Miramax Films has helped create a buzz around "The Crying Game" by emphasizing a surprise plot twist and asking critics and moviegoers to keep it a secret.
With the nomination of Jaye Davidson as best supporting actor for his role in the movie, however, those connected with the film are worried The Secret is out.
"Jaye has been nominated for his role in the film," said producer Stephen Woolley. "There is no reason why that should necessarily give away the secret unless (writers) now give it away. People who haven't seen the film have no idea who Jaye Davidson is in the film.
"If Anthony Perkins gets nominated for 'Psycho' and people say Anthony Perkins is his own mother, it would blow the film."
On the other hand, writer-director Neil Jordan seemed to be resigned to the fact that the film's closely guarded secret is now impossible to keep.
"I'm not going to worry about that," Jordan said. "I'm just thrilled (to be nominated)."
Suspenseful and emotionally complex, the movie centers on an IRA terrorist who goes to London to seek out the lover of a prisoner who had been in his custody.
Woolley, reached by telephone Wednesday at the Groucho Club in London where the filmmakers were celebrating the six nominations, including best picture, added that "The Crying Game" works "with or without the notion of a secret, but I think the secret is something that has caught on in a way in America."
In his review, The Times' critic Kenneth Turan said an "undefined sense of things being not quite what they seem continues to be the keynote" of the movie. He said the picture "has the delicious ability of never letting on at any given moment what the next one will bring."
Miramax executives deny that The Secret has been used to hype the movie. "It hasn't been a marketing ploy," said Gerry Rich, senior vice president of marketing. "We've always said this is a movie of many mysteries. It's Hitchcockian in that sense."
Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein called the Associated Press urging the secret remain secret. "I'm begging," he said. "You're not hurting me financially. You're ruining the movie for audiences."