In Love and War

GI vs. GI It's fitting that WWII-obsessed directors Steven Spielberg and Terrence Malick were in Germany for the Berlin Film Festival when word came of the nominations. If anything, though, the two big soldier movies might split the vote, opening the way for another war flick, Life Is Beautiful. Though even Life can't bear all the attention. ''If they give me seven,'' says Benigni, ''I don't have enough room!''

Elizabeth vs. Elizabeth Never before has a historical character been pitted against herself like the dueling queens of Shakespeare and Elizabeth. ''If you put the two films together,'' says Judi Dench, ''you get the whole spectrum of her life.'' Amazing, considering Dame Judi's Shakespeare role is just nine minutes long — one of the briefest nominated appearances ever.

God vs. Men Ian McKellen, who plays eccentric gay filmmaker James Whale in Gods and Monsters, has his work cut out for him in the Best Actor category, facing more traditional turns by Nick Nolte and Tom Hanks. Still, he's primed for a duel. ''Edward Norton once said to me that I was one of the reasons he became an actor,'' laughs McKellen. ''Now I hope I'm one of the reasons he doesn't get the Oscar.''

Oscar vs. The Uninvited And there'll be real sizzle if the snubbed performers show up. Imagine Carrey's visage taking over the Shrine Auditorium's monitors. Or the grunts from Saving Private Ryan packing heat, and a grunting Alanis Morissette, overlooked for her City of Angels hit ''Uninvited.'' For that matter, where was Bill Murray's nod for Rushmore, or Lisa Kudrow's selection for The Opposite of Sex? Apparently, right up there with Ingrid Bergman's for Casablanca. ''There's such a rich history of great performances being snubbed,'' notes Rushmore producer Barry Mandel, who says he keeps a list. ''It's almost cooler not to be nominated.'' — Reporting by Jeff Jensen, Dave Karger, and Tricia Laine

THE NOMINEES ARE...

BEST PICTURE
ELIZABETH
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
THE THIN RED LINE

BEST ACTOR
Roberto Benigni, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
Tom Hanks, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
Ian McKellen, GODS AND MONSTERS
Nick Nolte, AFFLICTION
Edward Norton, AMERICAN HISTORY X

BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, ELIZABETH
Fernanda Montenegro, CENTRAL STATION
Gwyneth Paltrow, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
Meryl Streep, ONE TRUE THING
Emily Watson, HILARY AND JACKIE

BEST DIRECTOR
Roberto Benigni, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
John Madden, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
Terrence Malick, THE THIN RED LINE
Steven Spielberg, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
Peter Weir, THE TRUMAN SHOW

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
James Coburn, AFFLICTION
Robert Duvall, A CIVIL ACTION
Ed Harris, THE TRUMAN SHOW
Geoffrey Rush, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
Billy Bob Thornton, A SIMPLE PLAN

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kathy Bates, PRIMARY COLORS
Brenda Blethyn, LITTLE VOICE
Judi Dench, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
Rachel Griffiths, HILARY AND JACKIE
Lynn Redgrave, GODS AND MONSTERS

Originally posted Feb 19, 1999 Published in issue #472-473 Feb 19, 1999 Order article reprints
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