1997 Academy Awards®
Winners and History
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Academy Awards History (By Decade):
Introduction, 1927/8-39, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
Academy Awards Summaries
Winners Charts:
"Best Picture" Oscar®, "Best Director" Oscar®, "Best Actor" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar®,
"Best Actress" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar®, "Best Screenplay/Writer" Oscar®


1997

Picture:
"TITANIC", "L.A. Confidential", "As Good As It Gets", "Good Will Hunting", "The Full Monty"
Actor:
JACK NICHOLSON in "As Good As It Gets", Matt Damon in "Good Will Hunting", Dustin Hoffman in "Wag the Dog", Robert Duvall in "The Apostle", Peter Fonda in "Ulee's Gold"
Actress:
HELEN HUNT in "As Good As It Gets", Judi Dench in "(Her Majesty) Mrs. Brown", Helena Bonham Carter in "The Wings of the Dove", Kate Winslet in "Titanic", Julie Christie in "Afterglow"
Supporting Actor:
ROBIN WILLIAMS in "Good Will Hunting", Robert Forster in "Jackie Brown", Anthony Hopkins in "Amistad", Greg Kinnear in "As Good As It Gets", Burt Reynolds in "Boogie Nights"
Supporting Actress:
KIM BASINGER in "L.A. Confidential", Joan Cusack in "In and Out", Minnie Driver in "Good Will Hunting", Julianne Moore in "Boogie Nights", Gloria Stuart in "Titanic"
Director:
JAMES CAMERON for "Titanic", Peter Cattaneo for "The Full Monty", Atom Egoyan for "The Sweet Hereafter", Curtis Hanson for "L.A. Confidential", Gus Van Sant for "Good Will Hunting"



Director-producer-screenwriter James Cameron's three-hour mega-hit, Titanic - both the most expensive film ever made AND the number one, most successful box-office film of all-time (shared by 20th Century Fox and Paramount Studios), was the fictionalized account of the 1912 White Star Line cruise-ship disaster. It was the first Best Picture winner to gross over $1 billion (worldwide), and $600 million (domestic). Cameron's film was both a love story surrounded with the special-effects sinking of the 'unsinkable' Titanic on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York. The reconstructed ship in the film was three-quarters actual size.

Titanic had a record number of nominations and wins - fourteen, tying the all-time record set by All About Eve (1950). That made it the second of only two films to receive 14 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

It was also the second film to win 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture - it tied Ben-Hur (1959) with eleven Oscar wins - the most Oscar wins of any film in Academy Awards history. [The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) would equal the feat in six years with 11 wins.]

Both Titanic and Ben-Hur (1959) failed to win Best Original Screenplay (Titanic wasn't even nominated in the category), although both films won Best Picture and Best Director honors. To date, it was the last film to win Best Picture without a Screenplay nomination (Adapted or Original); the last Best Picture to not have its screenplay nominated was The Sound of Music (1965).

[The earlier version, Titanic (1953), lacked nominations for Best Picture and Best Director, but had two nominations, including Best Art Direction and it won an Oscar for Best Story and Screenplay - by Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch, and Richard Breen.]

Its fourteen nominations included: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Make-up, Best Score, Best Song ("My Heart Will Go On"), Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, and Best Visual Effects. Titanic lost only three awards for which it was nominated - its two acting nominations, and the Best Make-up nomination. The film wasn't even nominated for its screenplay, and it lost its two actress nominations, making it less of an acting film and more of a technical, craft-related masterpiece. Leonardo DiCaprio in a lead role opposite nominated Kate Winslet was denied a nomination. And 87 year-old veteran actress Gloria Stuart was denied an Oscar - the award would have made her the oldest recipient of an Oscar.

Titanic was the first Best Picture winner to be produced, directed, written and edited by the same individual - James Cameron. Cameron's win put him fifth in a long line of directors who have triple wins for director, writer, and producer for the same film: Leo McCarey for Going My Way (1944), Billy Wilder for The Apartment (1960), Francis Ford Coppola for The Godfather, Part II (1974), and James L. Brooks for Terms of Endearment (1983). Ontario-born James Cameron became the first Canadian to win the Best Director award.

Its competition for Best Picture honors included other big-studio films (unlike the previous year's nominations):

Every director with a Best Picture nomination was a first-time Best Director nominee. The winner of the Best Director award was James Cameron for Titanic. The only director with a Best Picture nomination who wasn't included (and was snubbed) in the group of Best Director nominees was James Brooks. His spot in the Best Director line-up was taken by Canadian director/writer Atom Egoyan for his adaptation of Russell Banks' novel The Sweet Hereafter (with two nominations and no wins) about the aftermath of a tragic schoolbus accident in a small British Columbia town.

Amazingly, both top acting awards were won by the main lead performers in the same film, a comedy - As Good As It Gets. This marked the seventh time in 70 years that the two best acting Oscars were awarded to the same film. The wins made it, to date, the last Best Picture nominee to receive Best Actor and Best Actress wins.

The remaining Best Actor nominees were:

The other nominees in the Best Actress category, all British competitors, included:

In the Best Supporting Actor category, Robin Williams (with his fourth nomination and first win) won his first Oscar for his performance as psychotherapist Sean McGuire, who assists the young working-class genius Will in Good Will Hunting.

The other four Best Supporting Actor competitors were:

In the Best Supporting Actress category, Kim Basinger (with her first nomination) won her first Oscar for her role as glamorous, sultry movie-star look-a-like (a la Veronica Lake) - a high-priced prostitute Lynn Bracken in the noirish L.A. Confidential.

The other Best Supporting Actress nominees were:

[It was the first time in Oscar history that two performers - Kate Winslet as young Rose, and Gloria as Old Rose - were nominated for playing the same character in the same film. (This would also occur in 2001, when Judi Dench and Kate Winslet were both nominated for playing Iris in Iris (2001).) Gloria Stuart's nomination made her the oldest performer ever nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her closest elderly performer was 82 year-old Jessica Tandy nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Fried Green Tomatoes (1991). Tandy, who won the Oscar two years earlier for Driving Miss Daisy (1989), was the oldest performer ever to win a Best Actress Oscar.]

This year's Honorary Oscar was awarded to 73 year-old Stanley Donen, a legendary choreographer/director who helped to revolutionize the musical, "in appreciation of a body of work marked by grace, elegance, wit, and visual innovation. He had never been nominated in his entire career - for such films as Cover Girl (1944), Anchors Aweigh (1945), On the Town (1949), Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949), Royal Wedding (1951), Singin' in the Rain (1952), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), It's Always Fair Weather (1955), The Pajama Game (1957), Funny Face (1957) and Damn Yankees (1958). He was also responsible for Indiscreet (1958), The Grass is Greener (1961), Charade (1963), and Two for the Road (1967).

Woody Allen's Best Original Screenplay Oscar win for Deconstructing Harry - his thirteenth nomination in that category (in 1977, 1978, 1979, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, and 1997), was one more than Billy Wilder's record of 12 screenplay nominations (in 1939, 1941 (twice), 1944, 1945, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1954, 1959, 1960, 1966).

Oscar Snubs and Omissions:

Kevin Spacey wasn't nominated as Best Supporting Actor for his role as Hollywood celebrity detective Jack Vincennes in L.A. Confidential, nor was Philip Seymour Hoffman for his performance as adult film soundman Scotty in Boogie Nights. And Rupert Everett lacked a nomination for his role as editor George Downes - Julia Roberts' gay confidante in the popular romantic comedy My Best Friend's Wedding, as did Ian Holm for his performance as defense lawyer Mitchell Stephens in Atom Egoyan's drama The Sweet Hereafter.

Three films were completely neglected:

And Mike Newell's gangster film Donnie Brasco, with Al Pacino as aging mobster Benjamin 'Lefty' Ruggiero and Anne Heche as Maggie Pistone, was recognized with only one nomination - for Best Adapted Screenplay. Alison Elliott was not nominated for her supporting performance as dying, terminally-ill heiress Millie Theale in The Wings of the Dove, Robin Wright Penn was neglected for her transformative role as white-trash junkie Maureen in She's So Lovely, and Parker Posey was bypassed for playing incest-obsessed, neurotic twin Jackie in the underated Wendy MacLeod play adaptation The House of Yes.



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