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SISKEL & EBERT RATE THE ACADEMY'S PERFORMANCE ON ITS 1993 OSCAR NOMINATION PICKS

 Critics Responds to AMPAS with Rage' and Satisfaction';
 Airs on Stations Around the Country, Feb. 20-26
 BURBANK, Calif., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The 1993 Oscar nominations are in and well-known movie critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, in their "Siskel & Ebert" movie review program, rate with "outrage" and "pleasure" at how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences cast ballots for last year's great films and performances.
 Siskel's list of surprises included Marisa Tomei, nominated as Best Supporting Actress for her comic work in "My Cousin Vinny." Another was David Paymer, nominated as Best Supporting Actor for his work as Billy Crystal's long-suffering show business brother in "Mr. Saturday Night." A final selection was Robert Downey Jr. as Charlie Chaplin in "Chaplin." "I thought it was worth seeing for Downey's remarkable performance as both the old and young Chaplin," Siskel commented.
 Ebert was impressed with the six nominations for "The Crying Game," including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor categories. " The Crying Game' was a smart, complex and challenging film, and audiences have embraced it as a change from Hollywood's easy formulas," Ebert noted.
 "Foreign-language performances are hardly ever nominated by the Academy," said Ebert. He was surprised by Catherine Deneuve's nomination for Best Actress in "Indochine." He also recognized another first-time surprise in the documentary category for "Fires of Kuwait," an on-location documentary about the hundreds of burning oil wells left behind by retreating Iraqi troops.
 "Most of my outrage is directed at the committee that nominates the best documentaries of the year," said Ebert. "This dysfunctional group of myopic knee-jerkers failed to nominate Brother's Keeper,' the year's most successful and best-reviewed documentary.
 "Another good film that got lost in the shuffle was The Player,'" adds Ebert. The critic was satisfied that Robert Altman received a Best Director nomination for "this scathing indictment of Hollywood," but felt Tim Robbins should not have been passed over for Best Actor. " The Player' was the hottest ticket for months on the Beverly Hills and Bel Air circuits -- but maybe the industry didn't like Altman's unflattering portrait of how they live and die," he said.
 Ebert was also disappointed that Alfre Woodard failed to be nominated for "her brilliant supporting performance in Passion Fish.'"
 In the category of surprise exclusions, according to Siskel, was "Malcolm X." "I didn't expect Spike Lee to be nominated as Best Director and he wasn't. In effect he called the production and marketing people at Warner Bros. racists for not being more free with their money." Siskel said he was surprised that the snub extended to "Malcolm X." Jack Lemmon for Best Actor in "Glengarry Glen Ross" was another surprise exclusion for Siskel.
 "Siskel & Ebert" is distributed by Buena Vista Television, which is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co.
 -0- 2/18/93
 /CONTACT: John Michaeli of Buena Vista Television, 818-560-7565/


CO: Buena Vista Television ST: California IN: ENT SU:

KJ -- LA040 -- 7963 02/18/93 14:06 EST
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