Here we give the 1996 Academy Awards The Cheese. Well, the six most prestigious awards anyway.
The 1996 Academy Awards were actually for movies released in 1995. But you knew that, yeah?
Nominees : Apollo 13, Babe, The Postman, Sense & Sensibility
THE CHEESE: I feel like, generally speaking, the Academy Awards was just way off in 1996 and was not at all representative of the best films of 1995. Either that or my taste in movies was a bit fucked up that year.
I wouldn’t nominate ‘Braveheart’, ‘Babe’, ‘The Postman’ or ‘Sense & Sensibility’ for Best Picture. They’re all decent films but none of them are worthy of being nominated for Best Picture and were not 4 of the top 5 films of 1995.
Instead, I’d have nominated ‘Apollo 13’, ‘The Bridges Of Madison County’, ‘Dead Man Walking’, ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ and ‘Seven.’ They were probably the best films of 1995, not fucking ‘Babe’ or fucking ‘Braveheart.’
It is a shame not to get ‘The Usual Suspects’, ‘Heat’ or ‘Dead Man’ (the western with Johnny Depp) nominated, but they just wouldn’t have quite sneaked in.
And I’d have given the Oscar to ‘Dead Man Walking.’ Without question.
Winner: Mel Gibson (Braveheart)
Nominees : Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas), Chris Noonan (Babe), Michael Radford (The Postman), Tim Robbins (Dead Man Walking)
THE CHEESE: Once again, my list of nominees would be very different to what the Academy eventually went with.
I’m not saying this as some kind of revisionist history against Mel Gibson. I was a Gibson fan until the early 2000’s when he stopped making movies I was interested in. And it’s very easy to stick the boot into him now since he has been exposed as the anti-sematic, misogynist pig he apparently is. But I just didn’t think ‘Braveheart’ was all that great. It’s famous for that ‘freedom’ speech, but who gives a fuck? It just wasn’t a great film and didn’t deserve all the allocates it received from the Academy that year.
I also wouldn’t have nominated Chris Noonan (Babe) or Michael Radford (The Postman) either.
I’d have nominated Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas), David Fincher (Seven), Michael Mann (Heat), Tim Robbins (Dead Man Walking) and Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects.)
It would have been good to nominate Clint Eastwood for ‘Bridges Of Madison County’ but I think he just misses out.
In the end, I’d have given the Oscar to Tim Robbins for ‘Dead Man Walking.’
Winner: Nicholas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas)
Nominees : Richard Dreyfuss (Mr. Holland’s Opus), Anthony Hopkins (Nixon), Sean Penn (Dead Man Walking), Massimo Troisi (The Postman)
THE CHEESE: Considering he hasn’t made a movie worth watching since ‘The Weather Man’ and ‘Lord Of War’ in 2005, it’s easy to forget that Nicholas Cage is actually an awesome actor and completely deserves the Oscar he has. He gave some amazing performances in the 1980’s and 1990’s that have since been overshadowed by the utter shithouse dredge he’s made over the last 10 years. But he was heartbreaking in ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ and he totally deserves the Oscar.
I’d change around some of the nominations though. I wouldn’t nominate Richard Dreyfuss or Massimo Troisi at all. Hopkins should still get nominated despite the fact he gave a tremendous performance in an absolutely terrible film.
I’d have nominated Nicholas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas), Robert De Niro (Heat), Clint Eastwood (The Bridges Of Madison County), Anthony Hopkins (Nixon) and Sean Penn (Dead Man Walking.) I think these were the best performances for the year, even if it’s a very much a ‘big name’ list.
And yeah, I’d have still given it to Cage.
Winner: Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking)
Nominees : Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas), Sharon Stone (Casino), Meryl Streep (The Bridges Of Madison County), Emma Thompson (Sense & Sensibility)
THE CHEESE: There isn’t a single thing I’d change here. The nominees are pretty well spot on and I’d have certainly given the award to Susan Sarandon. They got this one right.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Winner: Kevin Spacey (The Usual Suspects)
Nominees : James Cromwell (Babe), Ed Harris (Apollo 13), Brad Pitt (12 Monkeys), Tim Roth (Rob Roy)
THE CHEESE: Kevin Spacey, until ‘House Of Cards’ the last few years, was a bit like Nicholas Cage in that you’d be forgiven for forgetting what a great actor he is. He made a fairly consistent run of terrible films from 2000 to now. But he had some great performances in some fantastic films in the 1990’s.
All the nominees are spot on but one too. I’d have nominated Kevin Spacey twice in this category. Instead of James Cromwell I’d have nominated Kevin Spacey a second time for ‘Seven.’ In the end I’d have still given him the award for ‘The Usual Suspects.’
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Winner: (Mighty Aphrodite)
Nominees : Joan Allen (Nixon), Kathleen Quinland (Apollo 13), Mare Winningham (Georgia), Kate Winslet (Sense & Sensibiliy)
THE CHEESE: Giving the Academy Awards The Cheese has really illustrated to me that people are really onto something when they say there are not nearly as many good roles for women as there are for men. Almost every year this category is a mystery to me. I often have not seen half of the films that have performances nominated in this category. Those I have seen don’t ever really stand out in my mind.
This year is no different. On the surface I don’t think Mira Sorvino should necessarily have an Oscar. But I can’t think of any other supporting performances by a woman to nominate instead of what was eventually nominated. So what do you do? I guess it’s right?
But there should be better roles for women. There really should.
Overall, it was a very weird year with tons of nominations thrown out by The Cheese and the history books being almost totally re-written in parts. This one has been fun.
‘Colors Of The Wind’ won the Oscar for Best Original Song for ‘Pocahontas’ and Bryan Adams was nominated for ‘Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman’ from ‘Don Juan DeMarco.’ Pocahontas and Bryan Adams? Really? Springsteen was nominated for the song ‘Dead Man Walking’ but didn’t win. Eddie Vedder was eligible to be nominated for ‘The Long Road’ from ‘Dead Man Walking.’ He wasn’t nominated. U2 were eligible for ‘Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me’ for ‘Batman Forever’ which was the only good thing about that shitful movie. They weren’t nominated. But, yeah, ‘Pocahontas.’ Great.
Because you know who should have a fucking Oscar? Eddie Vedder for ‘The Long Road.’ Fuck, that song is kick ass.