Movie: The Green Mile
Nominations: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (Frank Darabont), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Clarke Duncan), Best SoundWins/Snubs: It was the year of American Beauty, so The Green Mile never had a shot, and I don't think it necessarily deserved to win. The fact that it didn't get an editing or directing nomination proves that it likely wasn't the best put together picture (The Matrix and Being John Malkovich's Spike Jonze took those nominations, respectively). Michael Caine in The Cider House Rules beat out Duncan.
I'll admit, I'm a sucker for this movie. I'll watch chunks of it whenever it's on TV, but rarely, if ever, the whole thing. It's just too darn long with too many different acts. Even when the whole story in the past is told there's still another 30 minutes explaining the story. But the magic that made Michael Clarke Duncan into such a giant of a man (not that he's small, but this takes some magic) is remarkable to watch and follow throughout the film.
In case you haven't seen it, here's more or less what happens. Paul (Tom Hanks) is in charge of "The Green Mile", what they call death row, during the Depression. A very large black man, John Coffey (Duncan) is brought to them to be executed for the rape and murder of two girls. Already awaiting execution are 2 other inmates, and several guards including the governor's nephew, Percy (Doug Hutchinson) who is a weasely, sadistic, mo-fo, who challenges the calm that Paul and Brutus (David Morse) and the other guards are trying to provide for the inmates. Another prisoner arrives from the looney bin, Wild Bill (a really, really crazy Sam Rockwell), that is likely the guilty one for John's crime. Paul finds this out because John has a gift -- he can heal things, and pass on visions and is basically a little bit magic. Ultimately, we do get to the point where all the prisoners have to die. But it's more a comment on good vs. evil and faith vs. reality than a story about the death penalty. Duncan was really good as a gentle giant - but Michael Caine's drug-addicted Dr. Wilbur Larch from The Cider House Rules was a stronger role and performance and took the Oscar. It was a strong year in the supporting Actor category - Tom Cruise for Magnolia, Haley Joel Osment for The Sixth Sense, and Jude Law for The Talented Mr. Ripley.