I love 1961. Mostly due to the strength of the year. I also love the Best Picture decision, but, I have a sentimental favorite that didn’t win, and I’m not really sure which I’d vote for, so in a way, it’s tough to think about, because I don’t know what to do, but in another way, I know the decision stands on its own as a strong one, so it’s nice.
West Side Story wins Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for George Chakiris (talked about here) and Best Supporting Actress for Rita Moreno (talked about here). I love all of the decisions, even though I might not necessarily have voted for all of them. Best Actor was Maximilian Schell for Judgment at Nuremberg, which I hate, hate, hate as a decision (gee, you think he hates it?). Paul Newman really should have won for The Hustler here, and even the Academy knew it, because when they finally gave him his Oscar in 1986, they gave it to him for the sequel to The Hustler. And Best Actress was Sophia Loren for Two Women (talked about here), which I’m very open about hating as a decision.
So that leaves only this category, which is pretty cut and dry and makes perfect sense.
BEST DIRECTOR – 1961
And the nominees were…
Federico Fellini, La Dolce Vita
Stanley Kramer, Judgment at Nuremberg
Robert Rossen, The Hustler
J. Lee Thompson, The Guns of Navarone
Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins, West Side Story (more…)