69th Academy Awards (1996): Winner Predictions




The English Patient
Cosmic Voyage
Dear Diary
Primal Fear
The Ghost and the Darkness
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Mirror Has Two Faces
The Nutty Professor
Wat’s Pig
When We Were Kings

Predictions are in the order I think they have a chance of winning the award (except the short film categories, which are unranked and each listed as “Toss Up”). I have added notations to each indicating how strong I think they are a contender.

Winner Prediction (c-Win Pred Date Set) — Chance at Win —
Other Nominees — Chance at Win —

Best Picture

  • The English Patient
  • Fargo
  • Jerry Maguire
  • Secrets & Lies
  • Shine

Will Win: The English Patient
Should Win: The English Patient
Runner Up: Shine
Deserved a Nomination: Evita

Well, I have now seen all of the contenders,Jerry Maguire is not one of them and is the one film I haven’t seen.Patient is still the best of the lot.Secrets & Lies was great, but doesn’t have what it takes to win Best Picture, not in a year with films likePatient andShine.Shine was also a great film, it does have what it takes to win, mainly, it pleases the elderly (The Academy) and the younger generation (Part of the Academy). As forFargo, I found the film highly overrated and while the performances were great, I just didn’t see anything truely noteworthy. Ok, those were MY reasons, but here are the reasons that will make the most sense. Since director and picture go hand-in-hand, and Minghella, the director ofPatient, took the DGA honor (DGA being extremely good at predicting the winner of best director, only 4 times in history has it disagreed), it makes him a lock on Best Director and confirmsPatient as the film to beat.Shine would be the closest to actually winning.Fargo was too violent.Secrets & Lies was too foreign. AndMaguire made too much money, only once in the past several years has the highest grossing nominee one Picture (Forrest Gump in 1993).

Best Director

  • Anthony Minghella – The English Patient
  • Joel Coen – Fargo
  • Milos Forman – The People vs. Larry Flynt
  • Scott Hicks – Shine
  • Mike Leigh – Secrets & Lies

Will Win: Anthony Minghella
Should Win: Anthony Minghella or Scott Hicks
Runner Up: Mike Leigh
Deserved a Nomination: Alan Parker – Evita

The DGA award Minghella won cements his victory. Only 4 times in History have the DGA winners NOT won the Oscar ® as well.

Best Actor

  • Geoffrey Rush – Shine
  • Tom Cruise – Jerry Maguire
  • Ralph Fiennes – The English Patient
  • Woody Harrelson – The People vs. Larry Flynt
  • Billy Bob Thornton – Sling Blade

Will Win: Geoffrey Rush
Should Win: Geoffrey Rush
Runner Up: Billy Bob Thornton
Deserved a Nomination: Liam Neeson – Michael Collins

A lot of talk is going around that Billy Bob Thornton could pull off an upset victory. I’m not sure if he can. WithShine being beaten out of every other category, where else would they honor the film but here. Geoffrey Rush has won several pre-Oscar ® awards. I think it will be close, but ultimately, Rush will take the prize. And coming from behind may be Tom Cruise winning through the Rush/Thornton vote split.

Best Actress

  • Frances McDormand – Fargo
  • Brenda Blethyn – Secrets & Lies
  • Diane Keaton – Marvin’s Room
  • Kristin Scott Thomas – The English Patient
  • Emily Watson – Breaking the Waves

Will Win: Frances McDormand
Should Win: Frances McDormand
Runner Up: Brenda Blethyn
Deserved a Nomination: Madonna – Evita; Debbie Reynolds – Mother

Simply put, the race comes down to the Hollywood actress McDormand and the Outsider Brenda Blethyn. Both have picked up Pre-Oscar ® awards, but McDormand won the more important of the two, the Screen Actors Guild Award. What it will come down to is McDormand IS part of Hollywood, while Blethyn is not, McDormand has done many films and earned a lot of respect Blethyn has a very promising career.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Edward Norton – Primal Fear
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. – Jerry Maguire
  • William H. Macy – Fargo
  • Armin Mueller-Stahl – Shine
  • James Woods – Ghosts of Mississippi

Will Win: Edward Norton
Should Win: Edward Norton
Runner Up: Cuba Gooding Jr.
Deserved a Nomination: Hank Azaria – The Birdcage

While Gooding won the Screen Actor’s Guild award, it will still be Norton’s award. Three great performances in one year. While Gooding is considered by some to be a favorite, I must contradict, remember, this is Hollywood we’re talking about and only five black performers have EVER won an Oscar ®
SD: 1939’s Hattie McDaniel forGone With the Wind for Supporting Actress, Sidney Poitier forLilies of the Field as Best Actor in 1963, in 1982, we had: Louis Gossett Jr. for Best Supporting Actor in An Officer and a Gentleman. Denzel Washingtonin 1989 for Supporting Actor inGlory and Whoopi Goldberg for Ghost in 1990 as Supporting Actress. McDaniel starred in 48 films before she won hers, Poitier had been in 18, Gossett Jr. had been in 12 films up to that point. Washington only 6 and Whoopi had appeared in 9. While these each appeared in an Oscar ®
SD: nominated roll (Save for McDaniel and Gossett), Gooding Jr. has never had a nomination before and has 9 film creidts, while more than 6, it’s still not enough to compete against a rave-reviewed performer who appeared in not one, but THREE movies, all with great performances.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Lauren Bacall – The Mirror Has Two Faces
  • Joan Allen – The Crucible
  • Juliette Binoche – The English Patient
  • Barbara Hershey – The Portrait of a Lady
  • Marianne Jean-Baptiste – Secrets & Lies

Will Win: Lauren Bacall
Should Win: Barbara Hershey
Runner Up: Joan Allen
Deserved a Nomination: Courtney Love – The People vs. Larry Flynt

Bacall won the SAG award and is also the long-time favorite here. She’s a veteran of Hollywood and her only competition is Joan Allen.

Best Original Screenplay

  • Fargo
  • Jerry Maguire
  • Lone Star
  • Secrets & Lies
  • Shine

Will Win: Fargo
Should Win: Lone Star
Runner Up: Fargo
Deserved a Nomination: The People vs. Larry Flynt

This is a battle royal betweenLone Star andFargo while all of the others have good chances, what givesLone Star an edge is that its fellow nominees are all best picture nominees, which splits the vote considerably and givesLone Star, considered by most the most well-written piece this year, a good chance. But I must got with my ORIGINAL prediction, when I first set up these predictions back in Summer, I had pickedFargo as Best Original Screenplay, a lot has changed, but it looks like the focus is back on this one.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • The English Patient
  • The Crucible
  • The English Patient
  • Hamlet
  • Sling Blade

Will Win: The English Patient
Should Win: The English Patient
Runner Up: Sling Blade
Deserved a Nomination: Evita

Patient is not only the sole Best Picture nominee, it was also adpated from a novel that most said would be impossible. The only major competition comes fromSling Blade which, if Thronton loses for Best Actor, could give him the award here.

Best Original Song

  • “You Must Love Me” – Evita
  • “Because You Loved Me” – Up Close & Personal
  • “For the First Time” – One Fine Day
  • “I’ve Finally Found Someone” – The Mirror Has Two Faces
  • “That Thing You Do!” – That Thing You Do!

Will Win: “You Must Love Me”
Should Win: “You Must Love Me”
Runner Up: “Because You Loved Me”
Deserved a Nomination: “Heaven’s Light/Hellfire” – The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Evita is a Musical and “You Must Love Me” is the ONLY original song in the film. They will honor it to honor Madonna. Celine Dion’s “Because” is the closest competition.

Best Dramatic Score

  • The English Patient
  • Hamlet
  • Michael Collins
  • Shine
  • Sleepers

Will Win: The English Patient
Should Win: The English Patient
Runner Up: Shine
Deserved a Nomination: Star Trek: First Contact

It’s the English piece or the one withShine. Look forPatient to win as part of their Best Picture sweep. Sleepers‘ nomination was for John Williams, a veteran, not necessarily the film.

Best Comedy/Musical Score

  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Emma
  • The First Wives Club
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • The Preacher’s Wife

Will Win: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Should Win: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Runner Up: James and the Giant Peach
Deserved a Nomination: Evita – If only it were eligible.

Hunchback is almost assuredly the winner here. This will give Alan Menken win Number 9.

Best Editing

  • The English Patient
  • Evita
  • Fargo
  • Jerry Maguire
  • Shine

Will Win: The English Patient
Should Win: Evita
Runner Up: Evita
Deserved a Nomination: Star Trek: First Contact

Best Picture winner usually wins here.Patient will win.Evita is also a strong contender.

Best Cinematography

  • The English Patient
  • Evita
  • Fargo
  • Fly Away Home
  • Michael Collins

Will Win: The English Patient
Should Win: Evita
Runner Up: Evita
Deserved a Nomination: No others

Patient will carry it’s picture wins here.Evita andMichael Collins are the only major contenders.

Best Art Direction

  • The English Patient
  • The Birdcage
  • Evita
  • Hamlet
  • William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet

Will Win: Evita
Should Win: Evita
Runner Up: Hamlet
Deserved a Nomination: Star Trek: First Contact

Snubbing Evita will give it many tech awards.Hamlet andPatient have good chances as well.

Best Costume Design

  • Hamlet
  • Angels and Insects
  • Emma
  • The English Patient
  • The Portrait of a Lady

Will Win: Hamlet
Should Win: Hamlet
Runner Up: The Portrait of a Lady
Deserved a Nomination: Evita

WithEvita conspicuously missing from this category,Hamlet will stand victorious, but watch forPortrait to come out just behind it.

Best Makeup

  • The Nutty Professor
  • Ghosts of Mississippi
  • Star Trek: First Contact

Will Win: The Nutty Professor
Should Win: Star Trek: First Contact
Runner Up: Star Trek: First Contact
Deserved a Nomination: Evita

Star Trek‘s tons of Makeup should earn it a victory here to give the Trek saga an Oscar ® richly deserved. Professor has the better shot, unfortunately.

Best Sound Mixing

  • Evita
  • The English Patient
  • Fargo
  • Jerry Maguire
  • Shine

Will Win: Evita
Should Win: Evita
Runner Up: Twister
Deserved a Nomination: Star Trek: First Contact

Evita being a Musical gets the highest form here, the only other platform to consider is the techno-blockbuster.

Best Sound Editing

  • The Ghost and the Darkness
  • Daylight
  • Eraser

Will Win: The Ghost and the Darkness
Should Win: The Ghost and the Darkness
Runner Up: Eraser
Deserved a Nomination: Twister

The obvious choices were eliminated and the crap films of 1996 remain. OnlyGhost and the Darkness had reviews to support its win.

Best Visual Effects

  • Twister
  • Dragonheart
  • Independence Day

Will Win: Twister
Should Win: Twister
Runner Up: Dragonheart
Deserved a Nomination: Star Trek: First Contact

Will they honor the biggest blockbuster of the year,ID4 or the most technological,Twister? Well,Dragonheart could benefit from the squabble and come out victorious.

Best Foreign Film

  • Ridicule – France
  • A Chef in Love – Georgia
  • Kolya – Czech Republic
  • Prisoner of the Mountains – Russia
  • The Other Side of Sunday – Norway

Will Win: Ridicule
Should Win: Ridicule
Runner Up: Kolya
Deserved a Nomination: Le Huitime Jour (The Eighth Day) – Belgium

Ridicule is costumy, it’s set long ago, it has what the Academy likes, but willKolya beat out the French juggernaut?

Best Documentary Feature

  • When We Were Kings
  • The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story
  • Mandela
  • Suzanne Farrell: Elusive Muse
  • Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press

When We Were Kings has what it takes, a lot of press.

Best Documentary Short Subject

  • Cosmic Voyage
  • Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien
  • An Essay on Matisse
  • Special Effects: Anything Can Happen
  • The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage

I have no idea, but I think Special Effects and Cosmic are going to fight it out.

Best Animated Short Film

  • Wat’s Pig
  • Canhead
  • La Salla
  • Quest

I don’t know, it sounds cute. 🙂

Best Live-Action Short Film

  • Dear Diary
  • De Tripas, Corazon
  • Ernst & Lyset
  • Esposados
  • Wordless

Your guess is as good as mine.

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