The 1997 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 reasons.

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…


The fact of the matter is whether I’ve referred to it as The Titus Conundrum or “The Butcher Boy Rule” late-year release dates have long been an issue I’ve had to contend with. When it comes to thew 2012 edition I will explain what counted and what didn’t just note that in past years there will likely be year-end limited releases shifted into the following year.

-Yes, this one had revisions in later years, and it lead to a goof I’ve left intact. I accidentally assigned Little Men to 1997 even though it was released in 1998. This is a prime example of why I’m not into revisionism any longer. This error was made about 10 years ago I’d guess, has been perpetuated and I have no records as to what it replaced. So this year, like 2003 where I lost the nominees and only have the winners bears a blemish. Alas, this is why I lament my storage concerns above. Had I only known I’d keep them.

– Again, there are lots of comedy nominees here. Porbably many more when I was younger but they always seem to be aroun. In this year they are: Mike Myers, Meg Ryan, Scott Thompson, Lisa Kudrow and Jeneane Garofalo.

-Henry Thomas was the first performer to be nominated for multiple films in the same year (Actor, Supporting Actor and Cast (twice)).

-If you look carefully at the 1996 nominees you’ll notice logical conundrums so far as acting nominations are concerned, namely young actors in open categories snubbed in the young ctor category. Another reason Young Actor categories needed expanding. Here it occurs anew. Recently, much deliberation has been spent trying to reason a split. A picture/director split occurs here, which is rare and I typically have good cause for it. Usually it has to to with the driving force of vision. Mandt and Thronton each played similar roles in their films and awards were divvied accordingly.

Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion and A Thousand Acres each had three acting nominations, but no others.

-Janusz Kaminski is the first person nominated twice in the same category in the same year.

Lost World does end up in worst of the year but nominated and winning in others. I try and compartmentalized that and there were many fewer films in the running back then.

-Charlie Sheen has been a in a Worst Picture winner, Emilio Estevez has not.

Winners are BOLD and pictured.

Best Picture

Sling Blade (1996, Miramax)

The Sweet Hereafter
Hijacking Hollywood
Sling Blade
Mother Night

Best Director


Atom Egoyan The Sweet Hereafter
Neil Mandt Hijacking Hollywood
Robert Zemeckis Contact
Billy Bob Thronton Sling Blade
Keith Gordon Mother Night

Best Actor

Sling Blade (1996, Miramax)

Nick Nolte Mother Night
Henry Thomas Hijacking Hollywood
Billy Bob Thornton Sling Blade
Mike Myers Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Dominic Zamprogna The Boy’s Club

Best Actress

Contact (1997, Warner Bros.)

Jodie Foster Contact
Jena Malone Bastard Out of Carolina
Jessica Lange A Thousand Acres
Mira Sorvino Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion
Meg Ryan Addicted to Love

Best Supporting Actor

Sling Blade (1996, Miramax)

Henry Thomas Suicide Kings
Lucas Black Sling Blade
Dustin Hoffman Wag the Dog
Jason Robards A Thousand Acres
Scott Thompson Hijacking Hollywood

Best Supporting Actress

A Thousand Acres (1997, Touchstone Pictures)

Michelle Pfeiffer A Thousand Acres
Jena Malone Contact
Jeaneane Garofalo Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion
Lisa Kudrow Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion
Julianne Moore Boogie Nights

Best Cinematography

Mother Night (1996, Fine Line Features)

Tom Richmond Mother Night
Janusz Kaminski Amistad
Janusz Kaminski Jurassic Park: The Lost World
Don Burgess Contact
Peter Deming Lost Highway

Best Score

John Williams Jurassic Park: The Lost World
George Clinton Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Mychael Danna The Sweet Hearafter
Mark Korven Cube
Milan Khymlicka Little Men

Best Visual Effects

Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World (Universal)

Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World (Universal)

Jurassic Park: The Lost World
Snow White: A Tale of Terror
The Peacemaker

Best Original Screenplay

Neil Mandt

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Addicted to Love
Deconstructing Harry
Hijacking Hollywood
Uncle Sam

Best Adapted Screenplay

Contact (1997, Touchstone Pictures)

Little Men
Sling Blade
Snow White: A Tale of Terror
The Sweet Hereafter

Best Performance by a Child Actor

Bastard Out of Carolina (1996, Showtime)

Jena Malone Bastard Out of Carolina
Lucas Black Sling Blade
Dominic Zamprogna The Boy’s Club
Ben Cook Little Men
Joseph Ashton The Education of Little Tree

Most Underrated Film

Little Men (1997, Warner Bros.)

Hijacking Hollywood
The Education of Little Tree
Little Men
The Peacemaker

Most Overrated Film

Life is Beautiful (1997, Miramax)

La Vita é Bella
The Ice Storm
Boogie Nights
Men in Black

Worst Film

Bad Day on the Block (1996, Largo Entertainment)

Lost Highway
Leave it to Beaver
Bad Day on the Block
Jurassic Park II: The Lost World

Best Cast

Hijacking Hollywood (1997, Curb Entertainment)

Suicide Kings
Hijacking Hollywood
Sling Blade
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
O Que é Isso Companheiro?


Contact 8
Sling Blade 7
Hijacking Hollywood 7
The Sweet Hereafter 4
Mother Night 4
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery 4
Little Men 4
A Thousand Acres 3
Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion 3
Jurassic Park: The Lost World 3
Addicted to Love 2
The Boy’s Club 2
Bastard Out of Carolina 2
The Suicide Kings 2
Boogie Nights 2
Lost Highway 2
Cube 2
The Education of Little Tree 2
Peacemaker 2
Amistad 1
La Vita é Bella 1
Afterglow 1
The Ice Storm 1
Men in Black 1
Leave it to Beaver 1
Bad Day on the Block 1
Shadowbuilder 1
O Que é Isso Companheiro? 1
Snow White: A Tale of Terror 1