Did Shakespeare in Love cheat Saving Private Ryan out of a Best Picture Oscar? Did Tommy Lee Jones deserve to triumph over Ralph Fiennes in the 1993 Best Supporting Actor race? Should Renee Zellweger hand in her Best Supporting Actress award?
We’re not seriously asking anyone to turn over his or her statue, but what Oscar aficionado hasn’t thought at some point that the Academy got it all wrong? That’s why EW launched its “Recall the Gold” project, a ballot survey asking more than 7,000 film industry members to re-vote on the major Oscar races from 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years ago. Like wine, some films age better than others, and a movie or performance that people considered provocative or relevant two decades ago may now seem trite or outdated. We wondered whether the same Hollywood professionals who annually vote for the Oscars would affirm past winners, or would they choose someone else? Those survey results have been tabulated and will be revealed in the Entertainment Weekly issue hitting newsstands on Jan. 9.
But, PopWatchers, we also wanted to know how you would vote if we gave you the same ballots. That’s why we’ve been writing a series of “Recall the Gold” posts asking you to tell us who truly deserved Oscar glory. You can still vote in all of our 30 polls by visiting our Recall the Gold index, which contains brief recaps of each Oscar race and video clips to refresh your memory. But we have to close the polls Sunday night, so don’t delay!
Looking back at all of our “Recall the Gold” posts, it’s no shock that the race that sparked the most comments was the 1998 Best Picture category, in which Shakespeare in Love defeated assumed-favorite Saving Private Ryan. Yet, it’s also intriguing to see what contests have generated the least comments: the 1983 Best Actor race, where Robert Duvall (Tender Mercies) beat Michael Caine (Educating Rita) and Albert Finney (The Dresser); the 1988 Best Director race, where Barry Levinson (Rain Man) won over Mike Nichols (Working Girl) and Martin Scorsese (The Last Temptation of Christ); the 1988 Best Actress race in which Jodie Foster (The Accused) received her first Oscar by fending off Glenn Close (Dangerous Liaisons) and Sigourney Weaver (Gorillas in the Mist); and, surprisingly, the 1998 Best Director race, where Steven Spielberg won his second directing Oscar only to see Ryan lose the top prize a few minutes later.
So go ahead and take another look at those contests, as well as all the other races, and don’t be shy about sharing your feelings on our “Recall the Gold” project. Regardless of whether you think this initiative is a good idea, we believe you’re going to be quite fascinated by the final tallies.
And the (new) winners are….