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Two '98 awards circuit films that don't really get talked about much any more. I remember watching The Red Violin as part of a challenge with two fellow film fans at University (we were hosting a radio show at the time, and had been challenged by listeners to watch films of their choice which none of us had seen before) and remember it being a self-indulgent, overlong, "epic" personal project. It had a nice score, as one would hope with a classical instrument in the title, and I kind of get what the writer-director was going for, with a sweeping epic about a McGuffin object being passed from person to person through the ages, bringing drama and tragedy where it went, with a central motto to the effect of "artistic passion is more important than material wealth", but it was still too long and a bit too pretentious. I may be misremembering the plot here, but frankly it didn't leave much room for reappraisal, apart from the aforementioned score, which deservedly won an academy award. Shakespeare in Love may be amongst the more maligned, oscar-bait Best Picture winners (it beat out Saving Private Ryan), and The Red Violin might be more "meaningful" (or at least, trying to be), but while I can't really argue that SPR deserved the award more, Shakespeare in Love is still an entertaining costume drama with a likeable cast, solid performances (for the most part) and more replay value than The Red Violin, not to mention more cohesive a film. That's enough to take the win here.
Nude Pepper Potts beats Nick Fury looking for acting awards.
^I see what you did there. I've just had a look and I previously commented on TRV about 6 years ago where I praised it a bit more, mainly through the lense of musical appreciation and elitism. It's a more interesting film than I'm making out here, but overall my criticisms still stand. Shakespeare still wins.