Pop Culture
Pop Culture: Articles for the Scripps Howard News Service & "Seen, Heard, Said"

Why the top-365-songs list isn't a stupid idea

Actors sink their teeth into vampire roles

Gregory Corso: My encounter with a Beat legend

Golden Globes: Sleazy and proud of it

In the offing, Clinton continent looms

"NYPD Blue" opener: The misery continues

 New movie genre: Reclusive authors anonymous

"West Wing," "Ally," et al.: Words, words, words

When TV shows outstay their welcome

Film critics dig their own graves with "Angels" review

Great Robert Altman films you never
heard of

Famous folk, next week in the arts, show business briefs

"Time regained": Proust in the multiplex

Glitterati is dead, long live Popfocus

Carl Barks: The man who put the ducks in Duckburg

"Almost Famous": Lester Bangs rises from the dead

Liz Hurley wins in war of words with Jane mag

Douglas poses with Zeta-Jones, and baby-makes three

Weddings that aren't: Douglas, Zeta-Jones, Madonna, Ritchie

The Emmy War: A half-century of coast-to-coast feuding

Jennifer Love Hewitt plays the Iglesias odds

It's raining books by and about Trumps

What's in a mane? Blond woman in the news

Liz Hurley denies dissing ex-beau

Rock Hall of Infamy: Anti-heroes from Elvis to Eminem

Barbra tix bankrupt fans

Laurels for Kathie Lee to rest on

Hillary "In bed" with De Niro, Cruise, Kidman

How "Sopranos," "West Wing" will divvy up awards

This just in: Donald Trump is not a dope

Walter Matthau: A rumpled old dog in the heart of the city

Sampras to take a stroke at wedding bells

Who wants to host "Monday Night Football"?

Queen rewards Tina Brown for demoralizing American readers

How the Korean War cane to TV land 20 years late

Ivanka Trump: From catwalk to commencement line

Lester Bangs: The troublesome punk who wouldn't die

Rags clash over Ted Turner "romance"

With straight face, Trump deems Marla's move "tacky"

"Friends" re-up for another season of top ratings, top money

Madonna in denial, and rightly so

"Suburbia": The continental subdivide

Howard Stern, Sly Stallone in bizarre, apocryphal triangle

Easter video viewing: "Spartacus" to "Harvey"

Billy’s in the news: Bob, Joel in love but not with other

"Charles's Angels" movie: Dispiriting news for old-time fans

Innovative career move for 'NYPD Blue' co-star

Top model: Why I gave oldish rocker husband the heave-ho

Unpleasantville: The awful truth about old-time TV families

Tina Brown held captive in desert by demanding children

Anybody's Oscar: Unusually suspenseful awards show looms

Oscar telecast: Looking for a few good hosts

"Lambs," "Beauty": Oscar's love affair with unacceptable behavior

Brad Pitt, Oscar to be in same room at same time

Letterman bites guest-host bullet: Andrew "Dice" Clay, call your agent

Seinfeld eyes East Hampton manse: Where's the welcome wagon?

"Mod Squad" Immortal dishes couple du jour

Brad Pitt's second thoughts about Oscar

Mike McCurry praises "West Wing": It's not entirely demeaning,,,"

Memo to "Hannibal" producers: Get Najimy while the getting's good

Don't Invite Gwyneth and Oscar to the same party

True or false: Douglas, Zeta-Jones don't even know each other

Ex-Clinton honcho linked to ex-"Cheers" costar

Third party cited in Trump-Knauss breakup

 Gossip queen goes to bat for Talk mag

20th century's No. 1 hit: "Satisfaction" hits the spot

Statement: Spice girl's marital problems insoluble

Charlie Brown, Pogo and me

From Howdy to Charlie Brown, we hate to say goodbye

The Beatle George: While his guitar gently weeps

Jodie Foster's people in mild tiff with CBS

A Peanuts trivia Q&A

Publicist: Boyle still joined at hip

There's video in your future and future in your video

"The future is now": Hit rewind

Whitney Houston presides over confluence of talent

Jim Carrey's flack earns A "D," Cher's A "B-minus"

Geraldo: bye-bye, doghouse

Michael Douglas does nothing much, reporters go wild

Ricky Martin on Menudo: Look back in anger

How to outsmart Halloween crowds at the video store

Tom Cruise puts himself in harm's way, only not really

1800-1900: Steaming towards revolution

1700-1800: Liberty, equality and bloodshed

1600-1700: The earth moves; North America is settled

Trump mulls travel plans, from altar to White House

"Faces of Impressionism" Time machine made of canvas, paint

Major quakes aren't personal unless they happen to you

Brad Pitt gracious about character assassination

Director insists Harrison Ford is not a brainless hulk

Costner, Willis, Douglas. Branagh, Sting_ in that order

Streisand: Color her ready to plug her new album

Julia and Benjamin's rings devoid of significance, flack says

Literary mud wrestling, featuring Geri and The Spice Girls

Urgent news: Ford to replace Gibson on "GMA" eventually

She married a monster from outer space

Never mind Godzilla VS. Mothra, Here's Trump VS. Cronkite

Spurned by Pitt, Redford pays court to Damon

Celebrity coyness is bustin' out all over

"Detroit Rock City": Kiss of death

Talk is cheap? Not with Tina Brown at the helm

The Beats: Remembered, Lionized and Unread

Real estate beat, starring Woody Allen and Donald Trump

Mood Music, or how we learned to stop worrying

Sex in the cinema: From "Last Tango" to "Eyes Wide Shut"

Two easy steps to looking exactly like Ricky Martin

Close encounters of the Muppet kind

Upcoming Brad Pitt movie not garbage, insiders say

Kathie Lee's eyewear excites Islanders' ire

Back to the future, continued

"Wild Wild West": Buck Rogers in the 19th century

Sculptures by Roy Lichtenstein: Fun, Fun, Fun

An expert's verdict:" Austin Powers" is pretty neat

Click here for pointless celebrity gossip

P. Dempsey Tabler of the jungle: The many faces of Tarzan

Kirk Douglas' Ex tells all about Errol Flynn fling

New twist in TV programming: Ax profitable shows

Private jet fees spell the end for another celebrity union

Killer serials: "Flash," "Buck" and a boy named George Lucas

Top nonfiction books: A message from two old men

Celebrity Dream dreams: Monica, Donald, Barbara, Georgette

Two divas, publicist form bizarre show-biz triangle

Johnny Cash tribute: Ring of fire, ring of friends

Streisand employee really upset about rumors

Grande Dame Eyes MGM Grand Gig

Secretive celebs? Not by a long shot

NBC honcho bristles at notion that Brokaw is not a saint

Barbara Walters not keen on daily dose of Monica

"Seen, Heard, Said"

David Letterman, Donald Trump, Eddie Murphy, Elton John

Madonna, Frank Sinatra, Prince Charles, Maj, Ronald Ferguson, Fergie, Miranda Richardson, Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis, Axl Rose, Stephanie Seymour

March 15, 2000

Anybody's Oscar: Unusually suspenseful awards show looms

By ROGER ANDERSON Scripps Howard News Service

Some years it's all too obvious which movie is going to get the Oscar for best picture.

Take last year, for example. Everyone knew "Saving Private Ryan" couldn't lose. It had Tom Hanks starring as a noble but self-effacing American GI, and a cast of thousands acting out director Steven Spielberg's wrenching paean to the sacrifices of Allied soldiers in World War II.

The only thing it didn't have, as it turned out the night of the awards, was the brass ring.

Because "Shakespeare In Love" - a rather frothy melding of farce and romance in a faux-Elizabethan English vein - somehow carried the day.

Usually, though, the conventional wisdom hits the Oscar nail right on the head. The classic and definitive example, of course, is 1997's "Titanic," which took all the major marbles.

"Titanic" was Oscar's dream come true: a gigantic production with a period coating and breakthrough heartthrob performances. The fact that its box-office take was roughly equivalent to the entire Third World debt didn't hurt.

And then there was "Dances with Wolves" (1990's best picture) and "Braveheart" (1995's best picture). Both were directed by well-loved Tinseltown thespians cum money machines (Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson, respectively), and both had that elaborate period thing that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences finds so irresistible.

Which is also why Bernardo Bertolucci''s "The Last Emperor," released in 1987, managed to win. True, the film was a Marxist parable by an avowedly Marxist filmmaker, but Oscar couldn't see past the splendid locations, costumes and photography.

This year, it's different. Although "American Beauty" and "The Cider House Rules" are bruited as the top contenders in the top category, neither one has "best picture" written all over it in the manner of "Schindler's List" and "Titanic."

Below we list all the nominees in the major categories, with our own highly biased choice for the winner in each one.

Best supporting actress

TONI COLLETTE - Spooked and doesn't even know it in "The Sixth Sense"

ANGELINA JOLIE - A scrumptious sociopath in "Girl, Interrupted"

CATHERINE KEENER - A really fatal femme in "Being John Malkovlch"

SAMANTHA MORTON - Cat's got her tongue in "Sweet and

CHLOE SEVIGNY - Has the world's most understanding boyfriend in "Boys Don't Cry"

OUR PICK: Chloe Sevigny Best supporting actor

MICHAEL CAINE - Compassionate doc has a high old time in "The Cider House Rules"

TOM CRUISE - Studliness on wheels in "Magnolia"

MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN - A gentle giant in "The Green Mile"

JUDE LAW - Bop fan with a death wish in "The Talented Mr. Ripley"

HALEY JOEL OSMENT - A magnet for dead people in "The Sixth

OUR PICK: Jude Law

Best actress

ANNETTE BENING - Swims with the real-estate sharks in "American Beauty"

JANET McTEER - Has less than no luck with men in "Tumbleweeds"

JULIANNE MOORE - Throws over her lover for the Big Guy in "The End of the Affair"

MERYL STREEP - Fiddling around in "Music of the Heart"

HILARY SWANK - Doesn't have to worry about five o'clock shadow in "Boys Don't Cry"

OUR PICK: Hilary Swank

Best actor

RUSSELL CROWE - Behind Big Tobacco's 8-ball in "The Insider"

RICHARD FARNSWORTH - Completing the life cycle in “The Straight Story”

SEAN PENN - Pickin',  grinnin', and shootin' rats in "Sweet and Lowdown"

KEVIN SPACEY - The worm turns (on) in "American Beauty"

DENZEL WASHINGTON - Coulda been (and is) a contenduh in "The Hurricane"

OUR PICK: Sean Penn

Best picture

AMERICAN BEAUTY - The lighter side of sick behavior

THE CIDER HOUSE RULES - As American as apple pie and abortion clinics

THE GREEN MILE - A big fella takes the big fall in the big house

THE INSIDER - High drama, with Mike Wallace as comic relief

THE SIXTH SENSE - How can your loved ones miss you if you won't go away?

OUR PICK: The Sixth Sense"

Roger Anderson is arts and entertainment editor at Scripps Howard News Service.

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