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Predicting the Winners

The first installment in the prequel Star Wars trilogy was bound to receive Academy Award nominations. After all, the first three classic films managed to garner a combined total of twenty nominations and this return to the galaxy far, far away after 15 years was certain to bring even more. Well, the nominations are in, and Episode I took three of them: Visual Effects, Sound Effects and Sound Editing. So here's the various schools of thought on the predictions of winners on the big night coming soon:

School of Thought #1 - TPM sweeps it's nominations

Episode I should win the Visual Effects category, although rivalry from popular films like The Matrix and Stuart Little really make this a tough race to call. While Matrix was really a fun ride (with the exception of that weird harvesting sequence, ugh) I'm not sure it was amazing enough to beat TPM. Also, I think the animals in Little, while really good, have been done quite effectively in the past and aren't as deserving of the nod.

And as for sound and sound editing, both were ground breaking on the film and absolutely deserve the Academy award. They designed new sound systems around the sounds of the movie, and the performance of Episode I in the latest build of the theater was called 'amazing' by scores of fans. I know the Academy has a tendency to be finicky, but as much as there was mixed reaction to the actual storyline of SW1, the technical side couldn't be equalled.

I would like to think TPM would get all three, but here's hoping for at least two on the big night later this month.

School of Thought #2 - TPM gets maybe one

TPM will win for Best Sound Effects, nothing else. Why? Because as some have pointed out, Hollywood is like any other system of power: it craves ALL power unto itself, and it leaves no room for dissent... especially dissent of the independent mind. Lucas bucks everything that the Hollywood system demands of its followers. It will give his team the Best Sound Effects award, but for them it will be a token symbol of acknowledgement. They'll admit that TPM was a box-office success, but cut away the illusion and theirs will be a stance based in spite, not admiration.

But hey, does it really matter? Lucas makes movies that people like, that people love and quote from every day. When was the last time that you heard someone quote a line from "The English Patient"?

School of Thought #3 - Zero golden boys

Episode I won't win any. Why?

The Academy uses the Oscars partly to send a message, partly to be a popularity contest. You'll notice that TPM was only nominated for the categories you could not possibly ignore it in - sound, effects, and sound editing (amazingly enough, no costumes, though?). TPM won't win any. The reason is that Lucas has continually thumbed his nose at Hollywood and operated independently. The message they are going to send to him is, "Great, you can do your own thing, but you can't have it both ways."

They want to let him know Hollywood is their sandbox and George can't run off and expect to come back. He can't thumb his nose and then expect to get awards.

Thus, no little golden guys for the TPM crew.

We're not exactly sure exactly what the big ceremony night will hold for the latest episode in the Star Wars trilogy, the night is certainly up for grabs. Have an opinion? Share them in the Jedicouncil and I guess we'll have to just wait and see.

Joshua Griffin
TFN Staff
3/07/2000

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