the title shot of Schindler's List (1993)

My Top 20:

  1. Schindler’s List
  2. The Age of Innocence
  3. In the Name of the Father
  4. Much Ado About Nothing
  5. A Perfect World
  6. The Remains of the Day
  7. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  8. Shadowlands
  9. Three Colors: Blue
  10. In the Line of Fire
  11. Menace II Society
  12. The Wedding Banquet
  13. Short Cuts
  14. Jurassic Park
  15. Groundhog Day
  16. The Piano
  17. The Snapper
  18. Like Water for Chocolate
  19. The Fugitive
  20. The Heroic Trio

Consensus Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Schindler’s List
  • Best Director:  Steven Spielberg  (Schindler’s List)
  • Best Actor:  Anthony Hopkins  (The Remains of the Day / Shadowlands)
  • Best Actress:  Holly Hunter  (The Piano)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Ralph Fiennes  (Schindler’s List)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Rosie Perez  (Fearless)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Schindler’s List
  • Best Original Screenplay:  The Piano
  • Best Cinematography:  Schindler’s List
  • Best Animated Film:  Mighty River
  • Best Foreign Film:  Farewell, My Concubine

Academy Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Schindler’s List
  • Best Director:  Steven Spielberg  (Schindler’s List)
  • Best Actor:  Tom Hanks  (Philadelphia)
  • Best Actress:  Holly Hunter  (The Piano)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Tommy Lee Jones  (The Fugitive)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Anna Paquin  (The Piano)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Schindler’s List
  • Best Original Screenplay:  The Piano
  • Best Cinematography:  Schindler’s List
  • Best Foreign Film:  Belle Epoque

Top 10 Films  (Top 1000):

  1. Schindler’s List  –  #212
  2. The Piano  –  #261
  3. Groundhog Day  –  #386
  4. The Age of Innocence  –  #440
  5. Three Colors: Blue  –  #462
  6. Farewell, My Concubine  –  #561
  7. The Puppetmaster  –  #605
  8. Short Cuts  –  #627
  9. Naked  –  #658
  10. Orlando  –  #690

Top 5 Films  (1993 Best Picture Awards):

  1. Schindler’s List
  2. The Piano
  3. The Remains of the Day
  4. In the Name of the Father
  5. The Fugitive

note:  Schindler’s List becomes the only film to ever win all the Best Picture Awards (Oscar, BAFTA, Globe, PGA, all six major critics groups).

Top 10 Films  (Awards Points):

  1. Schindler’s List  –  3164
  2. The Piano  –  2220
  3. The Remains of the Day  –  907
  4. The Fugitive  –  769
  5. In the Name of the Father  –  597
  6. The Age of Innocence  –  593
  7. Shadowlands  –  541
  8. Philadelphia  –  330
  9. Strictly Ballroom  –  330
  10. Farewell, My Concubine  –  325

note:  Schindler’s List crushes the record for most points, becoming the first (and until 2009, the only) film to break 3000 points.  The Piano becomes the first film to break 2000 points and not be #1 for the year.  Both Schindler’s List and The Piano will be their respective record-holders until 2010.  Also, for the first time since 1984, the top 5 films are the 5 Oscar nominees for Best Picture.  For the first time since 1975, the top 5 are the Oscar nominees and #1 is the Oscar winner (in 1976, 1981 and 1984 the Oscar winner wasn’t #1 but the top five were the five Oscar nominees).

Spielberg takes the box office crown yet again

Top 10 Films  (Domestic Box Office Gross):

  1. Jurassic Park  –  $357.06 mil
  2. Mrs. Doubtfire  –  $219.19 mil
  3. The Fugitive  –  $183.87 mil
  4. The Firm  –  $158.34 mil
  5. Sleepless in Seattle  –  $126.68 mil
  6. Indecent Proposal  –  $106.61 mil
  7. In the Line of Fire  –  $102.31 mil
  8. The Pelican Brief  –  $100.76 mil
  9. Schindler’s List  –  $96.06 mil
  10. Cliffhanger  –  $84.04 mil

note:  This is the last year when fewer than 10 films gross $100 million.

Top 10 Films  (Worldwide Box Office Gross):

  1. Jurassic Park  –  $914.7 mil
  2. Mrs. Doubtfire  –  $441.3 mil
  3. The Fugitive  –  $368.9 mil
  4. Schindler’s List  –  $321.3 mil
  5. The Firm  –  $270.2 mil
  6. Indecent Proposal  –  $266.6 mil
  7. Cliffhanger  –  $255.0 mil
  8. Sleepless in Seattle  –  $227.8 mil
  9. Philadelphia  –  $206.7 mil
  10. The Pelican Brief  –  $195.3 mil

note:  Schindler’s List makes 70% of its money in foreign markets, where it is the #2 grossing film of the year, while The Firm only takes in 41% in foreign markets.  The foreign market is inconsistent with Clint Eastwood; In the Line of Fire, the #7 domestic grosser makes $30 million less internationally than A Perfect World, which didn’t make the Top 50 domestically.  Jurassic Park becomes the first film to ever break $800 or $900 million with its worldwide gross.

AFI Top 100 Films:

  • Schindler’s List  –  #9  (1998)  /  #8  (2007)

note:  Something to bear in mind for the AFI list.  When they did the new list in 2007, for the initial list of 400 contenders to choose the AFI 100 from, they eliminated The Player but they kept Sleepless in Seattle.

Ebert Great Films:

  • Schindler’s List
  • Leolo
  • The Blue Kite
  • Groundhog Day
  • The Age of Innocence

Nighthawk Golden Globes:

pure evil: Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goeth in Schindler's List

Drama:

  • Best Picture:  Schindler’s List
  • Best Director:  Steven Spielberg  (Schindler’s List)
  • Best Actor:  Daniel Day-Lewis  (In the Name of the Father)
  • Best Actress:  Emma Thompson  (The Remains of the Day)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Ralph Fiennes  (Schindler’s List)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Winona Ryder  (The Age of Innocence)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Schindler’s List
  • Best Original Screenplay:  A Perfect World

Comedy:

  • Best Picture:  Much Ado About Nothing
  • Best Director:  Kenneth Branagh  (Much Ado About Nothing)
  • Best Actor:  Kenneth Branagh  (Much Ado About Nothing)
  • Best Actress:  Emma Thompson  (Much Ado About Nothing)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Michael Keaton  (Much Ado About Nothing)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Julianne Moore  (Short Cuts)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  The Snapper
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Groundhog Day

when pure innocence was also a great performance: Winona Ryder in The Age of Innocence

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Schindler’s List
  • Best Director:  Steven Spielberg  (Schindler’s List)
  • Best Actor:  Daniel Day-Lewis  (In the Name of the Father)
  • Best Actress:  Emma Thompson  (The Remains of the Day)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Ralph Fiennes  (Schindler’s List)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Winona Ryder  (The Age of Innocence)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Schindler’s List
  • Best Original Screenplay:  A Perfect World
  • Best Editing:  Schindler’s List
  • Best Cinematography:  Schindler’s List
  • Best Original Score:  Schindler’s List
  • Best Sound:  Jurassic Park
  • Best Art Direction:  Schindler’s List
  • Best Visual Effects:  Jurassic Park
  • Best Sound Editing:  Jurassic Park
  • Best Costume Design:  The Age of Innocence
  • Best Makeup:  Schindler’s List
  • Best Original Song:  “Thief of My Heart” from In the Name of the Father
  • Best Animated Film:  Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Best Foreign Film:  Three Colors: Blue

Ignored by the Academy, but definitely the Best Foreign Film of 1993: Blue

My Top 10 Foreign Films Released in Their Home Country in 1993:

  1. Three Colors: Blue
  2. The Scent of Green Papaya
  3. The Wedding Banquet
  4. The Heroic Trio
  5. Madadayo
  6. Cronos
  7. Fiorile
  8. The Bride with White Hair 2
  9. The Bride with White Hair
  10. Belle Epoque

note:  And that still leaves El Mariachi out in the cold.  And The Executioners (the sequel to The Heroic Trio).  This points out the stupidity of the Academy rules, of course, because Blue wasn’t submitted and three of my Top 10 are from Hong Kong (none of which were submitted).

Hey nonny nonny! It's the sexiest performance of the year.

Nighthawk Notables:

  • Best Film to Watch Over and Over:  Much Ado About Nothing
  • Best Line  (comedic):  “Loved you in Wall Street!”  Charlie and Martin Sheen in Hot Shots Part Deux
  • Best Line  (dramatic):  “The list is life.”  Ben Kingsley in Schindler’s List
  • Most Disturbing Line:  “I forgive you.”  Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List
  • Best Opening:  Much Ado About Nothing
  • Best Ending:  Army of Darkness
  • Best Scene:  the first appearance of the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park
  • Best Use of a Song:  “I Got You Babe” in Groundhog Day
  • Best Ensemble:  Much Ado About Nothing
  • Funniest Film:  Groundhog Day
  • Best Sequel:  Army of Darkness
  • Best Use of $7000:  El Mariachi
  • Best Date Film:  Much Ado About Nothing
  • Lamest Date Film:  Sleepless in Seattle
  • Most Over-Rated Film:  Dazed and Confused
  • Worst Film:  Needful Things
  • Worst Sequel:  Beethoven’s 2nd
  • Sexiest Performance:  Emma Thompson in Much Ado About Nothing
  • Best Nude Scene:  Penelope Ann Miller in Carlito’s Way
  • Best Hard-Hearted Harbinger of Haggis:  Harriet in So I Married an Axe Murderer
  • Best Guilty Pleasure:  Robin Hood: Men in Tights
  • Highest Attractiveness / Acting Ability Ratio:  Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal
  • Worst Performance in a Great Film:  Keanu Reeves in Much Ado About Nothing
  • Best Soundtrack:  In the Name of the Father
  • Read the Book, SKIP the Film:  The Three Musketeers
  • Star of the Year:  Emma Thompson
  • Coolest Performance:  Bruce Campbell in Army of Darkness
  • Best Tagline:  “Trapped in time.  Surrounded by evil.  Low on gas.”  Army of Darkness
  • Best Trailer:  In the Name of the Father
  • Best Cameo:  Martin Sheen in Hot Shots Part Deux
  • Best Animated Character Performance:  Danny Elfman in Nightmare Before Christmas

Film History:  Jurassic Park breaks box office records all over the world.  El Mariachi, made for $7000, returns $300 for every dollar spent (as opposed to Jurassic Park, which returns $6).  Miramax is bought by Disney.  October 31 is a day of film tragedy when Fellini dies in Italy and that same night, River Phoenix collapses and dies of a drug overdose.  Brandon Lee is killed on set during the filming of The Crow.  Kim Basinger is forced to repay $7.4 million for refusing to star in Boxing Helena.  Heidi Fleiss is arrested, making many men in the movie industry nervous.  Vincent Canby steps down after 25 years as the lead film critic of The New York Times, replaced by Janet Maslin.  Audrey Hepburn dies on 20 January.  Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Lilian Gish die in February, Vincent Price in October and Myrna Loy in December.  The Piano and Farewell My Concubine share the Palme d’Or at Cannes.  Short Cuts and Three Colors: Blue share the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.  Ruby in Paradise and Public Access share the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance while El Mariachi wins the Audience Award.  Short Cuts wins Best Picture, Director and Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards.  Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg use the same idea – light summer entertainment with high grosses (Jurassic Park / Sleepless in Seattle) and serious Christmas releases that reward them with Oscars (Schindler’s List / Philadelphia).

Academy Awards:  Short Cuts becomes the first film in five years (and the last until 2001) to receive a Best Director nomination, but no other nominations.  Robert Altman becomes the first director since Billy Wilder in 53-54 to get nominated in back-to-back years but without a Best Picture nomination either time.  Schindler’s List becomes the fourth Spielberg film to get nominated for all 5 major technical awards (Editing, Cinematography, Score, Sound, Art Direction).  It wins four of them – as many as the previous three films did together (Close Encounters, Raiders, Empire of the Sun).  Remains of the Day gets 8 nominations but wins no awards – the worst showing since 1985.  For only the third time in the history of the award, Italy, France and Japan all fail to earn Foreign Film nominations.  The United Kingdom, on the other hand, earns its first nomination in the category.  The five Best Picture nominees combine for 42 nominations – the most since 1985 and for the only third time ever, all five have at least 7 nominations.  Only 8 feature films win Oscars – the fewest since 1983.  Schindler’s List continues a very odd trend – it is the fourth film since 1984 to win at least 6 Oscars (Out of Africa, The Last Emperor, Dances with Wolves), and all of them failed to win any acting Oscars.

For the third year in a row the Academy gets it right.  They get it very right, with me agreeing with 11 categories.  Unfortunately, I disagree with them on all four acting categories, though they do nominate all my winners.  They do well with Best Picture – nominating five films that I rank at least ***.5 for the first time since 1982.  They don’t nominate any bad performances in the acting categories, though, not constrained by Academy rules, I am able to nominate Day-Lewis and Hopkins twice each, and they do miss out on all the great performances in Much Ado About Nothing.  With Screenplay, they pick one of the best lineups of Adapted ever, with my agreement on all five picks, but a terrible selection of Original scripts, missing out on A Perfect World, Blue and Groundhog Day.  With the technical awards, they get the winners right (except Makeup) and usually one nominee each.  But they miss out on the technical aspects of Much Ado About Nothing and Nightmare Before Christmas.  And in Song, they nominate dreck like Beethoven’s 2nd, Poetic Justice and Sleepless in Seattle but nothing from In the Name of the Father, Nightmare Before Christmas or Faraway So Close.

  • Worst Oscar:  Best Makeup for Mrs Doubtfire
  • Worst Oscar Nomination:  Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for Sleepless in Seattle
  • Worst Oscar Omission:  Best Picture for The Age of Innocence
  • Worst Oscar-Nominated Film:  Cliffhanger
  • Best Eligible Film with No Oscar Nominations:  Much Ado About Nothing
  • Best Foreign Film Submitted But Not Nominated:  Madadayo  (Japan)
  • Worst Oscar Category:  Best Original Song
  • Best Oscar Category:  Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
  • Oscar / Nighthawk Award Agreements:  Best Picture, Director, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Effects Editing, Costume Design

Golden Globes:  The Remains of the Day gets nominated for all five major awards and loses them all – the first drama film to do so since 1982.  Like Dances with Wolves, Schindler’s List gets 6 nominations but wins just three – Picture, Director and Screenplay.  The Piano also gets 6 nominations, including Picture, Director and Screenplay, but only wins Actress.  Mrs. Doubtfire wins Picture (Comedy) and Actor (Comedy) but gets no other nominations – the first film since 1984 to win either Picture category with less than 3 nominations.  The other two Picture (Drama) nominees – The Age of Innocence and In the Name of the Father – get four nominations each but win a total of 1 award – Best Supporting Actress for Age.  Tom Hanks wins Actor (Drama) for Philadelphia – the first time a film without a Picture nomination took home the award in 8 years.  Not caught up in Academy rules, the Globes nominate Blue for Best Foreign Film (where it loses to Farewell My Concubine), as well as Actress and Score.

Awards:  Schindler’s List wins everything.  Well, that’s not quite true.  But it does become the first film to win Best Picture at all six major critics awards.  It doesn’t stop there.  It also wins Supporting Actor and Cinematography (New York), Cinematography (LA), Director, Supporting Actor and Cinematography (National Society of Film Critics and Boston), Director, Screenplay, Actor and Supporting Actor (Chicago).  Next up is The Piano, which scores an impressive haul – 5th all-time (now 11th) without a single Best Picture win (like The Queen, which also swept Best Actress, it is the only film in the Top 30 all-time without a Picture win).  It wins all six Best Actress awards as well as Director and Screenplay (New York), Director, Screenplay, Supporting Actress and Cinematography (LA), Screenplay (NSFC) and Foreign Film, Score and Cinematography (Chicago).  After that, the only film to win more than 2 awards is Farewell My Concubine which takes home 4 Foreign Film awards (NYFC, LAFC, NBR, BSFC) and Supporting Actress (New York).

Schindler’s List ties Dances with Wolves‘ record with 5 wins at the guilds and sets new records of 7 nominations and 405 points, all of which will be broken the next year thanks to the addition of the Screen Actors Guild.  Schindler wins the PGA, DGA, WGA, American Cinema Editors and Motion Picture Sound Editors, while getting nominations from the American Society of Cinematographers and the Cinema Audio Society (losing to Searching for Bobby Fischer at the former and The Fugitive at the latter).  For the first time since 1978, the top 5 finishers at the guilds are the five Oscar nominees: Schindler’s List, The Piano (6 noms – the same as Schindler except Sound, 2 wins – the other WGA and another MPSE), The Fugitive (6 noms – the same as Schindler except MPSE, 1 win), The Remains of the Day (3 noms – PGA, DGA, WGA) and In the Name of the Father (3 noms – PGA, WGA, ACE).  It is the first time that the five PGA nominees are also the five Oscar nominees (in 1989 all five were nominated but there were 8 PGA nominees).  The Age of Innocence manages the other DGA nom but no others while In the Line of Fire gets nominated for WGA, ACE and CAS.

Schindler’s List becomes the first film in six years to win Best Picture at the BAFTAs and Oscars.  It becomes the first film to win Picture, Director and Screenplay both the BAFTAs and Oscars since 1977.  Its seven BAFTA awards tie for second place all-time and its 610 points are a new record.  It is the opposite of Remains of the Day which is nominated for Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress and Cinematography but loses them all.  The Piano earns 10 noms, including Picture, Director and Screenplay and wins Actress, Art Direction and Costume Design.  Shadowlands also earns Picture, Director and Screenplay nominations and it wins Actor and British Film.  The BAFTAs start to align with the Oscar calendar – for the first time, all five Oscar BP nominees are nominated (for something) in the same year at the BAFTAs (The Fugitive is nominated for four awards and wins Sound while In the Name of the Father is nominated for Actor and Adapted Screenplay).

The Remains of the Day - they liked it, but they didn't really like it

Awards Note:  Because I break up the awards paragraphs by group there didn’t seem a good place to mention this.  The Remains of the Day does something in this year that had never been done before and has only been done a few times since.  It earns Picture, Director and Screenplay nominations from all four awards groups – the Academy Awards, the BAFTAs, the Golden Globes and the guilds.  That’s been done lots of times of course.  What Remains does that is unique at this point is that loses all three of those categories in all four groups.  No film in history up to this point had managed to earn those nominations from all four groups and not win any of them.  Granted, this only goes back to 1968, when the BAFTAs finally added Best Director, but it is still a remarkable achievement.  But that’s not all.  That at least has been done a few times since (Shine, Good Night and Good Luck, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon).  Remains of the Day also does something that has not been done by any other film, before or since.  It also earns nominations for Actor and Actress from the first three groups (SAG hadn’t started its awards yet, but I’m fairly certain if it had the same thing would have happened) and it lost those from all the groups as well.  In other words, everyone thought it was one of the best films, but no one thought it was the best in any category.  The only awards it won were the two critics awards for Hopkins – and those were co-shared by his performance in Shadowlands.  And it did win Best Actress – but that was from the Nighthawk Awards.

Best Director:  Spielberg wins this one with ease – taking home three critics awards (NSFC, BSFC, CFC) as well as the DGA, Oscar, BAFTA and Globe, capping it off with the Nighthawk Award.  Next is Jane Campion who wins the NYFC and LAFC and loses the four awards groups to Spielberg.  Martin Scorsese wins the other critics group (the NBR) and earns DGA and Globe noms to come in third in the consensus.  James Ivory, as noted above, is nominated for all four groups and loses them all.  Robert Altman comes in fifth, winning the Independent Spirit and earning an Oscar nom for Short Cuts.  My own list is quite different after the top spot.  Scorsese is my #2, followed by Jim Sheridan for In the Name of the Father (Oscar nominee), Kenneth Branagh for Much Ado About Nothing and Clint Eastwood for A Perfect World.  Ivory is my #6 and Campion my #8, with Wolfgang Peterson in between for In the Line of Fire.  My last two are Krysztof Kieslowski for Blue, the first in his Three Colors Trilogy and for the Hughes Brothers for their amazing debut film Menace II Society.

Best Adapted Screenplay:  Schindler’s List easily wins the consensus by sweeping the Oscar, WGA, Globe and BAFTA and adding the Chicago Film Critics award for good measure.  Remains of the Day loses the Oscar, WGA, Globe and BAFTA but the four nominations are good enough for second.  In the Name of the Father comes in third with Oscar, WGA and BAFTA noms.  Short Cuts wins the BSFC to go along with a Globe nom to come in fourth.  Shadowlands (Oscar nom) and The Joy Luck Club (WGA nom) both earn BAFTA noms and tie for fifth.  My own list is the Oscar list – Schindler’s List, The Age of Innocence, Remains of the Day, In the Name of the Father and Shadowlands – just about the best group of five the Academy has ever nominated in this category.  My 6 through 10 didn’t quite get much recognition: The Snapper, Much Ado About Nothing, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Short Cuts and Like Water for Chocolate.

Best Original Screenplay:  For the third straight year, the Oscars and WGA agree on all five original nominees and four of them also earn BAFTA nominations.  This make the consensus quite easy.  The Piano easily wins, winning the Oscar, WGA, NYFC, LAFC and NSFC and getting BAFTA and Globe noms.  Then comes Philadelphia which gets a Globe nom to go along with the other three.  In the Line of Fire and Sleepless in Seattle tie by just getting the three noms.  Groundhog Day manages to tie with DaveDave has the Oscar and WGA noms, but Groundhog Day actually wins the BAFTA.  That’s it for all the awards group.  Which is ridiculous, because it means that Sleepless in Seattle got three noms and A Perfect World, the best script of the year, got nothing.  So did Blue, the second best of the year.  The rest of my top 5 are Groundhog Day, In the Line of Fire and The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Since I am not a big fan of The Piano, only two of my next five earn anything either: Menace II Society, The Wedding Banquet, Philadelphia, The Last Days of Chez Nous and DaveThe Piano comes in at #12, just behind Naked and Sleepless doesn’t appear anywhere because it’s insanely stupid.

Best Actor:  This is the problem with the way the Academy does it.  They only let you consider one role.  My top 5 list for the year only has three actors and my top 11 only has eight actors because this is a great year for multiple performances.  It wasn’t just males, of course, since Emma Thompson and Holly Hunter both ended up with Oscar noms in both categories, but here the problem is that they are in the same category.  Here is my top 5: Daniel Day-Lewis in In the Name of the Father, Anthony Hopkins in Shadowlands, Daniel Day-Lewis in The Age of Innocence, Anthony Hopkins in The Remains of the Day and Kevin Costner in A Perfect World.  Since I include five actors, my nominations also include Kenneth Branagh for Much Ado About Nothing and Liam Neeson for Schindler’s List.  But then finally comes the Oscar winner Tom Hanks (Philadelphia), the great Clint Eastwood once (In the Line of Fire), Laurence Fishburne (What’s Love Got to Do With It) and Eastwood again (A Perfect World).  It’s such a good year that the NYFC winner, David Thewliss for Naked, a good choice, doesn’t hit my list until #12.  Then comes Colm Meany, who is so good and enjoyable in The Snapper that I almost made it my under-rated film of the year and he’s in at #13.  I couldn’t even come up with 13 performances with points for supporting, but the lead performances are that strong in this year.

The critics combine roles, so Hopkins comes in first for the consensus, winning the LAFC and NBR for his two roles, earning Oscar, BAFTA and Globe noms for Remains, but then actually winning the BAFTA for Shadowlands (the BAFTAs allow you to be nominated against yourself).  Day-Lewis comes in second, winning the BSFC for his two roles, but earning Oscar, BAFTA and Globe noms for In the Name of the Father.  Then comes Neeson, also with Oscar, BAFTA and Globe noms and winning the Chicago Film Critics award.  The man who beat them all at the Oscars and Globes, Hanks, comes in fourth, but only beats out Thewliss because he also earns a Globe nom for Sleepless in Seattle.  Thewliss, who also wins the NSFC, finishes in fifth.

Best Actress:  Holly Hunter crushes all opposition and wins not only the consensus, but everything.  She repeats Emma Thompson’s sweep of the year before by winning all six critics groups, the Oscar, BAFTA and Globe.  But, unlike Thompson, she does not manage to win the Nighthawk Award.  She comes in a very close second to Thompson herself for The Remains of the Day (who was second in the consensus award with Oscar, BAFTA and Globe noms – tied with Debra Winger who had the same three noms (two for Shadowlands and the Globe nom for A Dangerous Woman) and comes in fifth on my list).  The other two on my list are Thompson again for Much Ado About Nothing and Juliette Binoche for Blue (Globe nominated).  The other two consensus nominees are Angela Bassett for What’s Love Got to Do With It (Oscar nominee, Globe (Comedy / Musical) winner and my #6 – though that means she gets a nomination because of Thompson’s two appearances on the list) and Stockard Channing for Six Degrees of Separation (Oscar / Globe nominee, my #8).  My #7 is Michelle Pfeiffer for The Age of Innocence (Globe nominee), my #9 is Tilda Swinton for Orlando and my #10 is Lisa Harrow for The Last Days of Chez Nous.  Just remember this about this year – the Globes nominated Anjelica Huston for Addams Family Values and Diane Keaton for Manhattan Murder Mystery but not Emma Thompson for Much Ado About Nothing.

Best Supporting Actor:  Ralph Fiennes gives the most convincing portrait of evil to ever grace the screen in Schindler’s List and wins the NYFC, NSFC, BSFC, CFC, BAFTA, consensus award and the Nighthawk.  But he loses the Oscar and Globe to Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive.  Jones easily comes in second at the consensus award by also winning the LAFC, tying at Chicago and getting a BAFTA nom, though he comes in sixth at the Nighthawks.  Third at the consensus (and seventh at the Nighthawks) is Leonardo DiCaprio who wins the NBR and earns Oscar and Globe noms for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.  John Malkovich comes in fourth at the consensus and Nighthawks with Oscar, BAFTA and Globe noms for In the Line of Fire.  The final spot at the consensus awards is split between Pete Postlethwaite for In the Name of the Father (Oscar nom, third at the Nighthawks) and Ben Kingsley for Schindler’s List (BAFTA nom, but I consider him a lead and he finishes just outside the Top 10).  I feel the awards groups missed out on Michael Keaton and Denzel Washington in Much Ado About Nothing (my second and fifth, respectively).  The Globes did nominate my #8, Sean Penn in Carlito’s Way, but there was nothing but an Indie Spirit nomination for Christopher Lloyd in Twenty Bucks and nothing at all for Haing S. Ngor in Heaven and Earth in my final two spots.

Best Supporting Actress:  Rosie Perez manages to pull out a win in a very divided consensus race for her performance in Fearless.  She loses the Oscar and Globe, but wins the LA and Boston awards.  Winona Ryder comes in second for The Age of Innocence, winning the Globe and NBR, but losing the Oscar and BAFTA.  It’s Anna Paquin who wins the Oscar, of course, the youngest in history for her performance in The Piano.  She also ties Perez in LA, but also loses the Globe.  There is a three way tie for fourth place between Gong Li (NY winner for Farewell My Concubine), Miriam Margolyes (BAFTA winner for The Age of Innocence) and Holly Hunter (Oscar and BAFTA nominated for The Firm).  My own list looks this: Ryder in the top spot, followed by Paquin and Emma Thompson (Oscar nominee for In the Name of the Father), Li and Embeth Daviditz (for Schindler’s List).  My 6 through 10 are Hunter, Penelope Ann Miller (Globe nominated for Carlito’s Way), Margolyes, Laura Dern in A Perfect World and Julianne Moore in Short Cuts, with Perez falling just out of the Top 10.

The fantastic The Heroic Trio (1993) - one of the great Hong Kong films of the 90's

Under-appreciated Film of 1993:

The Heroic Trio  (dir. Johnny To)

You know what?  Fuck The Matrix.  When it first came out everyone acted like it was this amazing new revelation – when in fact, it’s Hong Kong style effects merged with a shallow, pithy Internet era philosophy was just a new combination of old ideas.  The latter part was always crap anyway – it was the former that really had people gasping, and what it should have had people doing was looking back to the great Hong Kong action / fantasy films.  Just look at 1993: The Heroic Trio, The Executions and the two Bride with White Hair films.  These are the films people should be watching.

Hollywood has long had a problem with female superheroes.  SupergirlElektraCatwoman?  All crap.  And Hollywood writes it off to people not wanting to see female superheroes, when the fact is, they just don’t know how to make them.

Look at The Heroic Trio.  First of all, it has three great Asian actresses who also happen to be beautiful.  That’s the first thing they did right.  Then they made sure that those women could legitimately kick ass – which they do so well that a few years later Michelle Yeoh was a James Bond girl and still kicking ass.

But then they gave them first rate special effects.  They didn’t have the kind of budget that the Wachowskis would later have, so their bullets don’t move with the same kind of obvious effects.  Instead, things slow down, things move against the laws of physics, women walk on wires, fights come across with balletic perfection.

The problem is that Hollywood keeps wanting to do it their way.  If they really looked at The Heroic Trio they would probably try to remake it.  Instead, what they really need to do is just give these films the proper attention they deserve.  It’s not a surprise that great Asian actresses can also be great action stars like Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi and Maggie Cheung while we’re just stuck with Angelina Jolie.  Go out and watch The Heroic Trio – but just don’t watch it on Netflix, because they have the dubbed version.

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