Pretty much I was religiously into the Academy Awards when I was a mid-teenager. The devotion grew less but I kept an eye out for them. In the mid-90’s I got back into the Oscars, without the religiosity that marked my mid-teens, but with a sense of interest in the proceedings. I wasn’t engrossed in them, but took an interest. But it was a strong interest as I was writing film stuff. So, when the Oscars came around in 1997, I took note because I was writing about film and because I wanted to. I wrote an article that reflected that moment of my pop life. Here was that article, short and I would hope sweet. Nothing eloquent or literary, but quite ordinary, perhaps thoughtful to say the most. The Oscars are regarded as a barometer of quality usually, but I personally would not recommend every single Oscar film blindly. At the time of writing this article though, I was writing with a sense of enthusiasm and openness, my “pop life moment”.
Oscars – the year that was
By Peter Veugelaers
The 1997 Academy Award ceremony took place on March 24.
Academy Award fact file: Annual award ceremony since 1927; winners received a gold-platted statuette called an Oscar; Writers vote for writers, actors for actors, etc., from the voting membership; a best picture award is worth as much as $20 million extra at the box office.
This years best picture nominees were:
The English Patient: During the final days of World War 2 four different people meet in a deserted Italian monastery and reminisce about the past. Should be a strong contender for best picture.
Secrets and Lies: An adopted black woman goes in search of her birth mother who is white. Hot contender for best actress (Brenda Blethyn as the mother).
Shine: David goes to a music academy to concentrate on the piano, until an unfortunate breakdown takes some years out of him. Geoffrey Rush should get best actor.
Fargo: A thriller about a scheme that goes wrong. Based on a true story, director Joel Coen directs the unusual. A dark horse.
Jerry Maguire: Tom Cruise is in control as Jerry Maguire, a top sports agent, until a fall makes him humble. An outside chance of an Oscar.
Final comment: The best film of all time according to critics is Citizen Kane which just won one award back in 1941. And Independence Day won the People’s Choice award for best picture. Who is to judge the best, then?
Published 1997, GiveWay magazine (published by Christian Marketing, Auckland)