To run down the intro quickly — this is a series of articles about what I would nominate in every single Oscar Quest category if I had a ballot. I always felt I should do them, but didn’t want to pull that shit everyone pulls of, “Here’s what I’d nominate,” even though it’s all the same five films they add on and they haven’t even seen half the stuff that was nominated. I know my stuff’s legit, because I’ve seen all the films, but I refused to start this discussion unless I was going to do it with the ability to tell people how to do it the right way, since unless you keep them honest, it’s fucking chaos.
So I decided to, along with picking what I’d vote for, create what I’m calling a Compromise List. The Compromise List is — aside from my personal nominations (which on the whole are pretty close to what would fit the typical notion of “Oscar,” since I’ve seen everything and know what is and what isn’t an “Oscar” movie and actually respect the precedents in place even though I don’t always agree with them enough to not be like, “I vote for Star Trek!”), a list of films that are basically a mix of my nominees and their nominees that I think everyone could live with. The idea is to make a list that works for everyone that’s great, and to cut out all the shit that so clearly shouldn’t be there.
The things to keep in mind: 1) if a category has five nominees, I’m only nominating five films. 2) The lists are only based on what I’ve seen. 3) Don’t bother me with your opinion unless you’re gonna go the full nine and do every single year. 4) If you’re going to attempt something like this — be honest. Don’t get too subjective, and DO NOT take off a film you haven’t seen just to put on a film you have seen. And most importantly, 5) YOU CANNOT take off a Best Picture winner. You can not vote for it on your list, but on your compromise list, the Best Picture winner MUST BE THERE. If it won, you have to include it. No exceptions.
Okay, let’s get to the next set of Best Picture years: (more…)
1986: “TAKE MY BREATH AWAY,” FROM TOP GUN
1987 is by far one of the most boring years in Academy history (Best Picture-wise).
The Last Emperor wins Best Picture and Best Director for Bernardo Bertolucci (talked about here). Terrific film, just — yawn. Michael Douglas wins Best Actor for Wall Street (talked about here). Great film, great performance, but I don’t see him winning this in many other years. Best Actress was Cher for Moonstruck (talked about here). I dislike that decision so much. (Seriously, no Glenn Close for Fatal Attraction or Holly Hunter for Broadcast News?) Olympia Dukakis also won Best Supporting Actress for the film (talked about here). Which is okay, only because the category is the single weakest Best Supporting Actress category in the history of the Oscars. Ever. And Sean Connery wins Best Supporting Actor for The Untouchables (talked about here). Sure, a veteran Oscar. But an awesome one. (Shame though, about Morgan Freeman, Albert Brooks and Denzel.) So, overall — yeah, a pretty boring year.
This Best Picture category is basically a flatliner. Really only one film was ever going to win. Fortunately, though, one of the nominees has become one of my favorite films, so that’s a huge plus. Otherwise — it was pretty obvious what was winning this all the way. Which makes it easier for us to vote for what we want to without worrying about the result. Go nuts, children, there are no consequences.
BEST PICTURE – 1987
And the nominees were…
Broadcast News (20th Century Fox)
Fatal Attraction (Paramount)
Hope and Glory (Columbia)
The Last Emperor (Columbia)
Moonstruck (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) (more…)
Thank God we’re almost done with 1987. I hate this year. It’s not that they made bad decisions, it’s just — it’s so boring. The Last Emperor is just a boring Best Picture choice. It’s a great film, but does anybody care that it won? Bernardo Bertolucci winning Best Director for it (talked about here) is a good decision, I’ll give them that. But the film is just so boring as a Best Picture winner.
Michael Douglas won Best Actor for Wall Street (talked about here), which is a wonderful decision, and one people can’t complain about because the category is so weak. Best Actress was Cher for Moonstruck, which, as I said here, I hate as a decision. Really hate. Holly Hunter and Glenn Close were such better choices. And Best Supporting Actor was Sean Connery for The Untouchables (talked about here), which — it’s Sean Connery. Of course it’s great.
Which brings us to this category. Oh yeah, we’re looking for alternatives here. I definitely disagree with two of these nominees. And since most of the other three are so weak, I’ll sacrifice any one of those three as a third nominee. Let’s see if there were any other performances worth nominating instead — nothing. At least at first glance. Wow, this year sucked. Every decade has one, it seems.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 1987
And the nominees were…
Norma Aleandro, Gaby: A True Story
Anne Archer, Fatal Attraction
Olympia Dukakis, Moonstruck
Anne Ramsey, Throw Momma from the Train
Ann Sothern, The Whales of August (more…)
This has become a recurring feature here at B+ Movie Blog. Back in March, I posted my Top Tens of the 2000s, because, even though I don’t put much stock in them as be-all, end-all catalogues, I do love making Top Ten lists. So, three months later, I made a list of my Top Tens of the 90s. I liked doing it so much, I figured I’d try to do one for every decade (it gets murky past the 20s, but we have a ways to go before we get there). I’ll space them out every three months, so that way it feels like one of those “very special episodes” TV shows like to do.
What I like to do for each decade is, after listing the ten films from each year I like the best (as well as an 11-15, so that when I revisit the lists in the future (update them in five, ten years, or whatever), I won’t have look through at every film that came out over again), I like to put another list at the bottom for fun. For the 2000s, it was the “Terrible Ten” list of films I hated the most from each year. For the 90s, it was a list of “Films of My Childhood,” the films I grew up watching and loving. Now, for the 80s, I’ve compiled a list of “Awesomely 80s films,” movies from the 80s that are amazingly reflective of the decade. You’ll see what I mean when you see them.
Let’s get to the lists: (more…)
This is a category that’s so awesome that it makes the rest of the year seem better. At least, when you use this as the focal point. 1987 is a year where they got the men right, got the women wrong, and chose a pretty standard/boring (albeit understandable) choice for Best Picture and Best Director. That was The Last Emperor. A big, epic film, very well-made, very engaging, just — a boring choice. It just is. Like Gandhi. You know why it won Best Picture, it’s just a boring choice.
Bernardo Bertolucci winning Best Director for The Last Emperor (as I said here), is a solid choice. Very deserving director. So that’s cool. Goes with the territory. Best Actor was Michael Douglas for Wall Street (talked about here), which, it’s Gordon Gekko, it’s awesome. Obviously. Then Best Actress (talked about here) and Best Supporting Actress were Cher and Olympia Dukakis for Moonstruck. I don’t particularly like either decision. At all, really. Actress more so, just because — why Cher?
But, this category is awesome. It’s rare for a year to have Best Supporting Actor be its strongest category. But this really is the strongest category here. Five solid choices, four worth a vote. And only one clear winner.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1987
And the nominees were…
Albert Brooks, Broadcast News
Sean Connery, The Untouchables
Morgan Freeman, Street Smart
Vincent Gardenia, Moonstruck
Denzel Washington, Cry Freedom (more…)
1987 is one of the more forgotten years of the Academy. Just because — while The Last Emperor is a great film and I can see why it won Best Picture and Best Director for Bernardo Bertolucci (talked about here), it’s just not a very interesting film. A film like this is a film like Gandhi — sure it’s good and all, but, Academy-wise, it’s just not an interesting choice. Broadcast News or Hope and Glory — those would have been interesting choices (more so the latter). This — just standard business. Which is why most people forget about it.
As for the rest of the year, both Cher and Olympia Dukakis win Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively, for Moonstruck (Best Actress was talked about here), which, I consider weak decisions. I think there were better decisions to be made in both categories. Then, Sean Connery wins Best Supporting Actor for The Untouchables, which, I don’t think anyone can really disagree with that. Even if they don’t like the film and don’t like the performance — which, how many people does that leave? — I don’t think anyone can really call giving Sean Connery a career Oscar a bad thing (regardless of how great Morgan Freeman was in Street Smart). That’s the Chicago way.
And then there’s this category. No one can call this a bad decision. No one. First — it’s Gordon fucking Gekko. Right there — done. But even if you don’t think the performance was that great — look at the rest of the category. Who the hell else was gonna win? This was a great decision, through and through.
BEST ACTOR – 1987
And the nominees were…
Michael Douglas, Wall Street
William Hurt, Broadcast News
Marcello Mastroianni, Dark Eyes
Jack Nicholson, Ironweed (more…)