Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Best Picture Winners 1990 - 1994

1990 - This year proved again that the Academy loves its movie stars. Part of this is because the largest branch of the Academy is actors and they all want to think they could be the one who would get all the credit for a Best Picture. I believe this is much of the reason Dances With Wolves won Best Picture, a decent, but not great western. But nominee Goodfellas is a great gangster film. It should have won. But Wolves is better than nominees Awakenings, Ghost and Godfather III>

1991 - This was a strange year. Two of the nominees were not the kind of film that usually got nominated. Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film nominated for Best Picture. Silence of the Lambs was the first horror film (well, serial killer film) nominated for Best Picture. And Lambs won. A decent choice, though I would have probably voted for Beauty. The other nominees, JFK, Bugsy and especially The Prince of Tides rightly didn't win. (One of the bizarre things about Tides is Barbara Streisand nearing her fifth decade, being cast as an irresistible, gorgeous psychiatrist.)

1992 - People are always saying, even in the nineties, that westerns are dead. But two years before this, Dances With Wolves won Best Picture, and this year another western directed and starring a movie star, Clint Eastwood, took the prize. But this time, a truly great western won, Unforgiven. Might be the best film that came out that year, so obviously a better pick than nominees The Crying Game, A Few Good Men, Howard's End and Scent of a Woman.

1993 - Good on the Academy. For the second year in a row, the best film of the year won best picture. And Schindler's List finally got Spielberg (who arguably should have won for Jaws, E.T. or Raiders) the director's Oscar as well. I love The Fugitive but wouldn't have voted it this year. Other nominees - In the Name of the Father, The Piano, and The Remains of the Day. (There was a grave error in the nominations for Best Picture, because Groundhog's Day was not among them.)

1994 - I like the winner, Forrest Gump. A lot of people love it. But there were a couple of other good nominees this year. Four Wedding and A Funeral is fun. And The Shawshank Redemption often ranks near the top of the IMDB poll of best films ever made. But the film that should have won, the best film of the year, though it is violent and vulgar, but also witty and startling and visionary, Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. (As for nominee Quiz Show...boring.)

So, two great choices and a decent one for 3 out of five.

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