The 1998 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…


Here are some tidbits as they pertain to this year in the BAM Awards.

-This is the first time a film earned double-digit nominations.

-This was the first time a film not in the English Language won Best Picture. Another reason the Foreign Language process is a bit convoluted in the Oscars is that only official submissions of nations are eligible. Any and all foreign films are eligible at the BAM Awards.

-This is the first director-film split. Kind of hard to argue against Spielberg‘s work in Ryan though.

-Here again you see young performers in all categories. Predicting the need for equality in acting categories.

This is Nick Nolte’s 3rd nomination and 2nd win. He is the first actor to win both in lead and supporting categories.

Actresses Jessica Lange and Melanie Griffith get 2nd nominations.

This marks Janusz Kaminski’s 3rd nomination and 2nd win for Cinematography

Winners are BOLD and pictured. Also, if you’re a stat geek (like I am), I’ll be compiling these observations and more in a post when these are done. Things like writer credits will be taken into account, and incorporated into that post.

Best Picture

Central Station (1998, Sony Pictures Classics)

As Good as It Gets
Central do Brasil
The Mighty
U Turn
Wide Awake

Best Director

Steven Spielberg (DreamWorks)

James L. Brooks As Good as It Gets
Walter Salles Central do Brasil
Oliver Stone U Turn
M. Night Shyamalan Wide Awake
Steven Spielberg Saving Private Ryan

Best Actor

As Good As It Gets (1997, TriStar Pictures)

Vinícius de Oliveira Central do Brasil
Jack Nicholson As Good as It Gets
Kieran Culkin The Mighty
Samuel L. Jackson The Negotiator
Joseph Cross Wide Awake

Best Actress

Central Station (1998, Sony Pictures Classics)

Helen Hunt As Good as It Gets
Jessica Lange Hush
Fernanda Montenegro Central do Brasil
Dominique Swain Lolita
Sharon Stone Sphere

Best Supporting Actor

U Turn (1997, TriStar Pictures)

Nick Nolte U Turn
Edward Norton American History X
Kevin Spacey The Negotiator
Ian McKellen Apt Pupil
Ed Harris The Truman Show

Best Supporting Actress

Central Station (1998, Sony Pictures Classics)

Sharon Stone The Mighty
Marília Pêra Central do Brasil
Jennifer Lopez U Turn
Alexandra Dahlström Show Me Love
Melanie Griffith Lolita

Best Visual Effects

Small Soldiers (1998, Universal/DreamWorks)

U Turn
What Dreams May Come
Small Soldiers
The Faculty

Best Original Screenplay

Central Station (1998, Sony Pictures Classics)

M. Night Shyamalan Wide Awake
Robert Rodat Saving Private Ryan
Lukas Moodyson Show Me Love
James DeMonaco and Kevin Fox The Negotiator
Marcos Bernstein, João Emanuel Carneiro and Walter Salles Central do Brasil

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Mighty (1998, Miramax)

John Ridley U Turn
Rodman Philbrick and Charles Leavitt The Mighty
Eddie Little, Christopher B. Landon and Stephen Chin Another Day in Paradise
Brandon Cole and John Turturro Illuminata
Michael Crichton, Kurt Wimmer, Paul Attanasio and Stephen Hauser Sphere

Best Cinematography

Saving Private Ryan (1998, DreamWorks)

Janusz Kaminski Saving Private Ryan
Walter Carvalho Central do Brasil
Sven Nyqvist Celebrity
Ulf Brantås Show Me Love
Adam Holander Wide Awake

Best Score

Central Station (1998, Sony Pictures Classics)

Antonio Pinto and Jacques Morelebaum Central do Brasil
Bill Whalen Dancing at Lughnasa
John Williams Saving Private Ryan
Elliot Goldenthal Sphere
Ennio Morricone U Turn

Best Performance by a Child Actor

Central Station (1998, Sony Pictures Classics)

Vinícius de Oliveira Central do Brasil
Joseph Cross Wide Awake
Kieran Culkin The Mighty
Dominique Swain Lolita
Jeremy James Kissner Great Expectations

Best Cast

As Good As It Gets (1997, TriStar Pictures)

Central do Brasil
Saving Private Ryan
As Good as It Gets
U Turn

Most Underrated Film

Wide Awake (1998, Miramax)

Wide Awake
U Turn
The Mighty

Most Overrated Film

There's Something About Mary (1998, 20th Century Fox)

There’s Something About Mary
Luminous Motion
Living Out Loud
Great Expectations

Worst Film

The Secret Kingdom (1998, Amazing Fantasy Entertainment)

The Secret Kingdom
There’s Something About Mary
Billboard Dad
Billy Frankenstein


Central do Brasil 10
U Turn 9
Wide Awake 7
The Mighty 6
As Good as it Gets 5
Saving Private Ryan 5
Lolita 4
Sphere 4
Show Me Love 3
The Negotiator 3
Hush 2
Great Expectations 2
There’s Something About Mary 2
American History X 1
Apt Pupil 1
The Truman Show 1
What Dreams May Come 1
Small Soldiers 1
The Faculty 1
Another Day in Paradise 1
Illuminata 1
Celebrity 1
Dancing at Lughansa 1
Luminous Motion 1
Living Out Loud 1
Shadrach 1
Hurlyburly 1
The Secret Kingdom 1
Billboard Dad 1
Billy Frankenstein 1