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« The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Returns for Season 2! | Main | "The Favourite" Leads the Critics Choice Nominations »
Monday
Dec102018

Beauty vs Beast: Saving Private Shakespeare

Jason Adams from MNPP here, serenading us "Beauty vs Beast" style - tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of John Madden's Best Picture winner Shakespeare in Love, aka the Oscar win that broke every straight boy's heart. Don't believe me? Go find one and mention how Saving Private Ryan was robbed and watch the fire and fury rise in their pupils. (I really shouldn't make fun, seeing as they got their revenge in 2005.) But the contest of 1998 films is always a good one to stir up arguments excuse me conversation, and since that's what we're here for...

 

PREVIOUSLY Although of Saoirse love is strong it wasn't enough to tackle the one-two punch of The Green Dress and Briony being a little snitch-monster, and so Keira Knightley's Cecelia took top honors in our Atonement poll last week, with about 3/4s of the vote. Said par:

"In fairness to Briony, i'd do a lot worse if somebody got between me and the housekeeper's son. But I voted for Cecilia cause, damn, that girl had some bad luck."

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Reader Comments (35)

I've never understood why people say that Saving Private Ryan was robbed, except for from a technical standpoint. I adore Shakespeare in Love.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterchasm301

Ha ha ha, that is so true about straight boys and SPR. They're still so *mad* about it. Still! I personally don't think either film is a Total Masterpiece but I will have to vote with My People and go w/ Shakespeare. Which makes the straight boys that much angrier. Oh well!

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Funny.... I’m a gay man and am still devastated that SPR lost to SiL. So it’s not just straight boys. 🤔

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterErik

Well I was (mostly) being humorous, not serious, Erik. Of course there are gay people who love men in military uniforms and straight men who love Judi Dench stomping around. The world is a rich tapestry. ;)

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJason

The Best Film of 1998 was The Turman Show wasn't it.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

I think both movies were worthy of the award and should be considered modern classics. I voted for SIL because I slightly prefer it to SPR but it's close.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

Jason - Don’t get me wrong. I also loved Judi Dench stomping around in period outfits. To give some context, the Minnesota Vikings (my favorite football team) were also supposed to win then Super Bowl that year. They were a lock. SPR was a lock, and then both lost out at the last minute. So yeah, 1998 was kinda sucky for me. 😐. I’m also a minority as a gay man who loves football and Judi Dench.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterErik

I think if they held the exact same vote now then The Thin Red Line wins.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRobUK

Don't get me wrong, Shakespeare in Love is lovely, but it seems like it's reputation would almost be better served without the Oscar. You can't talk about it without Saving Private Ryan looming large, fairly or not. It doesn't seem exist in the same realm as an Annie Hall where it's own reputation carries it beyond always being tied to the bigger, more popular movie it "robbed" for Best Picture.

I know it's not a popular opinion on this site, but Saving Private Ryan is truly one for the ages in my mind. A technical marvel for certain, simple in its storytelling, but I thought it was genuinely moving.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVal

Yes ! Finally somebody said it.
Obviously voting for Shakespeare.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDg

I recently rewatched Saving Private Ryan and thought it was genuinely moving as well. The cast is great, especially Jeremy Davies, and it has one of Tom Hanks' best performances. I wouldn't give him the win that year, I go back and forth on Nick Nolte and Ian McKellan, but I like it a lot more than the two performances he won for.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBJ

Saving Private Ryan is great! Shakespeare in Love is better!

It's Tom effing Stoppard Shakespearing up Shakespeare. That's amazing!

(I still dream of Joseph Fiennes's blue coat.)

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I’m a straight guy and yeah I liked saving private Ryan better than Shakespeare in Love, but please don’t say I got my revenge in 2005. Crash suuuuuucks, I was firmly team broke back or team capote that year.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMike Troutman

Shakespeare In Love has always had my vote, Gwyneth Paltrow is radiant (and yeah, she deserved that Oscar); Joseph Fiennes is so completely HOT , he displays intensity and vulnerabiliy, as well as a wit sense of humor. Makes a perfect double watching night with The English Patient ( and we can appreciate the other Fiennes brother as well).

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEder Arcas

I voted SiL because I really do love that movie, but also Joseph Fiennes was the hottest Shakespeare ever and you know Shakespeare was no where near as hot as he was playing him!

I wish he hadn't been snubbed... but again, mostly just because he was so hot.

lol

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I will defend Shakespeare in Love's BP win until my dying day, it is such a beautifully effortless film, whereas Saving Private Ryan is rather effortful in my eyes - it very much wants you to know how very DIFFICULT what it's doing is.

But this isn't really about that, although I also have to go with Shakespeare in this case. Joseph Fiennes has never really gotten his full due as an actor, and I find him so magnetic in this role, nailing the comedy and drama with equal aplomb. He's one of my favorite male rom-com protagonists. Hanks is very good, as he always is, but there's a certain spark missing.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDancin' Dan

I think Shakespeare is a fine film but I fall on the Saving Pvt. Ryan side of things as far as the prize goes.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I often forget that 1998 was such a strong year for movies with a very formidable BP lineup.

And I don't care what other people say - SiL deserved to win Best Picture and all the other Oscars (except for Actress - that should have been Blanchett's). Plus it deserved 14th nomination for Fiennes (but Carrey deserved a nod even more, obviously).

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterpawel

Like 'em both; like Truman more.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCash

I think Tom Hanks vs. Jim Caviezel would be the more interesting match up. I'd even guess that would be closer to 50-50.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

@markgordonuk - totally agree.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I don't know, I like joking but there's this feeling that, even amongst film lovers, it's a straight boys vs...or that it's any camp over any camp.

Shakespeare In Love borders on being great, tho it's the lauded screenplay that I think is what would maybe keep it from being great (which isn't to say the screenplay isn't very good). The direction is great and the ensemble obvious.

But Saving Private Ryan is greater and greater with each viewing...and quite exceptional first time around.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Should be clear tho that I don't presume the author to be literal. Just wanna make that clear.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMe

the pen is mightier than the sword

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Love Blanchett and Paltrow but that should have been Montenegro's.

December 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSoSue

Agreed w SoSue, Montenegro indeed gives the best perf in 1998!!
Queen Cate is a close runner-up.

SiL win of Best Pic n Actress was in large part due to the intense lobbying o the Harvey Weinstein machine

IMO, the best pic win still hold up after 20 yrs, can't said the same w Paltrow's win 😑

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

I love both, but I prefer Saving Private Ryan.
In best actress category: Fernanda Montenegro > Cate Blanchett > Meryl Streep > Emily Watson >>>>>>> Gwyneth Paltrow
And Ian McKellen should have won for Gods and Monsters

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterErick Loggia

Was a damn good Best Actress field. Add to that Holly Hunter and Ally Sheedy. Plus a few others, but those immediately jump to mind.

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Saving Private Ryan was 20 minutes of great filmmaking, followed by a WWII B-movie.

I'll vote for charm, wit, and cleverness over testosterone and war-movie clichés every time.

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbcarter3

I'm more The Thin Red Line than any of the nominated pics that year, including Saving Private Ryan. Joseph Fiennes starred in both Shakespeare in Love and Elizabeth and still got zero nomination. Maybe 16th-century guys were not as interesting as the ladies?

Yep, agree that Montenegro gave the best performance that year, actor or actress.

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterOwl

B movie and testosterone makes you sound like movies are a hobby for you...and that you should get a new one.

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Cash -- same TRUMAN SHOW was better than both of them but unnominated ARGH.

December 11, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Me: There's a lot you could say about Saving Private Ryan, for good or for ill. But it's not Overlord, which actually IS a modern WWII B-movie.

December 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Oh god don't get me wrong, I think these are both good movies but they wouldn't even make my top ten for the year. 1998 movies I think are better than either of these:

HAPPINESS
LIVING OUT LOUD
GODS AND MONSTERS
RINGU
RUSHMORE
PLEASANTVILLE
THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO
RUN LOLA RUN
I STAND ALONE
THE TRUMAN SHOW
THE IDIOTS
DARK CITY
WILD THINGS
THE OPPOSITE OF SEX
BABE PIG IN THE CITY
A SIMPLE PLAN
CROUPIER
OUT OF SIGHT
VELVET F'ING GOLDMINE

December 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Volvagia - Funny, I just came across a Roger Ebert top ten list where he listed it (technically he just gave it 4 stars because he was sick that year and didn't put together a top 10).

Now I have to see it.

December 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMe

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