It appears that the race for
Oscars is _on once again. What
a year of confusion the Academy
has to look back upon. Such as
in the box office hit "Nashville"
all 26 actors are qualifying in
the supporting actor or actress
category. George Burns in "The
Sunshine Boys" has curiously been
listed in the supporting actor category. Most film goers will consider him a co star with Walter
Matthau rather than supporting
him. It can be a shrewd move
to drop a sentimental favorite to
the supporting race.
It appears that in his 40th
year, Oscar may be lacking in
quality. Most Academy watchers
believe that to be true. Now with
the year over, all of the Oscar
hopefuls have now been presented.
The big movie of 1975 was
"Jaws". It quickly made all previous box office records obsolete.
But even the Universal press agents don't claim it as a work of
The most notable entries
into the race have been "Lucky
Lady", "Barry Lyndon", and "The
Hindenburg". They have a combined total cost of over $35 million. It's needless to say what the
critics reviews have been - more
than disappointing. In 1974,
"Earthquake", "Towering Inferno", and "Airport 1975" should
have been the flops of the year
according to the critics. Needless to say that these films were
the biggest grossers of the year.
Academy voters are very often affected by the critics, whereas
the opinion of the critics very seldom affect the box office. All
in all, the Academy voters are
going to have a tough time this
The potential field for nominees for best picture appear to
be as a
be as follows: "One Flew Over
the Cuckoo's Nest", "Jaws",
"Shampoo", "Dog Day Afternoon"
"Special Section", "Tommy",and
"The Hindenburg", It looks fairly
certain to be the year of the
"bird" for Oscar.
As far as the individual performances, I'm afraid that the
great white shark out performed
all others. This was basically
from film makers being intent on
making films with the emphasis
on tricks and stunts. As far as
the field of performance, itis~very
In the race for best actor
Jack Nicholson leads the way with
his superb acting in "One Flew
Over the Cuckoo's Nest". But
Al Pacino's outstanding performance in "Dog Day Afternoon" may
give him a close race. The field
is large and there are a number
of others being considered:
Warren Beatty in "Shampoo",
Roger Daltry in "Tommy", Ryan
O'Neal in "Barry Lyndon", Walter Matthau in "Sunshine Boys",
Sean Connery and Michael Caine
in "The Man Who Would beKing"
Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider, and
Richard Dreyfus in "Jaws", George C. Scott in "The Hindenburg"
and Richard Roundtree in "Man
What about best actress?
A good choice would be Marilyn
Bassett in "The Other Side of
the Mountain". Glenda Jackson
is close behind with a stunning
performance in "Hedda". And
so the list begins: Liza Minn-
elli in "Lucky Lady", Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn, and Lee Grant
in ' 'Shampoo'', Barbara Streis -
and in "Funny Lady" and Mar-
isa Berenson in "Barry Lyndon"
As in the past, and with no
offense to the ladies, the major
lack of quality acting still remains
in the best actress categories.
It seems that Hollywood just
doesn't favor their sex with quality roles.
Best direction is pretty much
the same as best picture: Milos
Foreman, "One Flew Over the
Cuckoo's Nest"; Robert Altman,
"Nashville"; Stephen Spielberg,
"Jaws"; Hal Ashby, "Shampoo"
Stanley Kubrick, "Barry Lyndon"
John Huston, "The Man Who Would
Be King"; and Ingmar Bergman,
"The Magic Flute".
And so it goes for the year
past for Oscar. Whether the critics or the box office influence the
Academy voters most remains to
be seen. One thing is certain,
that statue or gold means more than
just an award; it means possibly
millions of dollars in re releases
over the next few years, not to
mention the bidding wars among
the television networks. Once
again, the race is on.
hou/ton • texa/
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