1995 is one of the strangest years in recent Academy history. Because seemingly, Apollo 13 was the film this year. It won all the major precursors — the PGA, the DGA (this is one of the only 6 times in history where the DGA and Oscar winner differed), SAG — and yet was almost completely shut out here. Must have been a real interesting race, that’s for sure.
Aside from this category, Braveheart also wins Best Director for Mel Gibson (talked about here), which is a good decision by virtue of the fact that Ron Howard wasn’t even nominated in the category. Then Best Actor was Nicolas Cage for Leaving Las Vegas (talked about here), a decision I love. (It was him or Anthony Hopkins, and Hopkins had one already.) Best Actress was Susan Sarandon for Dead Man Walking (talked about here). I don’t like this decision, I felt Elisabeth Shue was much better in Leaving Las Vegas, but Sarandon was going to win one anyway, so this was as good a time as any. Best Supporting Actor was Kevin Spacey for The Usual Suspects (talked about here). I can’t be objective on this category, so I just say good for him. And Best Supporting Actress was Mira Sorvino for Mighty Aphrodite (talked about here), which was a perfect decision. She was amazing in that movie.
But this category — I wonder what it is that led to such a drastic change in voting. Was it that Braveheart was more emotional for the voters? Actually, what I bet it was is that people saw Apollo 13 as more of a populist film without any heart, whereas the Academy can never turn down an actor-director. (By the way, I also see this category as directly responsible for what happened in 2001.)
BEST PICTURE – 1995
And the nominees were…
Apollo 13 (Universal, Imagine Entertainment)
Braveheart (Paramount, Icon)
Il Postino (Miramax)
Sense and Sensibility (Columbia) (more…)