Twenty years ago (when the Academy Awards were still in late March), one of the biggest Oscar upsets of all time went down in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion: Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan for Best Picture.
In this feature story for Collider, I make the case for why the Academy got it right. I also look back at the history of how that controversial Oscar race was fought and won.
Here’s an excerpt:
- Shakespeare In Love is “smart, witty, and as substantial as the legend it fictionalizes, with a fervent love story to match. The right director won the Oscar, if only for the landmark Normandy invasion alone (including the kinetic drop-frame approach that remains the standard for a combat aesthetic), but the reason Shakespeare In Love is better is because of the screenplay, which is superior to Robert Rodat’s for Ryan – and by a considerable margin.”
To read my full defense, click here.
One thought on “When Shakespeare Beat Spielberg: An Oscar Shocker, 20 Years Later (AWARDS)”
You are correct. As much as I love Spielberg, “Ryan” just underwhelmed me. The opening is brutal, but the storytelling just didn’t do it for me. And when William Goldman wrote the piece that blew a hole through the logic of the opening flashback well, that was it for me.