When I first saw Ang Lee’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, I had just finished reading the book and to be quite honest, I didn’t care for it all that much. Emma Thompson won an Oscar for her adapted screenplay and, when I first saw it, I was really unhappy with the changes she’d made to the story and some of the characters. But after repeat viewings, I fell deeply in love with the film, despite said changes. I think it’s really one of those times where you have to suit the story for a new medium and modern audiences (kind of like the 2006 version of The Painted Veil). Sense and Sensibility was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning one: Best Dramatic Score, Best Costume Design, Best Cinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay Emma Thompson (won), Best Supporting Actress Kate Winslet, Best Actress Emma Thompson and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were Apollo 13, Babe, Il Postino and winner Braveheart. Both Ron Howard (Apollo 13) and Ang Lee were not nominated for Best Director, despite their films being nominated for Best Picture. Those two spots were given to Tim Robbins (Dead Man Walking) and Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas). Lee, however, was nominated for Best Director by several critic associations, as well as at the BAFTAs, the Golden Globes and the DGA. He was also named Best Director by the National Board of Review.
In The Name of the Father was Jim Sheridan’s second film, his first being 1989’s My Left Foot, which itself was nominated for several Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director (it won for Best Actor, Daniel Day-Lewis and Best Supporting Actress, Brenda Fricker). This film was a slightly fictionalized account of the Guildford Four, who were falsely convicted of an IRA pub bombing in 1974. They weren’t proven innocent until 1989. I don’t really want to get further into their story, as that would spoil the film entirely. In The Name of the Father was nominated for seven Academy Awards, although it failed to win a single category: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Supporting Actress Emma Thompson, Best Supporting Actor Pete Postlethwaite, Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis, Best Director and Best Picture. It is currently #226 on IMDb’s Top 250 user-generated list. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were: The Fugitive, The Piano, The Remains of the Day and winner Schindler’s List.
Kate: I had a lovely time and I won’t forget it, thank you. But. . .
Kate: Well, it’s not exactly real life.
Harvey: It is.
Kate: No, it isn’t, Harvey.
Harvey: It is.
Kate: No, it’s not, Harvey.
Harvey: No, it is real life. It’s real life for me.
Kate: I know, but it’s not just about you, is it? It’s about me as well. You don’t know anything about me. I mean, it’s pathetic. I expected you not to show. In fact, I think I actually almost wanted you not to show because it’s just easier that way. You – you just dive in there, you just woosh anywhere, deep end. I’m not a bloody swimming pool Harvey. And I am not going to do it, I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to do it because it will hurt. Sometime or other there’ll be a “it’s not quite working” or a “I need some space” or whatever it is and it’ll end and it’ll hurt and I won’t do it, I won’t and. . .I. . . [beat] You see, what I think it is, is I think that I am more comfortable with being disappointed. I think I’m angry at you for trying to take that away.
Marianne: No—he is not so unworthy as you think him.
Elinor: Not so unworthy! Did he tell you that he loved you?
Marianne: Yes. No—never absolutely. It was every day implied, but never declared. Sometimes I thought it had been, but it never was. He has broken no vow.
Elinor: He has broken faith with all of us, he made us all believe he loved you!
Marianne: He did! He did—he loved me as I loved him.
I finally got to see An Education and absolutely loved it. The one-sentence summary: 16 year-old Oxford- bound British Schoolgirl Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is wooed by the suave, and much older David (Peter Sarsgaard) in 1961 London.
Inspired by this post @ awardsdaily I’ve gone through the Best Actress nominees from 1989-2009 and picked by favorite nominated performances. Only two of my ten favorite performances went on to win the Oscar. Granted, I haven’t seen every Best Actress winner, let alone nominee, from the last 20 years, I’ve seen a lot of them. If you’re interested buying any of the films discussed below, click here.
My list after the cut.