Mike’s Top Ten of 1982
Pound for pound, 1982 is one of the strongest years of the 80s.
This is the first year the industry feels like it switched over into the “80s.” Though, that being said, it still feels like there’s a strong auteurial stamp on the bigger movies, if that makes sense. It doesn’t feel like the studio has overwhelmed the filmmaker quite yet. For example — E.T. feels like a very personal movie for Spielberg, and it would end up being the thing that created that Amblin feel that would permeate the rest of the studio’s work for the decade.
Outside of that — heavy hitters this year. At least half the top ten list is just no-brainers on title alone. (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1982
1982 is one of those “Academy being the Academy” years. In a way, it makes our job here easier. In another way — it is kind of on-the-nose. Especially in the wake of such good stuff.
Gandhi is an obvious choice Best Picture winner. Not a bad film, but — obvious. Richard Attenborough won Best Director for it (talked about here), which makes sense. He’s awesome. (Even though I’d definitely have given it to Wolfgang Petersen for Das Boot.) It makes me feel slightly better about Sidney Lumet never having won. Ben Kingsley also won Best Actor for the film (talked about here), which — he played Gandhi. It’s hard to argue against it, even though Paul Newman, Peter O’Toole and Dustin Hoffman were so good this year (specifically the first two). Best Actress this year was Meryl Streep for Sophie’s Choice (talked about here), which — yeah. You know. Best Supporting Actor was Lou Gossett Jr. for An Officer and a Gentleman (talked about here), which is a decent decision. Not ideal, but good (and also positive from a race standpoint). And Best Supporting Actress was Jessica Lange for Tootsie (talked about here), which — not ideal. She was nominated twice, so it makes sense that she won, but — Glenn Close really should have won here.
Overall, 1982 is decent bordering on good. It’s just — the Best Picture choice is really obvious. But it was definitely gonna win, which makes us (kind of like 1987) able to pick whatever we want to win without repercussion. So that’s nice.
BEST PICTURE – 1982
And the nominees were…
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (Universal)
The Verdict (20th Century Fox) (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1982
1982 is very ho-hum for me. Such good potential — such an obvious result. This is one of those years where you’re like, “Come on, Academy! Take a chance!” Gandhi wins Best Picture, which, is an easy decision. Because you also have Tootsie, The Verdict and E.T. nominated. See what I mean by easy?
Richard Attenborough wins Best Director for the film, which, I can’t really complain about too much, because I love Richard Attenborough, but, as I said here, there was a much better effort in that category that should have won instead. Ben Kingsley wins Best Actor for the film (which I talked about here), which is acceptable, because, one, it’s Gandhi, and two, it’s Ben Kingsley. Even though Paul Newman delivered yet another iconic performance in The Verdict, I understand that it’s Gandhi. Though, Peter O’Toole and Dustin Hoffman also delivered iconic performances here, but, it’s Gandhi, what are you gonna do? Best Actress this year was Meryl Streep for Sophie’s Choice (which I talked about here). ‘Nuff said. And Best Supporting Actor was Lou Gossett Jr. for An Officer and a Gentleman, which is just weird to me. I talked about it here.
As for this category — tough call. Could fall one of two ways, depending on your opinion. Either way, tough.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 1982
And the nominees were…
Glen Close, The World According to Garp
Teri Garr, Tootsie
Jessica Lange, Tootsie
Kim Stanley, Frances
Lesley Ann Warren, Victor Victoria (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1982
I love 1982, more for the films that were nominated more than the decisions that were made. Because, Gandhi wins a bunch of awards, and, while I don’t think it needed Best Picture (or was the best film in the category), you can’t really say it was that bad a decision. Ben Kingsley wins Best Actor for it (which I talked about here), which is the most acceptable of the Gandhi awards (despite being in as tough a category as he was in), and Richard Attenborough wins Best Director for it, which (as I said here) I have to like, because it’s Gandhi and I love Richard Attenborough, but, there was a better choice there. Then Meryl Streep wins Best Actress for Sophie’s Choice — case closed — and Jessica Lange wins Best Supporting Actress for Tootsie.
Now, this category in particular is kind of tough. All the nominees are good, but not great. They’re all 2s and 3s for most years with no 1. It’s strange. But the voting aspect is something we’ll deal with later. First, let me fill you in on a bit of trivia with this category. the 1982 and 1983 Best Supporting Actor categories are the only two times two very respected actors were nominated for Oscars. Those actors are John Lithgow and Charles Durning. Both legends in their own right. And the only two times those two were nominated for Oscars, they happened to do so in the same category as each other. How weird is that?
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1982
And the nominees were…
Charles Durning, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Lou Gossett Jr., An Officer and a Gentleman
John Lithgow, The World According to Garp
James Mason, The Verdict
Robert Preston, Victor/Victoria (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1982
Oh, 1982. A good year capped off by a boring Best Picture winner. Gandhi is many things — a great film, a terrific biopic on one of the most important men of the 20th century — but an interesting film it is not. It didn’t need to win Best Picture. It’s just too on-the-nose. Which, kind of what the 80s were for the Oscars — a boring decade. Think about it. How many interesting decisions did the Academy make in the 80s? Amadeus? Platoon? Rain Man? Terms of Endearment? Even the ones that won weren’t great decisions. At best they’d be strong films in other decades. So, I just count this as one in a long line of boring 80s choices.
Richard Attenborough winning Best Director this year was — well, I talked about it already. Recently too. Meryl Streep winning Best Actress was — well, I talked about that too. Jessica Lange winning Best Supporting Actress was a fine decision, and Lou Gossett Jr. winning Best Supporting Actor was — well, it was. Which leaves this category. The most interesting of all the categories this year. It’s tough talking about it. Because on the one hand, he played Gandhi. But on the other hand — well, is the other hand. It’s kind of a lose-lose.
BEST ACTOR – 1982
And the nominees were…
Dustin Hoffman, Tootsie
Ben Kingsley, Gandhi
Jack Lemmon, Missing
Paul Newman, The Verdict
Peter O’Toole, My Favorite Year (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1982
We’re back at 1982. A boring year, for my money. I mean, Gandhi is Gandhi, but, also nominated this year were The Verdict, Tootsie and E.T. (and Missing, which — whatever). Those would have been way more interesting choices. Ben Kingsley for Best Actor for Gandhi was also good, but — Paul Newman was up for The Verdict. He hadn’t won one yet. But, whatever. This isn’t Best Actor. Best Actress, however, was Meryl Streep for Sophie’s Choice, which is one of the best choices they’ve ever made. I mean, come on. (I talked about that one here.) And then Best Supporting Actor was Lou Gossett Jr., for An Officer and a Gentleman, a category I haven’t decided how I feel about yet, and Best Supporting Actress was Jessica Lange for Tootsie, which, I also haven’t full decided upon yet. But I’ll probably get to it soon.
And that’s 1982, really. Mostly good decisions punctuated by a boring choice for Best Picture. Which then makes me feel pretty “meh” about this year as a whole, since, a year is summed up by its Best Picture winner in Oscar Town.
BEST DIRECTOR – 1982
And the nominees were…
Richard Attenborough, Gandhi
Sidney Lumet, The Verdict
Wolfgang Petersen, Das Boot
Sydney Pollack, Tootsie
Steven Spielberg, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1982
What can I say about 1982 that hasn’t already been said about 1996?
I haven’t actually said anything about 1996, but this year is analogous to that. The big, sweeping, historical epic that beat the great comedy and the really great drama. It’s hard to argue with it, because it’s an Academy-type film — you just have to shrug and say, “It’s what they like.”
As for the acting categories, I’d say, they got one really right, one was the safe choice, one was a bad choice and the final one was a good choice and also a safe choice. I’ll leave you to decide which is which out of this group. Best Actor was Ben Kingsley for Gandhi, which also won Best Picture and Best Director for Richard Attenborough (whom you may remember from such films as The Great Escape, and most notably Jurassic Park, in which he played the old man running the park. He also directed two of my favorite movies — Magic, featuring a jaw-droppingly brilliant performance by Anthony Hopkins and solid supporting work by Ann-Margret and Burgess Meredith, and Chaplin, featuring a jaw-droppingly good performance by Robert Downey Jr. as Charlie Chaplin. You may also know his brother, David, who narrates all the BBC nature documentaries, specifically Planet Earth. Who hasn’t gotten high and watched Planet Earth? David Attenborough’s voice is the soothing alternative to Robert Osborne. Those men can narrate anything. Fuck Morgan Freeman. I’ll take those two any day). Best Supporting Actor went to Lou Gossett Jr., for An Officer and a Gentleman, and Best Supporting Actor went to Jessica Lange for Tootsie. And now this category. I’ll ruin part of the suspense by saying this is the one they got really right. (more…)