Oscar grabbers

Do people on Penn's campus have any strong opinions about film, or has the relentless Oscar publicity machine ground them into submission? Our reporter on Locust Walk, Walnut Street and the internet found few exceptions to the face-off between "Shakespeare in Love," "Saving Private Ryan" and "Life is Beautiful." Two of the non-Academy nominated answers were throwbacks to the glorious teen struggle films of the '80s, when pimples and boys with earrings were the biggest problems a movie had to present.

Maybe everyone is simply hoarding all their critical powers contemplating this year's Cannes line-up.

  • Allison Askinazi, College, Class of '01 "'Life is Beautiful.' I haven't seen it but I hear it's worth it."

  • Mark Konieczny, CGS, Post-Bac "'Saving Private Ryan.' Why do you need my name?"

  • Seamus Woods, Engineering, Class of '99 "'Life is Beautiful.' It made me laugh and cry."

  • Marc Keller, College, Class of '01 "'Can't Hardly Wait.' Why? Because it was entertaining. That's what a movie should be."

  • Faina Okshtein, College, Class of '02 "'Life is Beautiful.' It just had a really moving combination of drama and comedy."

  • Dina Damon, College, Class of '01 "'Shakespeare in Love.' It deserves it."

  • Dareus Conover, College, Class of '98 "'Life is Beautiful.' All the way. I enjoyed references to Kurasawa and innumerable other moments which spotlighted Benigni's cinematic brilliance. Head to tail, it's a work of genius."

  • Gina LaPlaca, College, Class of '01 "'Saving Private Ryan.' Even in fictionalized form, it managed to make the average 19-year old finally understand what people our age were forced to confront nearly 60 years ago. It forced you to think and feel with parts of your psyche that you didn't know you had."

  • Kevin Chin, College, Class of '99 "'Shakespeare in Love.' I like romantic comedies and, well, it's a romantic comedy."

  • Nicole Ovadia, Wharton, Class of '99 "'Varsity Blues.' James Van Der Beek is really really hot and it actually had a decent plot too!"

  • Irene Kan, Psychology, employee "'Hillary and Jackie.' Or if I have to pick one that's nominated, 'Shakespeare in Love.' Either one deserves it."

    -Jason Clampet

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    Originally published on March 18, 1999