As expected, the World War II epic Saving Private Ryan was a battler, capturing 11 nods, including ones for former Oscar winners director Steven Spielberg and actor Tom Hanks.
See our entire Oscars '99 package
As not expected, Edward Norton wound up alongside Hanks in the Best Actor race for his work as a former skinhead in the controversial (and little-seen) drama American History X.
Norton's inclusion essentially left Jim Carrey the odd man out. The Golden Globe winner for The Truman Show failed to move into the biggest of leagues--as foreshadowed by his Screen Actors Guild Awards snub.
The pundits predicted the Italian-language Holocaust fable Life Is Beautiful would do well, but few pegged it to do this well: seven nominations. That's the best showing ever for a foreign film. Life's multihyphenate star, Roberto Benigni, personally has a shot at a whopping five Oscars, as producer, actor, director and screenwriter.
The other top nominees: the other Elizabethan film, Elizabeth, and the other World War II epic, The Thin Red Line. Like Life, they nabbed seven nominations apiece.
The Thin Red Line was the first movie from reclusive director Terrence Malick in 20 years. The Academy rewarded his patience with his first Best Director nod.
Shakespeare's 13 nominations are one shy of the record 14 nabbed by Titanic (1997) and All About Eve (1951).
Here's a quick look at the big races:
Elizabeth, Life Is Beautiful, Saving Private Ryan, Shakespeare in Love, The Thin Red Line.
Best Actor: Roberto Benigni (Life Is Beautiful), Tom Hanks (Saving Private Ryan), Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters), Nick Nolte (Affliction), Edward Norton (American History X). Best Actress: Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth), Fernanda Montenegro (Central Station), Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love), Meryl Streep (One True Thing), Emily Watson (Hilary and Jackie).
Best Supporting Actor:
James Coburn (Affliction), Robert Duvall (A Civil Action), Ed Harris (The Truman Show), Geoffrey Rush (Shakespeare in Love), Billy Bob Thornton (A Simple Plan).
Best Supporting Actress:
Kathy Bates (Primary Colors), Brenda Blethyn (Little Voice), Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love), Rachel Griffiths (Hilary and Jackie), Lynn Redgrave (Gods and Monsters).
Roberto Benigni (Life Is Beautiful), John Madden (Shakespeare in Love), Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line), Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan), Peter Weir (The Truman Show).
Missing from the directing field is this year's annual snubee: Shekhar Kapur, who did a good enough job to get Elizabeth included in the Best Picture race, but apparently not good enough to get himself a nomination.
Also spending this Oscar morning (presumably) embittered: Bill Murray--not nominated for Rushmore--and just about anyone (paging Joan Allen) involved with Pleasantville (shut out of the glamour categories and scoring only three nods overall).
Long shots that failed to place: Cameron Diaz (a New York critics winner for There's Something About Mary); Michael Caine (a Golden Globe winner for Little Voice); Jane Horrocks (the voice of Little Voice) and 1998's Full Monty wannabe, Waking Ned Devine.
The awards will be presented March 21 in a live ABC telecast hosted by Whoopi Goldberg.
COMPLETE LIST OF NOMINEES