I hate 1985. Nearly every decision was wrong. It starts at the top. Out of Africa wins Best Picture and Best Director for Sydney Pollack. Let’s start with Best Picture. It was a terrible decision. The film just — isn’t that good. I mean, it’s a fine film and all, but — The Color Purple was also nominated this year. That, by all accounts, is clearly the better film. The fact that it didn’t win speaks to the oldest tradition in Academy history — racism. That’s the only explanation. Steven Spielberg, who directed The Color Purple and won the DGA Award for it, wasn’t even nominated for Best Director! (Which makes the Sydney Pollack decision okay, since he did a good job with his film and was a good director. Though the Academy did have the chance to award Akira Kurosawa here. But, I do understand the choice, if Spielberg wasn’t nominated.)
Then, Best Actress was another racist decision. Whoopi Goldberg was clearly the best performance in the category, and yet the Academy gives Best Actress to Geraldine Page for The Trip to Bountiful (talked about here). Oh, this racism is killing me inside. Geraldine Page was a respected actress with 8 nominations to her name. But don’t let that fool you. They used her veteran status as an excuse to be racist. Watch the performances — you’ll see what I mean. Then Best Supporting Actor was Don Ameche for Cocoon, which was a veteran win, no more, no less. This one I can kind of get behind. I mean, Klaus Maria Brandauer was strong in Out of Africa, but I don’t like that film, and Eric Roberts was awesome in Runaway Train, but I don’t think the Academy would have voted for him. So I guess this result is kind of okay. Then Best Supporting Actress was Anjelica Huston for Prizzi’s Honor (talked about here), which, I don’t really like all that much. At all, in fact.
So that’s 1985. Of the 6 decisions, I like one of them. This one. Then three of them are terrible, I don’t like one (Supporting Actress) but can live with it a little bit (though my dislike still stands) and can live with the other one (Supporting Actor). All in all a terrible year.
BEST ACTOR – 1985
And the nominees were…
Harrison Ford, Witness
James Garner, Murphy’s Romance
William Hurt, Kiss of the Spider Woman
Jack Nicholson, Prizzi’s Honor
Jon Voight, Runaway Train (more…)