The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1983
1983 is one of the not dull spots of the 80s. It’s not particularly bright, but it’s — cheap fluorescent. I’ll take that.
Terms of Endearment wins Best Picture, which is not a terrible choice (though I loved The Right Stuff so much more), considering the weak set of nominees, but it is a weak Best Picture choice, considering many of the films that won the award. It also won Best Director for James L. Brooks (talked about here), which makes sense, since Phillip Kaufman inexplicably wasn’t nominated, Best Actress for Shirley MacLaine (talked about here), which was 23 years overdue, and Best Supporting Actor for Jack Nicholson (talked about here), which I don’t understand past, “It’s Jack, we have to vote for him.” I go Sam Shepard all the way there.
The other non-Endearment winner this year, besides this category was Best Supporting Actress, which went to Linda Hunt for The Year of Living Dangerously (talked about here). In case you don’t know or haven’t seen the film — she plays a man! And nobody notices!
Okay, that brings us to this category. It had to happen. I don’t love the performance (much the way I didn’t love Jeff Bridges’ country singer Oscar winner performance (you know you loved those rhymes)), but (more so than the Bridges one) this had to happen because — Duvall’s snub in 1979 was so bad, so horrible, that he should have won for any performance he gave this year, whatever it was. (Sorry Michael Caine, but, blame the Academy. Though he got two awards later on, so he came out all right.)
BEST ACTOR – 1983
And the nominees were…
Michael Caine, Educating Rita
Tom Conti, Reuben, Reuben
Tom Courtenay, The Dresser
Robert Duvall, Tender Mercies
Albert Finney, The Dresser (more…)