have films in the running.
Phil Vos, United States

I watch the Oscars every year, expecting the most deserving film to win and every year I am , of course, disappointed. The main problem with the Academy seems to be that once they latch onto the idea that a film is good (whether it is or it isn't) then they tend to bestow anything and everything on it, to the detriment of other, just as worthy entrants. I would like to see Hilary Swank win best actress, but I expect that Annette Bening's overtly hysterical wife in American Beauty will win. I would like to see Michael Mann win best director for The Insider but I expect that American Beauty will win again. I would like to see Blame Canada win best original song.... I suppose I will have to go on dreaming.
Sarah, Sweden

The Oscars are always wonderful to watch and become better each year. American Beauty will in my opinion get at least five Oscars (including best picture, best actor and actress in a leading role and for best director). I also hope that Haley Joel Osment wins an Oscar for his masterful portrayal of Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense. And I also hope that Angelina Jolie (Jon Voight´s daughter) will win an Oscar for her masterful acting in Girl, Interrupted. This will all be exciting to watch next Sunday and hopefully all the Oscars will go to right places. Enjoy.
Stefan Fridrik Stefansson, Iceland

I think the Oscars are decided more on who you are than how good a film/performance is. With regards to Al Pacino though, yes he was good but he is completely overshadowed by the tour de force performance that Russell Crowe gives. I think he is more deserving of a nomination than Al.
Kate, UK

Films are a matter of personal taste so the Oscars will always be controversial. However, what has been the hallmark of 75 years of Hollywood and the US film industry has been the petty politics, the greed, the vanity and the corrupting influence of the vast sums of money gleaned from film-goers. The Oscars are the way the film industry shows off its pretty side.
James Denning, UK

I think it is the snowball effect, what one award ceremony does the others follow and hype, cutting it down to a couple of films. It's a total waste of time and is only about self-appreciation.
Mark Wood, UK

Al Pacino is fabulous in The Insider but is completely overshadowed by Russell Crowe who is absolutely deserving of his nomination. The only problem I have with the Oscars is that they tend to be political. I think Annette Bening will probably win despite the fact that Hilary Swank is far and away the best actress this year. It depends far more on who you are than who what you have acted.
Kate, UK

What about Ralph Fiennes' movie Sunshine? Why is the Academy not interested in a quality film like that?
Csipi, Portugal

I really enjoyed a non-Best Picture Oscar contender The Talented Mr Ripley. Its dark account of a mass murderer was chilling and so different than other films.
Leon Owen Jones, UK

It's just a festival, I think. And it's a big and effective commercial. Sometimes it has been a good choice, but sometimes not. Selection is difficult, isn't it? I'm fun about it.
Miura Yasusi, Japan


Anyone who ever saw the 1995 film La Haine knows the Oscars are hype, hype and more hype.

Joe, England
The Oscars are always a hit-and-miss guide to the highs and lows of the cinematic year, but the omissions do show that we seem to be in something of a boom period for original, provocative, well-crafted movies from Hollywood. In the last few months we've had American Beauty, Sleepy Hollow, The Sixth Sense, Three Kings, The Limey, Being John Malkovich, Magnolia, The Insider and more. Is this a sign that the studios have woken up to the fact that big flash effects and stars we recognise from TV sitcoms aren't enough any more?
Tim, UK

Anyone who ever saw the 1995 film La Haine knows in an instant that the Oscars are hype, hype and more hype. The Oscars are not about good film they are about justifying large budgets and inept productions.
Joe, England


I'll bet that the most eyecatching dress, designed by the most prestigious designer and worn by the youngest, slimmest and prettiest woman, will make more headlines than any of the Oscar winners.

Deeds, England
The Oscars recognise and award the best films of the cinematic year and I think, to a certain degree, that it is a credible event. American Beauty was one of the finest films I've ever watched and it has recieved just recognition for its brilliance. But I can't help but think why an awards ceremony should focus so much on the dresses that the guests are wearing, whether they are nominees or just guests. I'll bet that the most eyecatching dress, designed by the most prestigious designer and worn by the youngest, slimmest and prettiest woman, will make more headlines than any of the Oscar winners.
Deeds, England

In my opinion the Shawshank Redemption was one of the best movies of all time. Instead, that year, the Academy chose the awful Forrest Gump. It's been downhill ever since.
John Airey, UK

I think Oscars are giving to those who really deserve. Sixth Sense movie is just marvellous, to be feel proud of that great Indian director and story writer. I wish him all the best.
Ishpinder Singh Ranu, India(now in St. Petersburg)

What a great time for Nepali movie lovers! First time Nepali movie 'Caravan' got nominated for best foreign movie. Good luck to you all!
Rajesh, Nepal


I love it! - except of course if Kevin Spacey doesn't win... in that case I'll boycott next year.

Emily Golding, England
American Beauty seems to have touched a raw nerve with protestors at the Oscar ceremonies and with your contributor Don Munro of USA. Did he leave his sense of humour outside the cinema. Surely he does not expect us all to believe that family life in middle America is all sweetness and light. Thank God for Hollywood, sit back and enjoy the Oscars. The world's media will be there. It's entertainment.
John, UK

The best movie of the year is unfortunately nominated only for best documentary. Genghis Blues deserves a broader audience and worldwide recognition.
CR, USA

Despite the politics and apology the oscars are the most important event in the cinema goers calendar. Embrace the glamour and the gliz, side-step the hypocrisy and settle in for an evening of pure, unadulterated superficiality - I love it! - except of course if Kevin Spacey doesn't win..in that case I'll boycott next year.
Emily Golding, England

I think it is extremely positive that a British-directed film so critical about American society's values should be nominated for so many Oscars - I just hope it wins them!
Stuart Cane, Wales

I don't believe the Academy awards are there to say which film is better than any other as that would be a little blinkered. Surely it is better to judge a film against all others AT THE TIME THE FILM IS RELEASED. As an example, just look at Annie Hall. The film is a classic because it fit in with the political state of America at the time of release, and it went on to win 4 Awards. I think they are correct to judge films against the politics of the time, and that would include the hype that a film creates. Hype isn't hype unless the people get behind it, and if they do, then Awards should be given.
Richard Edgar, UK

Usually I don't agree with the compilation of movies the Oscars offer us, but this year I actually like most of the movies submitted. I would like to see Denzel get an Oscar for "Hurricane", I was disappointed "the Green Mile" did not receive more nominations. Tom Hanks rarely does bad work.
Bryan Mitchell, USA

"October Sky" is simply moving; it isn't controversial and spreads a message of hope. "Hurricane" is also a powerful movie. I believe it is because these movies aren't controversial or don't help to spread the liberal political agenda of Hollywood, that they weren't nominated for Oscars.
Wood Powell, Atlanta, GA, USA


When will the resurgence of Iranian cinema get a look in for example? And remember 'Welcome to Sarajevo'?

Alexandra Citron, UK
As all the comments prove, there's no such thing as consensus on the most deserving.

I'm not so sure American Beauty will sweep the board, though it does fulfill the criteria of good performances, fine script and intelligent entertainment which would be nice to see in all the movies to somehow hit the screens. I'd have liked to see a nomination for Wes Bentley, who gave by far the most interesting performance, but I'd like to see Joel Haley Osment win it for Sixth Sense.

The problem is that the Oscars are the most globally renowned of film awards, but only concentrate on the English speaking world. The Best Foreign film nods towards the idea of non-English cinema, but there is still a prevalent notion that Hollywood and the Oscars really mean you've hit the pinnacle of achievement. Thankfully for the rest of the world they don't. When will the resurgence of Iranian cinema get a look in for example? And remember 'Welcome to Sarajevo'? Important and visceral film-making which didn't get nearly the recognition it deserved. The fact the Being John Malkovich has had the backing it has should at least be grounds for hope.

So it'll be fun, but nobody should take it too seriously. As they say, 'C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre.'
Alexandra Citron, UK

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