The 80s, I feel, are a pretty ho-hum Oscar decade. The 70s were all about auteurs and gritty innovation. Then the 80s were like, “Fuck that, the blockbuster is back!” and everything went all studio. Which meant the Oscars went back to all these boring, epic “Oscar films.” Actually, I’m pretty sure the 80s is the decade where the “Oscar” film really came into being. 1980 – family drama. 1981 – well, Chariots of Fire. 1982 – historical epic about Gandhi. 1983 – family drama. 1984 – historical epic about Mozart. 1985 – historical epic romance set in Africa. 1986 – Vietnam movie. 1987 – historical epic about a Chinese emperor. 1988 – family drama about a savant and his brother. 1989 – historical, I guess, epic (if we’re counting time span), about a woman and her chauffeur. More of a drama, I guess. Still, you can see where a specific type of movie started getting voted in.
1984, though, might be the best Best Picture choice of the 80s. Amadeus is an amazing movie. And Milos Forman definitely deserved Best Director. That movie is incredible. F. Murray Abraham was great as Salieri and deserved his Best Actor win. Though, Sally Field, for Best Actress, no matter how much they “really liked” her, did not deserve that win by a long shot. Oh, and Best Supporting Actress was Peggy Ashcroft for A Passage to India. See what I mean? Aside from Amadeus, a lot of the choices in the 80s are boring. This one is no different. (more…)