Monday, February 24, 2014

Best Picture Choices 1985 -1989

The current count on decent Oscar picks as we round out the '80's is 28 out of 51.

1985 - This crop gets off to a bad start with the pretty but dull historical snoozer Out of Africa. Nominees The Color Purple and Kiss of the Spider Woman would have been marginally better choices. Nominees Prizzi's Honor or Witness would have been far better choices. My favorite film of the year, Back to the Future, was not nominated.

1986 - Platoon was the winner. Though the Vietnam film may not have been accurate, it was compelling. I'm okay with it winning over nominees Children of a Lesser God, Hannah and Her Sisters, The Mission and Room With a View.

1987 - The Last Emperor won and the colorful, broad epic is a decent choice; but who has watched it since it won? The other nominees were Broadcast News, Fatal Attraction, Hope and Glory and Moonstruck. (My favorite films of the year, Princess Bride and The Untouchables were not nominated.)

1988 - Rain Man was the winner for Best Picture and it was probably better choice than nominees The Accidental Tourist, Dangerous Liaisons, Mississippi Burning and Working Girl. I like all of these films well enough, and I'll call this a decent pick, but my favorite of the year was Die Hard (you know, the Christmas film.)

1989 - Much grief is given to the winner Driving Miss Daisy as condescending film about racial relations. I like it well enough, but since the far superior Do the Right Thing (still Spike Lee's best film) came out that year, it's hard to disagree that this was a really poor call on the Academy's part. Among the nominees, I would have voted for Field of Dreams over the very good My Left Foot and especially the sad nominees Born On the Fourth of July and Dead Poets' Society.

So I'm okay with 3 of the 5 choices in this stretch.

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