Well, we've had a month to ponder the Oscar nominations, and in Friday's Deseret News Weekend section I performed the annual critics' ritual of predicting what might win. So now, with the Academy Awards upon us (they will be given out Monday evening in another live, three-hour, rambling TV show), it's time to gripe about who was left out.
Let's start with Whoopi Goldberg.What's that you say? Not only was Goldberg nominated for "Ghost," I predicted she'd win?
True enough - but she was nominated for the wrong film. Instead of best supporting actress for "Ghost," why not best actress for "The Long Walk Home"? Not only is the latter a better film, it's by far a better showcase for her acting gifts. Not that she wasn't terrific in "Ghost" - but didn't you feel like her character walked into the movie from some other film?
On the best actor side, the worst case of leaving out a deserved contender is Paul Newman, who should have been nominated for "Mr. & Mrs. Bridge." Not to take anything away from his wife Joanne Woodward, who is nominated for that film - but Newman was at the peak of his form and certainly deserved an Oscar nod.
And how about Penny Marshall? If "Awakenings" is good enough to win a nomination for best picture, isn't its director good enough to be nominated as well? Marshall, with only three films under her belt, has already proven to be a formidable talent, and she was certainly the guiding light for this wonderful film.
And though Robert De Niro may well win as best actor for "Awakenings," what about Robin Williams? Restrained, tender, mild-mannered without being mannered, Williams was disciplined and believable as the shy doctor who surprises everyone, but no one more than himself, with his medical miracle. Williams' being left out of the race is a real shame.
Another should-be-nominated-as-best-actor is Al Pacino, for "The Godfather, Part III." That film is flawed in many ways, but Pacino, building on the Michael Corleone role he played for the first time nearly 20 years ago, deserved a nod for a most complex performance.
I'm also surprised to see Glenn Close overlooked for both "Reversal of Fortune" and "Hamlet" - not only because she's a fine actress but because she seems to be nominated every year.
In the supporting actress category the most obvious sin of omission is leaving out Bonnie Bedelia, an excellent actress who has been straddled with weak films for years and who really got a chance to show her stuff in "Presumed Innocent."
Much the same could be said for one of her co-stars, Paul Winfield, who deserved a supporting nod for his showstopping scene-stealing as the judge in the same movie.
For that matter, Raul Julia, also for "Presumed Innocent" would have been a good choice.
And if "Pretty Woman" deserved an acting nomination, it was certainly for Hector Elizondo, who stole the show as the hotel manager.
Dianne Wiest, who really shined in "Edward Scissorhands," also seemed a logical supporting player nominee. As did Blythe Danner for "Mr. & Mrs. Bridge."
But there's a movie left out of the best picture running that is probably the most surprising omission. In fact, Franco Zeffirelli's "Hamlet" received no major Oscar nominations.
Second only to it is "Avalon" being overlooked.
Why is this so surprising?
Mainly because "Ghost" is up for best picture.
- OSCARCAST UPDATE: All 10 of the top nominated stars - best actress nominees Kathy Bates, Anjelica Huston, Joanne Woodward, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep, along with best actor nominees Jeremy Irons, Richard Harris, Kevin Costner, Gerard Depardieu and Robert De Niro - are expected to be at the Academy Awards Monday to smile gamely as they lose or go bananas as they win.
That hasn't happened in awhile.
And, despite the academy's announcement, it may not happen this time. Joanne Woodward is saying she won't be there because she doesn't like to fly. The academy is trying to talk her into taking the train.
We'll find out Monday who prevailed.
- OSCAR MONEY: Interested in how last year's top 10 movies fared, Oscar-nomination-wise?
"Home Alone" got two nominations; "Ghost" received five; "Pretty Woman," one; "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," none; "The Hunt for Red October," three; "Total Recall," two; "Die Hard 2," none; "Dances With Wolves," 12; "Dick Tracy," seven; "Back to the Future, Part III," none.
I don't know what that means; just thought you might be interested.
- DANCING WITH OSCAR: If "Dances With Wolves" wins any more than four Oscars, it will have won more than any other Western in movie history.
Previous record: "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," with four.
- HERE'S AN UPDATE to the "Madonna Update" of two weeks ago:
Woody Allen has reportedly denied a news report that he cut out all of Madonna's scenes from his new movie "Shadows and Fog." Allen is reported as saying Madonna's role as a circus performer was fine and is still a part of his movie.
Madonna and Woody Allen as co-stars.
The mind boggles.