Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1998


Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful)
Tom Hanks (Saving Private Ryan)
Nick Nolte (Affliction)
Edward Norton (American History X)
Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters)

Biggest Snub:

Jim Carrey – The Truman Show

My Overall Thoughts:

This year has 5 excellent actors in amazing roles and I’m quite sure it wasn’t easy picking between them. The ultimate winner was a very good choice, but was he really the best performance of the 5? Not quite sure if I agree with that.

My Rankings:

Acting Performances

5. Ian McKellen 
4. Nick Nolte 
3. Tom Hanks 
2. Roberto Benigni
1. Edward Norton

Movies

5. AfflictionInteresting story that is not the easiest to sit through. Most of the subject matter is very intense and you don’t know which characters to agree with and which not to. Nolte and Coburn are both amazing here. Coburn definitely deserved his Oscar for this role. Not a movie one can watch over and over tho.
4. Gods and MonstersThis is an amazing biopic because it explores the mind of the main character as he reflects on his life and debates how he wants to be remembered. This story takes place at a time when most people knew the truth about what really happened in Hollywood yet kept it all as secret as possible. McKellen and Fraser are both great here as two unlikely friends who find a way to form a connection when they both need it the most. The dialogue is superb and we get a real feeling that these characters are lost souls who are trying to understand how and why they got to where they have and more importantly, are they where they wish to really be. Condon deservingly won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for this film’s script.
3. Life is BeautifulBenigni is perfect for this role. Movie is a pleasant mix of war torn drama with light humorous moments sprinkled throughout.
2. American History XAmazing film that deals with hate on so many different levels; on how to combat it and not let it perpetuate. Some very graphic scenes help to punctuate the dangers and brutality of hate. Superb cast led by Norton and Furlong show the effects of nurture vs. nature. Not an easy film to watch but it definitely is essential viewing for a film about hate and tolerance.
1. Saving Private RyanOne of the best war films and among the best overall films ever made. Spielberg does an amazing job capturing the feeling of real close combat and we are treated to an experience unlike any other as we are taken as close as we can get to a real battle. The cast is superb with Hanks, Burns, Pepper, Davies, Goldberg, Diesel, Sizemore, and Ribisi all wonderful as the men chosen for such a mission. Each of them is made real and unique by their mannerisms and opinions which help the diverse dialogue about the overall thematic debate to constantly take place. The cinematography is amazing and it helps enhance the patriotic and grandeur feeling of it all. It’s completely unacceptable that this film lost Best Picture at the Oscars to Shakespeare in Love (1998) because there is no rational reason for that to have happened. At least they had the forethought to award Spielberg the award for Best Director.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No!  I understand how RB won the award, but I still think that Norton gave an even more powerful performance this year.

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

Let me Know what you think!!

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