70th Academy Awards (1997): Oscar Morning

The following are the categories that will be announced live on Tuesday, February 10, 1998. Geena Davis will assist Academy President Robert Rehme in the announcements.

This is also the order in which they will be presented with only the acting nominations being announced in alphabetical order by last name, the rest will be announced in alphabetical order by film title.

Below is my look at what to expect after each stage of the nominations announcement:

Please note, they sometimes switch the order of reading actor or actress first, so please be careful to pay attention for this.

Supporting Actor:

By this time we’ll see the nominees, if Robin Williams is nominated, look for Minnie Driver and Matt Damon. If they are all three nominated or even if only two, then Good Will Hunting will get a Picture nomination. If Ben Affleck from Good Will Hunting gets a nod, Hunting is guaranteed a nomination(but this is unlikely to happen). Burt Reynolds is expected to carry a nod in this category, as is Greg Kinnear. The other slots are still up for deliberation, Anthony Hopkins got the SAG nod, so should find his place here easily (especially since the Academy likes him). However, without an SAG nod, Rupert Everett could have his spot in jeopardy and now sits as the most unstable element. If he doesn’t get the nod, it will go to Kevin Spacey, Robert Forster or long shot Billy Connolly, who took Everett’s spot in the SAG nods. If Forster is nominnated, don’t expect him to win, it will merely be a welcome back honor.

Supporting Actress:

This category is the most prone to upsets. Only Kim Basinger has a guaranteed slot. Everyone else’s popularity has waned. Julianne Moore and Gloria Stuart have the added benefit of SAG nominations, as does Minnie Driver who could follow a Good Will Hunting trend to a nomination. Without the SAG nod, Joan Cusack must sit in the wings and pray that she doesn’t get ousted by Alison Elliot, SAG nominee, or Sigourney Weaver for The Ice Storm. If Sarah Polley can get a nomination for Sweet Hereafter as well as a nod for Lead Actor for Ian Holm, we’ll know that Sweet Hereafter has made the Best Picture list. This would be shocking and is highly unlikely to happen. By this point we’ll know if Wings of the Dove, The Ice Storm or Sweet Hereafter are big in the nominations or if Good Will Hunting will trounce them all. If by some bizarre twist of fate Kathy Bates is nominated for Supporting Actress, expect a Titanic Sweep, not to mention a record number of nominations.

Actor:

Fonda and Nicholson are guaranteed nominees. At this point, if Ian Holm can snag a nod, Sweet Hereafter will more than likely get a best picture nomination. The remaining three slots appear to be going to SAG nominees Matt Damon, Robert Duvall and the major wild card Dustin Hoffman. His position could easily go to Ian Holm in The Sweet Hereafter or Djimon Hounsou in Amistad. Keep an eye on Leonardo DiCaprio in the guise of a Titanic sweep.

Actress:

This is probably the most hazardous category. Dench and Bonham Carter are locks on nominations. Helen Hunt is near a lock and Grier and Winslet are SAG nominees that will likely take the remaining slots. However, with those two weak links comes the possibility of Joan Allen in The Ice Storm, Julie Christie in Afterglow, Contact’s Jodie Foster or Robin Wright Penn in She’s So Lovely. If Julie Christie can overcome no SAG nomination and being virtually invisible at precursors, she could be a previous-win favorite.

Director:

The directors of As Good As It Gets, L.A. Confidential and Titanic are locks while Spielberg and Van Sant share a DGA nomination and with the Academy’s past treatment of Spielberg, they’ll likely give him the nod. This leave a very vulnerable Van Sant. A Hollywood Outsider with very dim hope of a nomination. This category could easily mirror Best Picture. If it does, it will be the first time the two categories have aligned since 1981 for Atlantic City, Chariots of Fire, On Golden Pond, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Reds. This was only the 3rdd time a 100% correlation had occured in its 69 year history. (It happened again in 1964 and 1957. This does not include 1931/32-1935, 1937 or 1939-43 when there were more than 5 Best Picture nominees and all 5 directors were represented. {1931/32-35 saw only 3 director nominations}) If this 3-time event holds true, then we’ll most likely see forgotten Ang Lee nominated for Ice Storm (he lost a nod for Sense and Sensibility), Actor-Director-Writer Robert Duvall for his creation The Apostle, Woody Allen, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Zemeckis, Paul Thomas Anderson or the highly likely Atom Egoyan for The Sweet Hereafter. If Sweet Hereafter gets this nod, then its chances at a Pic nod are higher, but if it’s the only one left out of the Director nods not for Picture, then Good Will Hunting will likely take the Pic nod. If they do agree 100% with Best Picture, we’ll see history as it will be only the 4th time and 16 years since its last occurance.

Original Screenplay:

Original Screenplay will carry likely Picture nominees Titanic, As Good As It Gets and Good Will Hunting. The other two slots will likely go to Boogie Nights(in its consolation for being too controversial for Picture) and Actor-Director-Writer Robert Duvall. This last slot is most likely to Duvall given his years as an actor. The Academy loves to honor its own and shouldn’t give many surprises. Don’t count out Woody Allen’s Deconstructing Harry, Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy. The indy Full Monty or the push for Amistad as Original.

Adapted Screenplay:

This category Will see at least one of the Picture nominees as L.A. Confidential will carry an easy nod here. Along with it are Best Picture also-rans Wag the Dog, Ice Storm, Jackie Brown and Sweet Hereafter. Wag the Dog and Ice Storm seem assured nominees, but Brown and Hereafter face challenges from WGA nominees Donnie Brasco and Wings of the Dove, Wings has the best shot at knocking out Jackie Brown, but Brasco may not have enough strength to beat out Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter. This category won’t tell you much more than if Sweet Hereafter is to get a Picture nod, it needs the nod here. If the film fails to get a nod in this category, don’t expect any sort of other nominations in its future. Amistad’s conflict on originality make the film unlikely to carry any writing nomination. Too many people think it’s Adapted, but Dreamworks is pushing for Original. See how well that worked for WGA nominees Henkin and Mamet for Wag the Dog.

Foreign Language Film:

This category generally has no bearing on the rest of the awards. Just look for Ma Vie en Rose to get a nomination and the rest are up for grabs.

Picture:

The defining category. If Titanic can get more 2 or more acting nods, look for a sweep of a record-breaking 15 or more nominations. If it only gets one acting nod, then depending on the category of Makeup, Titanic could easily tie All About Eve’s 14 nod record. L.A. Confidential and As Good As It Gets are as good as nominated. The remaining to slots remain the most delicate. Amistad is a social commentary film and the Academy likes to pick at least one a year, not to mention its past transgressions against Spielberg. If Spielberg and Van Sant are BOTH nominated for director, look for either Amistad or Good Will Hunting to be left off. But if Spielberg gets the nod and Van Sant doesn’t, or vice-versa, look for Amistad and Hunting to get the nod here. Sweet Hereafter’s nomination will also be determined by the placement of Spielberg, Van Sant and Egoyan. Long shots here are The Full Monty, requiring a Screenplay nod to get one here, Contact, an early-year favorite or The Ice Storm. These three have lost a lot of momentum and I don’t expect them to fair well at all in this race.