Six Spot #14: Best Picture 1999

Oscar Question

Welcome back to The Six Spot! If you’d like to catch up on the season premiere of Six Spot, wherein I discuss the 1995 Best Picture race it can be found here.

I’m not even going to pretend this idea was mine. Thanks to commenter Nick Fraser for suggesting we do a Six Spot on the 1999 Best Picture race. I was hesitant at first, but he was right—it was a crazy race running up to the eventual Best Picture five. Years where Locks demolish the competition can be rough to enjoy and rougher to look back on for evidence. Never once was American Beauty not going to win (it won everything and then some, see below), but that can often lead to interesting second and third place favorites to find breathing room. In 1999 only two films nabbed the Holy Quartet—SAG, PGA, DGA, and WGA—American Beauty and Being John Malkovich. The Cider House Rules, The Green Mile, The Insider, and The Sixth Sense all managed at least two of those four.

americanbeautyThe First Five Spots

The Academy Award nominees were

  • American Beauty ***
  • The Cider House Rules
  • The Green Mile
  • The Insider
  • The Sixth Sense


Breakdown of Seasonal Hardware

American Beauty

Key Wins: WGA, Golden Globe Drama, SAG Ensemble, DGA, PGA, BFCA, NBR
Key Nominations: LAFCA runner-up, NYFCC runner-up

The Cider House Rules

Key Wins:
Key Nominations:
WGA, PGA, SAG Ensemble, BFCA

The Green Mile

Key Wins:
Key Nominations:
SAG Ensemble, DGA, BFCA

The Insider

Key Wins: LAFCA
Key Nominations: WGA, Golden Globe Drama, PGA, DGA, BFCA

The Sixth Sense

Key Wins:
Key Nominations:


Being John Malkovich

Key Wins: NSFC
Key Nominations: DGA, PGA, Lone Director, SAG Ensemble, Golden Globe Comedy/Musical WGA, BFCA, NYFCC runner-up

The Hurricane

Key Nominations: PGA, Golden Globe Drama

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Key Nominations: WGA, Golden Globe Drama, BFCA, Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient follow-up

Toy Story 2

Key Wins: Golden Globe Comedy/Musical.


Key Nominations: SAG Ensemble nod, WGA, BFCA

magnolia.cruise_1The Contenders for The Six Spot

Let’s be real. Toy Story 2 wasn’t going to make it. Frankly, it’s a weird win, despite it being a great winner. Secondly, despite somewhat strong precursor attention, The Hurricane was too much in the eye of controversy by the time nominations came out to have been that close. Indeed, I imagine Magnolia was a bit too weird for industry voters, evidenced by it’s increasingly poorer performances deeper into the season. That leaves us with two very strong competitors.

timthumb.phpBeing John Malkovich

The stat isn’t brought up often anymore, but when I was earning my marks in Oscar fandom, the John Malkovich stat was infamous. The film was nominated for PGA, DGA, WGA, and SAG Ensemble. It was a huge cultural film. It got a Best Director nomination for eventual screenwriting champ Spike Jonze. And yet…it was snubbed in the final Best Picture field for two high-grossing juggernauts, a Miramax flick, and The Insider. Looking back at pre-1999 Oscar lineups, it’s hard to find a correlative film to evidence voters would have preferred a film like Being John Malkovich

talented-mr-ripley_2485596bThe Talented Mr. Ripley

This was Oscar-winner Anthony Mingella’s big book adaptation follow-up to his Oscar mammoth (9 wins!) The English Patient. People forget how buzzed this film was back in 1999. It starred many newly-minted Hollywood acting elite—Gwyneth PaltrowCate Blanchett, Matt Damon, and a wonderful turn by Jude Law. Heck, it was directed by the era’s David Lean reincarnation.

Without further ado, I think the Six Spot for the 1995 Best Picture race was….

The Six Spot

being-john-malkovich-screenshotBeing John Malkovich

 What do you guys think? Who do YOU think was the Six Spot of the 1995 Best Picture race? Was it Being John Malkovich, Toy Story 2, The Talented Mr. Ripley, or one of the other many contenders? Sound off in the Comments!

(Also, in case you haven’t noticed, I listen to suggestions! So if you have a fun suggestion for future Six Spots, let me know in the Comments!)