The 1996 BAM Awards


As those who are my friends on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter know, in December I am gearing up for my annual film awards (The BAM Awards), and that only partially explains my recent reposting of all past winners.

Since these are picks made by one person, the nominating process is even more important. Aside from the the past years, the full slate of nominees from all years past was not public knowledge.

This is because the first time I did them, in 1996, I created them by myself, for myself. At the time, I knew a lot less about how these decisions are made, campaigning, the year-end barrage of contenders and the like, such that the releasing of the Academy Award nominees was more frustrating than it could be otherwise. Rather than just bemoan it I decided to create an award slate based on what I had seen.

Back then I was ticket-stub pack rat, at the time it was the only way I had to track anything. So I created the list, picked winners and printed it out. The fact that I stuck with hard copies and no back-up created issues later. However, it was just for me at the time.

I called them the BAM Awards because I needed a name. I suppose I came up with Bernardo Academy of Movies because I was being reactionary to The Academy. How one man by himself can be an Academy I didn’t fully consider. I thought it was kind of a silly name, even at the time, so eventually it just became the BAM Awards.

Slowly, the awards widened: soon I emailed a select group of friends (that created eventual storage issues), a few years ago when I was on the Site That Must Not Be Named I decided to really take it public. I didn’t think about it ahead of time, it just occurred to me roundabout late November of ’09 that I could.

The publication was an exciting and unnerving process, regardless of how many or how few people would actually care to see them. While there are a two categories (which I now and again consider ending, and have skipped on occasion) which are negative, it is a positive emotion that brings me to these announcements. I want to at the end of the year share what I thought and why, and all winner announcements come with some explanation, and I do belabor them and struggle with them.

So it is heartening that last year, for the first time, the actual honorees, be they nominees or winners, on occasion acknowledged it. Now that may seem like a self-aggrandizing statement, but what I liked was knowing the news reached them, and other people, and they were pleased to hear it. The design of these awards are to cement what performances, works and films most affected me, I make no bones about that, and sharing that felt like a gamble, but it’s been rewarding for that and many other reason.

Of course, if you see a film missing from any year you may inquire, and there is room for intelligent discourse, but the above statements are true: trolling or disrespectful comments aimed at those chosen won’t be tolerated. Your own awards are just a blog post away.

I apologize for even needing to insert that statement but I did have cause to make similar points last year. Anyway, with how much I enjoyed last year’s and how much I’m looking forward to this year’s awards, I thought it’d be a good idea to put all I have out there in a “reverse” countdown, a count -up if you will.

So here goes…


As I have mentioned in that past, as the years moved on I tried to back track to my year of birth, and before I shared them I made changes, but since then I’ve taken the approach that it’s really a yearbook. I’m capturing my own personal zeitgeist.

So in the first few years there’s some muddling between how it was in the year of and how it was in the years after, but it’s mostly identical, about 90% plus for this year, they get more immutable as the years pass.

Some general observations here:

-One thing I’ve always had a tendency to do is include comedic performances, see Carrey, Williams, Hawn, Alda, and all but one of the Supporting Actress nominees.

-With behind-the-scenes positions I’ve gone back and forth between wanting to learn the name of every person under consideration and just judging the work and finding the name later. Most of this year I’ve done the latter.

-Any newer award, it would seem, adds a category to to try and stand apart; I added three. I’ve done more of this as the years have passed but the first was adding a category for young actors. This has since expanded.

-I’ve altered the order I’ve written these in. This is presented “as is.”

Winners are in BOLD and pictured.

Best Picture

Mulholland Falls (1996, MGM)

Everyone Says I Love You
Harriet the Spy
Mulholland Falls

Best Director

Woody Allen Everyone Says I Love You
Ben Stiller The Cable Guy
Matthew Bright Freeway
Francis Ford Coppola Jack
Lee Tamahori Mulholland Falls

Best Actor

Mulholland Falls (1996, MGM)

Nick Nolte Mulholland Falls
Jim Carrey The Cable Guy
Kiefer Sutherland Freeway
Robin Williams Jack
Mel Gibson Ransom

Best Actress

Freeway (1996, Republic Pictures)

Reese Witherspoon Freeway
Michelle Trachtenberg Harriet the Spy
Goldie Hawn The First Wives Club
Carla Gugino Jaded
Sonia Braga Tieta do Agreste

Best Supporting Actor

Mulholland Falls (1996, MGM))

Tony Shaloub Big Night
Chazz Palminteri Mulholland Falls
Alan Alda Everyone Says I Love You
Gregory Smith Harriet the Spy
John Leguizamo Romeo + Juliet

Best Supporting Actress

Mulholland Falls (1996, MGM)

Diane Keaton The First Wives Club
Bette Middler The First Wives Club
Natasha Lyonne Everyone Says I Love You
Melanie Griffith Mulholland Falls
Marília Pêra Tieta do Agreste

Best Original Screenplay

The Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy
Everyone Says I Love You
The Cable Guy
Mulholland Falls

Best Adapted Screenplay

Harriet the Spy (1996, Nickelodeon/Paramount)

Mystery Science Theatre 3000: The Movie
Harriet the Spy
A Midsummer-Night’s Dream
Tieta do Agreste

Best Cinematography

Romeo + Juliet (1996, 20th Century Fox)

Eric Guichard Mondo
Edgar Moura Tieta do Agreste
Donald McAlpine Romeo + Juliet
Ian Wilson A Midsummer-Night’s Dream
Haskell Wexler Mulholland Falls

Best Score

Howard Shore and Adam Schlesinger That Thing You Do!
Caetano Veloso Tieta do Agreste
Jamshied Sharifi Harriet the Spy
John Ottman The Cable Guy
Dick Hyman Everyone Says I Love You

Best Visual Effects

Independence Day (1996, 20th Century Fox)

Independence Day
Mars Attacks!

Best Performance by a Child Actor

Harriet the Spy (1996, Nickelodeon/Paramount)

Michelle Trachtenberg Harriet the Spy
Gregory Smith Harriet the Spy
Adam Zolotin Jack
Mario Yedidia Jack
Brawley Nolte Ransom

Most Overrated

Fargo (1996, Miramax)

The English Patient
One Fine Day
Independence Day
Romeo + Juliet

Most Underrated Film

Harriet the Spy (1996, Nickelodeon/Paramount)

Mulholland Falls
Harriet the Spy
The Cable Guy
Mars Attacks!

Worst Film

Fever Lake (1996)

The English Patient
Fever Lake
Girl 6

Best Cast

Mulholland Falls (1996, MGM)

Harriet the Spy
Everyone Says I Love You
Mulholland Falls



Harriet the Spy- 9
Mulholland Falls- 9
Everyone Says I Love You- 7
Freeway- 6
The Cable Guy- 5
Tieta do Agreste- 5
Mondo- 3
The First Wives Club- 3
Romeo + Juliet- 3
A Midsummer-Night’s Dream- 2
Independence Day- 2
Mars Attacks!- 2
The English Patient-2
Fargo- 2
Bound, Jaded, Diabolique, Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy, Mystery Science Theatre 3000: The Movie, That Thing You Do!, One Fine Day, Kazaam, Fever Lake, Girl 6, Bastard Out of Carolina-1