1983 is another one of those weak 80s decisions. It’s not horrible, it’s just — not ideal. But considering the pile of shit we got in the 80s, this year’s not as bad as some of those other ones.
Terms of Endearment is probably not a film that should win Best Picture. But it did. It also won Best Director for James L. Brooks (talked about here), mostly because the person who should have won Best Director (Philip Kaufman) wasn’t nominated. It also won Shirley MacLaine her long overdue Best Actress Oscar (talked about here), and won Jack Nicholson a somewhat unfair Best Supporting Actor Oscar (talked about here). MacLaine needed to win, Jack didn’t. Putting him in Supporting is like putting Meryl in Supporting — it’s just not fair to everyone else. Best Actor this year was Robert Duvall for Tender Mercies (talked about here). Not the best performance, but he was so due by this point it didn’t matter. And Best Supporting Actress was Linda Hunt for The Year of Living Dangerously (talked about here). She plays a man in the film. And nobody notices. I rest my case.
So, 1983 could be worse than it is. I think of it as more effective than anything. It got Shirley MacLaine her Oscar. It got Robert Duvall his Oscar. And Best Picture — meh. I guess it’s okay. I still say The Right Stuff was a far better film, though.
BEST PICTURE – 1983
And the nominees were…
The Big Chill (Columbia)
The Dresser (Columbia)
The Right Stuff (Warner Bros., The Ladd Company)
Tender Mercies (Universal, AFD)
Terms of Endearment (Paramount) (more…)