We've all read about President Clinton's Hollywood connections and his interest in movies. So it was only natural to wonder what the President thought about the movies nominated for Academy Awards on the eve of Hollywood's biggest night of the year.
Yes, Clinton is planning on watching the Oscars Monday night, a White House spokesperson told The Times. The plan is to watch the show with friends.
No, the President would not offer his Oscar predictions. Unlike many people in Hollywood, he admits he hasn't seen all the nominated movies and didn't want to venture an opinion without all the facts. (Clearly, he has more on his mind than getting to screenings of all of the year's nominated movies.)
What he has seen is "Unforgiven" and "A Few Good Men" (he liked both of them). He hadn't seen "Scent of a Woman" by our Wednesday night press time, but he told Dan Rather in a televised interview that he'd try to see it over the weekend. White House staffers were unable to ascertain whether he'd seen the two independent nominees, "Howards End" and "The Crying Game."
Clinton enjoyed taking daughter Chelsea (one of her favorite films is "The Princess Bride") to neighborhood movie theaters in Little Rock, but his moviegoing these days is confined to the White House screening room, Air Force One (they show movies) and hotel room VCRs.
One current film Clinton saw and liked was "Falling Down." And he recently stayed up past midnight to watch the 1992 Edward James Olmos movie "American Me" on videocassette. One of its producers, Sean Daniel, is a friend of White House press secretary DeeDee Myers.
But Clinton aficionados say the President has eclectic tastes. Among his favorite films: "High Noon" and "Casablanca." During the transition, he and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton saw the Eddie Murphy movie "The Distinguished Gentleman."
So, given all this, we thought we wouldn't send him an Oscar ballot for the office pool.