Mike’s Top Ten of 1965
Another contender for strongest year of the 60s. The top ten isn’t as classic-heavy as ’62, but what it lacks in those it makes up for in straight up gems that not enough people know about. This year is so full of amazing movies that are on that level of “Oh my god, how did I not know this existed before?” Those are my bread and butter.
The thing you really notice in a year like this is that the films are starting to (and you’ll notice a parallel to the current day here) exist in one of two forms: huge scale blockbusters or small independent movies. There’s no real middle class here. Either they’re these realistic, gritty little movies with great performances and (for the time) experimental (or should I say, less rigid) filmmaking, or they’re huge (and at times, bloated) epic-scale movies in ultra widescreen designed to get asses in the seats because TV is taking people away.
Pay attention to the non-top ten entries this year. They’re stronger than most. (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1965
1965 is a playing card year. I mean that in the sense of — there’s a scene in My Cousin Vinny where Pesci explains that the prosecution’s case looks like a brick, and will be presented as such, but in reality, is as thin as a playing card, because the fact remains that the boys are innocent. And that’s what I feel about this year. On the surface, a good year and a good choice. But, when you look at it more closely — it might not be what it appears.
The Sound of Music, outside of Best Picture, wins Best Director for Robert Wise (talked about here). That’s standard operating procedure. Best Actor was Lee Marvin for Cat Ballou (talked about here), which I think is a terrible decision, yet I can’t be too angry with it because I love Lee Marvin. Still, bad decision. Best Actress was Julie Christie for Darling (talked about here), which was such a great decision. Between that and Doctor Zhivago — man did she deserve that. Best Supporting Actor was Martin Balsam for A Thousand Clowns (talked about here), which — one of the worst Best Supporting Actor categories of all time, so — sure. And Best Supporting Actress was Shelley Winters for A Patch of Blue (talked about here), which she totally deserved. And the film is amazing too. Great decision.
So, fine year, fine decisions, for the most part. This is a year I don’t think is quite that good a decision. And on the other side of the coin, I’m not quite sure what beats it. This is a really interesting year to talk about, and one that I don’t think is as simple as you’d think it is.
And the nominees were…
Doctor Zhivago (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
Ship of Fools (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
The Sound of Music (20th Century Fox)
A Thousand Clowns (United Artists) (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1965
I love 1965. It’s such a strong year. And the decisions were largely great. In fact, almost all great.
The Sound of Music wins Best Picture. That’s pretty clear cut. Best Actor was Lee Marvin for Cat Ballou (talked about here), which, as I say, is a good decision because Lee Marvin is awesome, but a terrible one because Richard Burton and Rod Steiger gave much better performances. Best Actress was Julie Christie for Darling (talked about here), which is a top ten Best Actress decision for all time. Best Supporting Actor was Martin Balsam for A Thousand Clowns (talked about here), which was a good decision in what was one of the weakest Best Supporting Actor categories of all time. And Best Supporting Actress was Shelley Winters for A Patch of Blue (talked about here), which was a terrific decision. She was awesome in the film.
And, that leaves us with this category, which — what did you think was gonna happen?
BEST DIRECTOR – 1965
And the nominees were…
David Lean, Doctor Zhivago
John Schlesinger, Darling
Hiroshi Teshigahara, Woman in the Dunes
Robert Wise, The Sound of Music
William Wyler, The Collector (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1965
1965 is a strong year that is relatively unanalyzed. Mostly because, when you glance at it, you see, “Oh, The Sound of Music, and Dr. Zhivago was nominated,” and keept going. Clear-cut, no contention, moving on. But, when you look closer, Darling and A Thousand Clowns (not so much Ship of Fools) were also really strong films nominated for Best Picture. So, while the winner was easy to call, the category itself (among some of the others in the year) was really strong.
Robert Wise won Best Director for The Sound of Music, which comes with the territory (plus Lean won twice). Lee Marvin won Best Actor for Cat Ballou, which, as I said here, I hate. I hate it because it’s a terrible decision (Richard Burton or Rod Steiger really should have won), and because I can’t really argue about it that much, because I love Lee Marvin. Best Actress was Julie Christie for Darling (talked about here), which is a top ten decision for all time. Best Supporting Actress was Shelley Winters for A Patch of Blue (talked about here), which is a terrific decision (which is saying something, since she won one already).
That brings us to this category — one of, if not the weakest Best Supporting Actor category of all time. Holy shit. None of these performances would rate as a #2 for me in any year. And depending on the year, they might not even make #3. This is just terrible. (But fortunately the end decision does, performance quality aside, actually help keep the year strong. There’s no bad decision at all in the year.)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1965
And the nominees were…
Martin Balsam, A Thousand Clowns
Ian Bannen, The Flight of the Phoenix
Tom Courtenay, Dr. Zhivago
Michael Dunn, Ship of Fools
Frank Finlay, Othello (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1965
Oh, 1965. This year is a rock to me. It’s just — there. You don’t question a rock, it just, is. The Sound of Music wins Best Picture, and instinctively we all just understand that. It also won Best Director for Robert Wise, which, comes with the territory.
Then, Best Actor was Lee Marvin for Cat Ballou. Rather than explain, you can read my opinions on that here. Best Supporting Actor was Martin Balsam for A Thousand Clowns, which I guess works. I don’t really like the category, so whatever. And Best Supporting Actress was Shelley Winters for A Patch of Blue, which, as I said here, was a great decision.
So that’s 1965. And this category — whoa man, this is a top ten decision of all time. Julie Christie is incredible here. And also, despite that, this category is stacked. There are four legit winners here. Four!
BEST ACTRESS – 1965
And the nominees are…
Julie Andrews, The Sound of Music
Julie Christie, Darling
Samantha Eggar, The Collector
Elizabeth Hartman, A Patch of Blue
Simone Signoret, Ship of Fools (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1965
As I said the last time I covered 1965, it’s a year I feel like I should feel stronger about. But for some reason I don’t. To me, it’s just there. The Sound of Music was a great choice for Best Picture, and it makes perfect sense that it won. Doctor Zhivago wasn’t quite the masterpiece that Lawrence of Arabia and Bridge on the River Kwai were, and, as much as I love Darling, it probably shouldn’t have beaten The Sound of Music. Robert Wise winning Best Director for the film is a fine decision, and made the most sense.
Best Actor this year was Lee Marvin for Cat Ballou, and, as I said here, I really don’t like that at all. I love Lee Marvin, but Richard Burton really should have won for The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (and maybe Rod Steiger for The Pawnbroker too). Best Actress was Julie Christie for Darling, which I love, despite how stacked that category was (Elizabeth Hartman and Samantha Eggar were fantastic as well. Plus — Julie Andrews). And Best Supporting Actor was Martin Balsam for A Thousand Clowns. That category was one of the weakest of all time, and I love Martin Balsam and A Thousand Clowns, so, while I don’t love the performance as an Oscar-winner, I like the decision.
Which brings us to this category. Honestly, despite the fact that she won already, this is a really easy decision. Shelley Winters was fucking amazing here.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 1965
And the nominees were…
Ruth Gordon, Inside Daisy Clover
Joyce Redman, Othello
Maggie Smith, Othello
Shelley Winters, A Patch of Blue
Peggy Wood, The Sound of Music (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1965
It’s weird that I think of 1965 as a blank year. Yet, one of Hollywood’s landmark films won that year, The Sound of Music. For some reason, I was never over the moon about the choice of that as Best Picture. I love the film, and I don’t think any of the other nominated films could (or should) have beaten it (even my personal favorite film on the list, Darling), so I’m not sure why my reaction is the way it is. I guess it’s because I’m strange. Robert Wise also won Best Director for the film, which — obviously.
Best Actress this year was Julie Christie for Darling, which I love as a decision. Julie Andrews would have won, but she won the year before this for Mary Poppins. Christie gave a tremendous performance in a category that was pretty stacked. I can’t wait to get to that one. Best Supporting Actor was Martin Balsam for A Thousand Clowns, which was an okay decision. The category was really, really bad, and Martin Balsam is awesome, so I support the decision. And Best Supporting Actress was Shelley Winters for A Patch of Blue, which is a great decision. She was terrific in the film, and didn’t really have any competition.
As for this category — this is one of the toughest Best Actor categories I’ve ever seen. Not so much strongest, but the toughest. Both Rod Steiger and Richard Burton were terrific in their respective roles, and then you get the big monkey wrench of Lee Marvin, who, while he didn’t give a performance that rivals those of the other two, is still Lee Marvin. So a tough decision must be made.
BEST ACTOR – 1965
And the nominees were…
Richard Burton, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
Lee Marvin, Cat Ballou
Laurence Olivier, Othello
Rod Steiger, The Pawnbroker
Oskar Werner, Ship of Fools (more…)