Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley)
Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense)
Chris Cooper – American Beauty
My Overall Thoughts:
This year has a very talented group of nominees and 2 of them gave the best performances of their careers with these roles. The run up the Oscars showed how it would be possible for any of them to win since the awards were spread out among the various nominees and there was no clear front runner.
5. Jude Law
4. Tom Cruise
3. Michael Clarke Duncan
2. Michael Caine
1. Haley Joel Osment
5. The Talented Mr. Ripley – Interesting idea that just doesn’t work well enough. The story moves a bit too slowly and its hard to care about any of the characters because they don’t seem developed enough for us to get to know them. Great cast led by Damon, Law, Blanchett, Paltrow and Hoffman are all quite good here even if the story itself doesn’t play out well enough. This story is probably much better on paper because it can help explain so much of what is happening in the mind of the main character that isn’t relatable enough visually.
4. Magnolia – Amazing anthology of stories of life in LA. The characters are all developed very well and things flow quite well and in a believable way. The way that the characters are slightly related to one another by their actions and lives is done really well and helps make the story feel ever more realistic. The cast is superbly chosen and even though none of them can truly be considered the lead, they all share the same level of exposure in a story that moves towards a very big finale where the characters can eventually all meet. That is actually the weakest part of the film and it detracts from things because the method used here seems more like a farce than an epic way of connecting all of the characters properly.
3. The Cider House Rules – Great heartwarming movie seen from the eyes of an innocent young man. Caine and Maguire are both superb here. Caine very deservingly won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for this performance.
2. The Sixth Sense – Excellent movie. Beautifully scripted by Shyalaman which put him on the map. Definitely his best movie. Osment and Willis are both really great here.
1. The Green Mile – Amazing film that is among the best adaptations of a novel to screen. Darabont once again proves how adept he is in adapting a King novel nearly perfectly and directs it magnificently. The fact that he is one of the very few directors to receive Oscar Nominations in Writing and for Best Picture on his first two directed films is an achievement in and of itself. It’s too bad that he missed out on the Directing nominations. Superb cast keeps things interesting the entire time and both hanks and Duncan stand out among the best. The story is set in a dark environment yet still shines because of it’s message of hope and discovery of truth even in the most unlikely places. Best film of 1999 by far!
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! I think Caine does a great job here and was a deserving winner, but Osment showed something extraordinary in his performance that even he hasn’t been able to duplicate since this was the apex of his career. His character and performance here still remains one of the best of this group and quite iconic.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!