Mike’s Top Ten of 1989
And we’re finally done with the 80s.
This is a very strong year, and I think that has to do with the growing independent film movement that would take over the 90s. You also get very strong top of the line stuff here. All the Best Picture nominees made the top 20 this year, and there were at least another two more options that could have made it and still kept the field as strong as it is.
Plus, the below the line stuff is all around solid. You can definitely tell we’re getting out of the 80s. Everything is starting to trend upward again. Even Disney! The Renaissance stars this year!
I feel like the top ten or fifteen will be largely the same for most people this year, with the exception of the two or three movies that are quintessentially ones that appeal specifically to me and likely are ones that most people haven’t seen as often as I have or don’t even know about.
But that’s what you come here for, isn’t it? (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1989
Everyone hates 1989. I am perplexed by 1989. Because I don’t know what to do with it. Sure, Driving Miss Daisy is not a good choice, but none of the other choices are particularly win-worthy. (Now, if Do the Right Thing were nominated…)
It seems Driving Miss Daisy wasn’t a choice the Academy loved — despite it winning Best Actress for Jessica Tandy (talked about here), which was a nice veteran Oscar — since it wasn’t even nominated for Best Director. I’d love to see the percentage of votes there. Must have been close all around. Best Director, instead, went to Oliver Stone for Born on the Fourth of July (talked about here). His second. Not a terrible decision. Best Actor was Daniel Day-Lewis for My Left Foot (talked about here). Brenda Blethyn also won Best Supporting Actress for the film (talked about here). Both were perfect decisions. And Best Supporting Actor was Denzel Washington for Glory (talked about here). I don’t like the decision at all. Danny Aiello was better, and if Denzel didn’t win here, maybe he could have won (laughable, I know, but one can hope) in 1992.
So that’s 1989. Really, I only like the My Left Foot wins. I’m cool with Tandy winning, though. And Stone is okay. But overall, the year just feels pretty weak. It stars with the Best Picture nominees, and all of these feel like #2s at best with no #1 in the bunch.
BEST PICTURE – 1989
And the nominees were…
Born on the Fourth of July (Universal)
Dead Poet’s Society (Touchstone Pictures)
Driving Miss Daisy (Warner Bros.)
Field of Dreams (Universal)
My Left Foot (Miramax) (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1989
Everyone knows 1989. We all have opinions. No need to talk about it. We’ll let the individual articles do the talking.
Driving Miss Daisy wins Best Picture and Best Actress for Jessica Tandy (talked about here). Veteran Oscar. Best Actor was Daniel Day-Lewis for My Left Foot (talked about here), and Brenda Fricker also won Best Supporting Actress for the film (talked about here). And Oliver Stone won Best Director for Born on the Fourth of July (talked about here).
And then there’s this category. I don’t really know what to do with it. It’s — I don’t know. Smells like a makeup Oscar to me. (Which isn’t a surprise, considering the Academy’s treatment of Denzel and their blatant racism throughout history.)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1989
And the nominees are…
Danny Aiello, Do the Right Thing
Dan Aykroyd, Driving Miss Daisy
Marlon Brando, A Dry White Season
Martin Landau, Crimes and Misdemeanors
Denzel Washington, Glory (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1989
Let’s try not to editorialize too much. The facts do it for us. Driving Miss Daisy wins Best Picture for 1989, beating Born on the Fourth of July, Dead Poet’s Society, Field of Dreams and My Left Foot. Uh huh.
Best Actor this year was Daniel Day-Lewis for My Left Foot (talked about here), which we should all recognize as one of the best Best Actor decisions of all time. Brenda Fricker also won Best Supporting Actress for the film (talked about here), which is a tremendous decision. She was fantastic. Best Supporting Actor was Denzel Washington for Glory, which I’ve yet to fully make my decision on (as in, what I’m voting for), but I think it’s a solid choice. And Best Director was Oliver Stone for Born on the Fourth of July (talked about here), which — I guess makes sense based on the category.
BEST ACTRESS – 1989
And the nominees were…
Isabelle Adjani, Camille Claudel
Pauline Collins, Shirley Valentine
Jessica Lange, Music Box
Michelle Pfeiffer, The Fabulous Baker Boys
Jessica Tandy, Driving Miss Daisy (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1989
1989 is pretty self-explanatory. Driving Miss Daisy wins Best Picture. One final “fuck you” from the Academy to end the 80s. When ranking the 80s Best Pictures, Miss Daisy is not the worst of the bunch. In probably like 6th or 7th. But in the category it was in — a terrible decision.
It beat — for those who haven’t memorized it like I have — Field of Dreams, Born on the Fourth of July, My Left Foot and Dead Poet’s Society. Just one, “oh god” after another, isn’t it? Four clearly superior films. Or three and a, “I’d probably take that one over it too.” Still — not good. Jessica Tandy won Best Actress for Miss Daisy, which was a good choice. A veteran win was fine, since there wasn’t really another choice. Also, Oliver Stone won Best Director for Born on the Fourth of July, which I was against here. Brenda Fricker won Best Supporting Actress for My Left Foot, which I liked a lot here. And Denzel Washington wins Best Supporting Actor for Glory, which I’m very okay with.
And of course, we all know about this category. Clearly one of the best decision ever made. Which means, aside from the awful Best Picture choice and poor Best Director choice, this was actually a really good year. Damn shame what they did to that dog.
BEST ACTOR – 1989
And the nominees were…
Kenneth Branagh, Henry V
Tom Cruise, Born on the Fourth of July
Daniel Day-Lewis, My Left Foot
Morgan Freeman, Driving Miss Daisy
Robin Williams, Dead Poet’s Society (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1989
Haven’t had one of these in a while. A category where I actually, by my rules, need to look for alternatives. Since it has been a while — recap:
My rule is, in any given category, if I disagree with at least 3 of the nominees, and really think the category is weak, I’ll look up alternatives from other films of the year and see if the category is weak because the year was weak or because the Academy made shitty picks.
First, before I get into the category, let’s recap the rest of the 1989 Oscar year, because it’s not much better. Best Picture went to Driving Miss Daisy, and I think those three words already evoke a reaction. This is one of those movies that people know — “They fucked up.” The movie isn’t as bad as its reputation suggests, but — it was up against Born on the Fourth of July, Dead Poet’s Society, Field of Dreams, and My Left Foot — it’s clearly not the best film from that list. Best Actor went to Daniel Day-Lewis for My Left Foot, in a no-brainer acting decision. Dude was incredible. Best Actress went to Jessica Tandy for Driving Miss Daisy, which is cool, I guess. She was like 90 at the time. Best Supporting Actor went to Denzel Washington in Glory, and Best Director, which I’ve discussed already, went to Oliver Stone for Born on the Fourth of July.
Now, let’s get back to the alternatives. Honestly, I can’t find any. Wow. This year was weak for supporting actresses. The best I can do is, maybe, someone from Do the Right Thing? Ruby Dee? Either way, poor showing. (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1989
1989. A number. Another summer. Why that wasn’t nominated, I have no idea. But, you know, shit happens.
1989 goes down as one of the worst Best Picture choices of all time, and rightfully so. It was a terrible choice. It’s not a bad movie, but it’s not a Best Picture movie. The movie was Driving Miss Daisy, which beat out such films as My Left Foot, Field of Dreams, Born on the Fourth of July and Dead Poet’s Society to win Best Picture. It’s the last (and really only) film to win Best Picture without a Best Director nomination. Not win. Nomination. The only other films to do that are Grand Hotel (which only got the one nomination for Best Picture) and Wings (which was in first Oscar year). Both of those came really before the Academy figured themselves out. Assuming the Oscars as we know them really started in 1934, Driving Miss Daisy is the only film to win Best Picture without even a Best Director nomination. Thus ends the bad decisions of the 80s. Then the 90s came and they only made mistakes on like, two out of the ten years. Which is pretty good.
Best Actor went to Daniel Day-Lewis for My Left Foot, and Brenda Fricker won Best Supporting Actress for that film as well. Best Actress went to Jessica Tandy for Miss Daisy, because — well, she was old. Best Supporting Actor went to Denzel Washington for Glory. Not really bad decisions on anything except Best Picture there. I mean, Tandy wasn’t the best choice, but the category didn’t have a clear winner to take away from the sentimentality of the veteran nomination. So, you know, it doesn’t seem so bad.
BEST DIRECTOR – 1989
And the nominees were…
Woody Allen, Crimes and Misdemeanors
Kenneth Branagh, Henry V
Jim Sheridan, My Left Foot
Oliver Stone, Born on the Fourth of July
Peter Weir, Dead Poet’s Society (more…)