I like 1992 a lot. Because this could have turned into a really bad year. But the Academy rallied. I say that because, based on the precursors, it seems like The Crying Game or Scent of a Woman were possibly favorites to win here. Though, Unforgiven did have the most nominations (along with Howards End), so maybe it was always gonna win. Either way, I’m glad they went the way they did.
Clint Eastwood won Best Director for the film (talked about here), which is nice. He deserved it (plus the other nominees were so weak). Gene Hackman also won Best Supporting Actor for the film (talked about here), which was a good decision. They were gonna give it to either him or Nicholson, and while I liked Nicholson’s performance better, I’m glad they gave it to Hackman. Best Actor this year was Al Pacino for Scent of a Woman (talked about here), which, just logistically, was a good decision. The man was so horrendously overdue by this point, it was best to just give him something. Of course, the win came at the expense of a brilliant Denzel Washington in Malcolm X and Robert Downey Jr. in Chaplin, but sometimes it’s best to just correct mistakes. Denzel got his second Oscar anyway. It worked out as well as it could have. Best Actress was Emma Thompson for Howards End (talked about here). The performance wasn’t particularly good (nor was the film), but it was just her time. It also allowed Holly Hunter to win after this, and the category wasn’t that strong. So it’s fine. And Best Supporting Actress was Marisa Tomei for My Cousin Vinny (talked about here). I don’t care what anyone says, I think this is a terrific decision. The category was one of the worst in history. It was between her and Judy Davis, and I think Tomei’s been more of a lasting actress than Davis, having given more awards-worthy performances over her career. (I also liked her performance better and didn’t despise her film, so that also helped.)
Overall, this is a year that could have turned out very sour, and instead, turned out all right. I don’t disagree with the winners (just the films two of them won for). And then we get Unforgiven as a Best Picture, which is amazing. It’s really the film on here that’s held up the best. Chalk up another great decision to the 90s (making up for those awful 80s).
BEST PICTURE – 1992
And the nominees were…
The Crying Game (Miramax)
A Few Good Men (Columbia, Castle Rock Entertainment)
Howards End (Sony Pictures Classics)
Scent of a Woman (Universal)
Unforgiven (Warner Bros.) (more…)