I hate 1985. Perhaps the nadir of the 80s, this year signifies all that’s wrong with the Academy. From top to bottom, almost all the decisions they made were wrong. Out of Africa wins Best Picture, beating the far superior in every way The Color Purple, which speaks to the Academy’s preoccupation with two things: big, epic Oscar bait films, and racism. They really don’t like black people in the Academy.
Sydney Pollack wins Best Director for Out of Africa (talked about here), which may actually be an okay decision based on the category (it sucked), but the real shame here is the fact that THEY DIDN’T EVEN NOMINATE STEVEN SPIELBERG! Steven Spielberg won the DGA Award for The Color Purple, and the racist ass Academy didn’t even nominate him! How fucked up is that?
Speaking of racism, we’re not done yet. Best Actress this year went to Geraldine Page for The Trip to Bountiful (talked about here). She beat the far superior Whoopi Goldberg, in, you guessed it, The Color Purple. Three — count it — three racist decisions. Add to that Anjelica Huston winning Best Supporting Actress for Prizzi’s Honor (talked about here), which may have been racism (Oprah was certainly better than Huston was), but I’m not going to declare it as such, just because I personally thought Meg Tilly gave the best performance in the category. Oh, and William Hurt won Best Actor for Kiss of the Spider Woman (talked about here), which is the lone good decision in this shitty year.
Oh, but now there’s this category, which would be okay in most years, but here it serves to remind us of the other terrible trend in Academy voting: veteran Oscars for people who give mediocre performances and are getting statues because of their stature.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1985
And the nominees were…
Don Ameche, Cocoon
Klaus Maria Brandauer, Out of Africa
William Hickey, Prizzi’s Honor
Robert Loggia, Jagged Edge
Eric Roberts, Runaway Train (more…)