Oscar Vault Monday – Sense and Sensibility, 1995 (dir. Ang Lee)
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.
Oscar Vault Monday – Four Weddings and a Funeral, 1994 (dir. Mike Newell)
I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Four Weddings and a Funeral at least forty times. I used to have it on VHS tape and I would watch it A LOT as a child. Re-watching it for the first time in years recently, I realized just how much it affected me as a person. I love when I go back and look at the things I loved as a child and realize that even if I didn’t realize it, a film really impacted me. I’ll go into more details about how what I mean later in this piece. The film was only nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. The only other film I can think of that was nominated for so few Oscar, but was in the running for Best Picture is the 1931 winner Grand Hotel, which was only nominated for Best Picture. Richard Curtis lost the Best Original Screenplay award to Tarantino for Pulp Fiction. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were Pulp Fiction, Quiz Show, The Shawshank Redemption and winner Forrest Gump. Despite its few Oscar nominations, it received nine BAFTA nominations, winning four, included Best Film: Best Original Screenplay (lost to Pulp Fiction), Best Music (lost to Breakbeat), Best Supporting Actor Simon Callow, John Hannah (lost to Samuel L. Jackson for Pulp Fiction), Best Supporting Actress Charlotte Coleman, Kristin Scott Thomas (she won), Best Actor Hugh Grant (won), Best Director (won) and Best Film (won).