Independents' Day

There were the richly deserving, such as Clint Eastwood's three Oscar nominations for Unforgiven and Michelle Pfeiffer's one for Love Field. But if there was a message in the 65th annual Academy Awards nominations, it was that bigger movies aren't always better. Two low-budget independent films were among the top nomination grabbers: nine to the Merchant-Ivory drama Howards End and six to maverick Miramax Films' mystery The Crying Game, including Best Picture chances for each. In the crucial Best Director category, indies snagged two nominations, including one to Robert Altman for his savage dissection of Hollywood duplicity in The Player. Hollywood...

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