Oscars. Everybody loves them, everybody hates them. But they come around each year, like it or not . . . kind of like the flu.

Ballots from voting members were due Feb. 1, and nominations will be announced early Wednesday. The Academy Awards themselves will be handed out March 25.Handicapping this year's Oscar nominations is no easy task, especially since pre-Oscar awards - various prestigious critics organizations, the Golden Globes, etc. - were so diverse.

Oh, it's easy to suggest "Home Alone" and "Pretty Woman" are not likely to win any nominations in any of the major categories. And that the only honest-to-gosh frontrunners appear to be "Dances With Wolves" and "GoodFellas."

But there are other obviously strong contenders such as "Awakenings" and `Mr. and Mrs. Bridge" (which has not yet played in Salt Lake City), and to a lesser extent "Avalon," "Reversal of Fortune" and "The Godfather, Part III."

But you never know. A "Presumed Innocent," forgotten because it opened so much earlier in 1990 than the others, could creep in there.

And there are always some surprises.

Anyway, for what it's worth, here's my list of definite maybes - gleaned not only from the films' artistic merits but also from industry "buzz." Yes, though the Academy will have only five nominees per category, I have listed more. A little leeway seemed the better part of valor.BEST PICTURE

"Dances With Wolves"




"The Godfather, Part III"

"Reversal of Fortune"

"The Grifters"

"Mr. & Mrs. Bridge"


Robert De Niro, "Awakenings"

Robin Williams, "Awakenings"

Jeremy Irons, "Reversal of Fortune"

Al Pacino, "The Godfather, Part III"

Paul Newman, "Mr. & Mrs. Bridge"

Gerard Depardieu, "Cyrano de Bergerac"

Mel Gibson, "Hamlet"

Harrison Ford, "Presumed Innocent"

Richard Harris, "The Field"BEST ACTRESS

Joanne Woodward, "Mr. & Mrs. Bridge"

Anjelica Huston, "The Grifters"

Kathy Bates, "Misery"

Susan Sarandon, "White Palace"

Glenn Close, "Reversal of Fortune"

Meryl Streep, "Postcards From the Edge"

Shirley MacLaine, "Postcards From the Edge"

Mia Farrow, "Alice"


Joe Pesci, "GoodFellas"

Andy Garcia, "The Godfather, Part III"

Bruce Davison, "Longtime Companion"

Ron Silver, "Reversal of Fortune"

Graham Greene, "Dances With Wolves"

Rodney Grant, "Dances With Wolves"

Paul Winfield, "Presumed Innocent"

Raul Julia, "Presumed Innocent"

John Hurt, "The Field"

Bruce Dern, "After Dark, My Sweet"


Whoopi Goldberg, "Ghost"

Bonnie Bedelia, "Presumed Innocent"

Annette Bening, "The Grifters"

Lorraine Bracco, "GoodFellas"

Mary McDonnell, "Dances With Wolves"

Tantoo Cardinal, "Dances With Wolves"

Diane Ladd, "Wild at Heart"

Billie Whitelaw, "The Krays"

Winona Ryder, "Mermaids"

Jennifer Jason Leigh, "Last Exit to Brooklyn"BEST DIRECTOR

Kevin Costner, "Dances With Wolves"

Martin Scorsese, "GoodFellas"

Penny Marshall, "Awakenings"

Barry Levinson, "Avalon"

Barbet Schroeder, "Reversal of Fortune"

Francis Ford Coppola, "The Godfather, Part III"

Giuseppe Tornatore, "Cinema Paradiso"

Stephen Frears, "The Grifters"

James Ivory, "Mr. & Mrs. Bridge"

Franco Zeffirelli, "Hamlet"

- WE'RE STILL TAKING suggestions on how to quiet people in the theater who can't stop talking so the rest of us can enjoy the movie. You know, those folks who seem to think they're in their living room - the ones that keep trying to fast-forward to a car chase.

Some readers who have already written in have complained about other aspects of moviegoing, but mainly we're looking for ways you've dealt with talkers.

Write to Chris Hicks, Deseret News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, UT 84110.