Katie-Bar-The-Door and I saw The Big Lebowski in Paris during a freakishly unseasonable heat wave in 1998. Along with the Cinema Astro in Florence, Italy, any theater in Paris is the best venue for watching a movie anywhere in the world.
By the way, the French call all those ads and previews before the feature film starts the "séance"—a term Katie and I still use. They are (or at least were) also adverse to translating heavy-duty swearing into the French subtitles, preferring the all-purpose "merde," the explanation being that to see anything stronger in print on the screen would be too shocking for the audience. Which may or may not be true, but certainly it meant that the non-English speakers in the audience missed out on the rather delightful tapestry of profanity that made The Big Lebowski such a great film.
PICTURE (Drama) winner:Saving Private Ryan (prod. Steven Spielberg, Ian Bryce, Mark Gordon and Gary Levinsohn)
PICTURE (Comedy/Musical) winner:Shakespeare in Love (prod. David Parfitt, Donna Gigliotti, Harvey Weinstein, Edward Zwick and Marc Norman) Must-See Comedy/Musical:
PICTURE (Foreign Language) winner:Central do Brasil (Central Station) (prod. Martine de Clermont-Tonnerre, Arthur Cohn, Robert Redford and Walter Salles)
ACTOR (Drama) winner: Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters)
ACTOR (Comedy/Musical) winner: Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski)
Named for Katie-Bar-The-Door, the Katies are "alternate Oscars"—who should have been nominated, who should have won—but really they're just an excuse to write a history of the movies from the Silent Era to the present day.
To see a list of nominees and winners as well as links to my essays about them, click here.
Remember: There are no wrong answers, only movies you haven't seen yet.
The Silent Oscars
And don't forget to check out the Silent Oscars—my year-by-year choices for best picture, director and all four acting categories for the pre-Oscar years, 1902-1927.
Look at me—Joe College, with a touch of arthritis. Are my eyes really brown? Uh, no, they're green. Would we have the nerve to dive into the icy water and save a person from drowning? That's a key question. I, of course, can't swim, so I never have to face it. Say, haven't you anything better to do than to keep popping in here early every morning and asking a lot of fool questions?