Check out letters from those who agreed with us, and those who didn't, on our Oscar predictions, ''Patch Adams,'' and TV's time problems

By EW Staff
February 05, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Bard buffs took to the pen in response to our story on Gwyneth’s Shakespeare in Love — like Suzanne LaGitanne of Santa Rosa, Calif., who writes, ”If you didn’t already know that Shakespeare was ‘sexy’ and ‘fun,’ then you haven’t seen the British miniseries Life of Shakespeare (’77), starring Tim Curry.” We’ll take Joseph Fiennes, thank you. But it was our less than glowing review of Patch Adams that many readers found hard to swallow. Echoing popular sentiment and giving us a taste of our own medicine, Nic Cosmen of Chicago says, ”I give your critic an F for human compassion.” But we did manage to find a lone supporter in Jaysen Pauley of Omaha, who confesses: ”Patch Adams was not a good movie. There, I said it.” We’re proud of you, Jaysen.

Regarding Oscar
Kudos, EW, on your fabulous pre-Oscar coverage. Your predictions have proved to be reliable in years past and will most surely ring true again this year. One supporting actor overlooked: Brendan Fraser in Gods and Monsters. He’s come a long way since Encino Man and held his own with the brilliant Ian McKellen.
Cole Stratton
San Francisco

I agree that Gwyneth Paltrow did a great job in Shakespeare in Love. However, I feel that Joseph Fiennes’ performance has been grievously overlooked by the Golden Globe Awards and now by your publication. If he had not carried the movie as the main character, their love affair would have fallen flat and the theme of the movie would have been lost. I get tired of actors ”to the manor born” getting all the publicity at the expense of other players who put their heart and grueling hard work into creating an inspiring performance.
Adrienne Timmer
Los Angeles

As an avid movie fan and recent subscriber to EW, I was thrilled to see that you had the guts to give Edward Norton recognition for his mesmerizing performance in American History X. I was completely shaken by this film, and it was due in large part to Mr. Norton’s character. It’s pieces like these that remind me why I enjoy movies and your magazine.
Jared Brostad
Storm Lake, Iowa

I noticed the absence of one movie from your Oscar Race article: Out of Sight. This was easily the most stylish and best character- and dialogue-driven movie of the past year. Hopefully, your rare oversight of a more than deserving movie won’t translate into an oversight on the Academy’s part.
Jason Mayer
Austin, Tex.

Critical Condition
I was very disappointed to read your review of Robin Williams’ Patch Adams. It is described as ”offensive” with ”toxic” side effects. The only thing I find offensive is the critic’s blatant disregard for the talented cast of the film. I view the film as an inspirational satire on the medical profession. In addition, this was a fun movie to watch. I didn’t hear anyone in the sold-out theater complain about the quality of this film. Furthermore, the film is trashed on one page, and then a few pages later, you indicate that it pulled in more than $25 million at the box office. I guess this is another case where the people speak louder than the critics.
Michael Geary
Warwick, R.I.

Ticked Off
Thank you, thank you for your intrepid reporting on the emerging TV-show-start-time crisis (”Time Bandits”). This has been driving me nuts since last fall. I don’t mind sitting through an extra 30-second spot before ER if it helps pay Julianna Margulies’ salary; that’s what the mute button and my eyelids are for. But tell me the truth! Don’t make me miss those first few precious seconds because of some sort of perverse, passive-aggressive penalty for ignoring Veronica’s Lame-Ass Closet. It’s like, we aren’t fleeing the networks fast enough, so they have to make sure to screw us on the few shows we still actually watch?
Michael Krantz
San Francisco

Thank you for ”Time Bandits.” Finally, some confirmation that (a) I am not slowly going insane, (b) my VCR clock is not possessed, and (c) the networks are plotting to get us hooked on (fill in the blank horrible show) that precedes what I really want to watch. Keep up the good work, Sherlocks.
Loretta Ramos
Beverly Hills

CORRECTION: Shakespeare in Love director John Madden did not receive a Best Director Oscar nomination last year for Mrs. Brown (”The Oscar Race Begins!”).