Amph Hindsight is 20-20: Oscar Ceremonies of the Past (Disc. 1977)

Discussion in 'Community' started by Rogue1-and-a-half, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Yeah, I Am a Fugitive rocks. LeRoy is constantly underrated.

    Testament of Dr. Mabuse is also pretty nifty.
  2. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    CEREMONY YEAR: 1940

    BEST PICTURE

    Dark Victory
    Gone with the Wind ? WINNER
    Goodbye, Mr. Chips
    Love Affair
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
    Ninotchka
    Of Mice & Men
    Stagecoach
    The Wizard of Oz
    Wuthering Heights

    This year?s ceremony awarded films for 1939, which a lot of people consider to be one of the two or three greatest movie years ever, if not still the very greatest year for movies. So, I?m going to take my time here with all of these, because when you look at this slate of ten BP nominees, it?s easy to see why people think that.

    Item 1 on the agenda is to say: the proper one actually took the prize. Gone with the Wind has been defended plenty, so I don?t need to take a lot of space here. But let me just say I saw it last fall on the big screen as part of a revival series at a local movie house; it was the first time I?d seen it on the big screen and it was breathtaking. It holds up; it?s one of the best movies ever made; it deserved the win.

    As to the other nominees:

    Dark Victory is a film some people find too sentimental or possibly they think Davis is too hokey. Its terminal illness plot seems hackneyed, but Davis is sublime and I can?t help being moved by the film which is nigh on to perfect in my opinion (except for Bogart as an Irish horse trainer; his scenes are pretty awful). Deserved the nomination
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington ? others find this movie too earnest and corny; Stewart?s performance is brilliant and I love the movie. It?s not perfect, but I think it deserved the nomination.
    Ninotchka is a pretty funny movie. Not sure it?s worth a Best Picture nod; it?s a fairly typical light comedy-romance that holds up pretty well (despite Melvyn Douglas being kind of bland)
    Stagecoach looks odd here; it?s a typical Western or perhaps one should say an architypical Western. I think it deserves the nod; it?s a little hokey in its characterizations when viewed today, but it has energy, a great conceptual hook and mostly great acting. I?d give it the nod.
    The Wizard of Oz rubs me the wrong way; everyone already knows this. I get that it?s me since I have yet to find a single other person who doesn?t love it. Obviously, it deserves a nomination.
    Wuthering Heights, on the other hand, doesn?t. It?s pretty stagy and Olivier and Oberon are both pretty bad by modern standards. I don?t think this one?s held up well at all; as this might have played a part in my take on the film, I should point out that the charm of the novel is also lost on me.

    Unfairly snubbed:

    Destry Rides Again is a crazy, unbelievable Western, but it?s unbelievably entertaining; should have been nominated.
    Each Dawn I Die is an unjustly forgotten prison picture with Cagney and Raft in the leads, Cagney the straight arrow journalist framed and sent to prison because of his reporting on corruption, Raft the ice cold killer who belongs in prison. The movie is an incredibly effecting one; Cagney is magnifico and the friendship that the film builds between these two incredibly different people is fantastic. It?s a great, great flick that deserves to be rediscovered.
    Another Thin Man might be a bit of a stretch, but I think it, being the first sequel, is actually every bit as good as the first one; it might even be a bit better. Either way, it?s great.


    BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

    Robert Donat ? Goodbye, Mr. Chips ? WINNER
    Clark Gable ? Gone with the Wind
    Laurence Olivier ? Wuthering Heights
    Mickey Rooney ? Babes in Arms
    James Stewart ? Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

    Of these, Gable is effortlessly charismatic, Olivier is bathetically histrionic and Stewart is maniacally frenzied. Gable?s performance might have deserved the win.

    Unfairly snubbed:

    James Cagney for Each Dawn I Die; it?s a masterful, gripping performance. There?s a scene where his mother and fiancée visit him in prison that is . . . astonishing. Every would-be actor should watch Cagney in this movie.
    John Wayne for Stagecoach; as Gable is effortlessly charismatic, so is Wayne here and he?s also iconic without even trying. Moments like him twirling
  3. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    CEREMONY YEAR: 1940

    BEST PICTURE

    Dark Victory
    Gone with the Wind ? WINNER
    Goodbye, Mr. Chips
    Love Affair
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
    Ninotchka
    Of Mice & Men
    Stagecoach
    The Wizard of Oz
    Wuthering Heights

    This year?s ceremony awarded films for 1939, which a lot of people consider to be one of the two or three greatest movie years ever, if not still the very greatest year for movies. So, I?m going to take my time here with all of these, because when you look at this slate of ten BP nominees, it?s easy to see why people think that.

    Item 1 on the agenda is to say: the proper one actually took the prize. Gone with the Wind has been defended plenty, so I don?t need to take a lot of space here. But let me just say I saw it last fall on the big screen as part of a revival series at a local movie house; it was the first time I?d seen it on the big screen and it was breathtaking. It holds up; it?s one of the best movies ever made; it deserved the win.

    As to the other nominees:

    Dark Victory is a film some people find too sentimental or possibly they think Davis is too hokey. Its terminal illness plot seems hackneyed, but Davis is sublime and I can?t help being moved by the film which is nigh on to perfect in my opinion (except for Bogart as an Irish horse trainer; his scenes are pretty awful). Deserved the nomination
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington ? others find this movie too earnest and corny; Stewart?s performance is brilliant and I love the movie. It?s not perfect, but I think it deserved the nomination.
    Ninotchka is a pretty funny movie. Not sure it?s worth a Best Picture nod; it?s a fairly typical light comedy-romance that holds up pretty well (despite Melvyn Douglas being kind of bland)
    Stagecoach looks odd here; it?s a typical Western or perhaps one should say an architypical Western. I think it deserves the nod; it?s a little hokey in its characterizations when viewed today, but it has energy, a great conceptual hook and mostly great acting. I?d give it the nod.
    The Wizard of Oz rubs me the wrong way; everyone already knows this. I get that it?s me since I have yet to find a single other person who doesn?t love it. Obviously, it deserves a nomination.
    Wuthering Heights, on the other hand, doesn?t. It?s pretty stagy and Olivier and Oberon are both pretty bad by modern standards. I don?t think this one?s held up well at all; as this might have played a part in my take on the film, I should point out that the charm of the novel is also lost on me.

    Unfairly snubbed:

    Destry Rides Again is a crazy, unbelievable Western, but it?s unbelievably entertaining; should have been nominated.
    Each Dawn I Die is an unjustly forgotten prison picture with Cagney and Raft in the leads, Cagney the straight arrow journalist framed and sent to prison because of his reporting on corruption, Raft the ice cold killer who belongs in prison. The movie is an incredibly effecting one; Cagney is magnifico and the friendship that the film builds between these two incredibly different people is fantastic. It?s a great, great flick that deserves to be rediscovered.
    Another Thin Man might be a bit of a stretch, but I think it, being the first sequel, is actually every bit as good as the first one; it might even be a bit better. Either way, it?s great.

    The proper film won, with "Stagecoach", "Ninotchka" and "The Wizard of Oz" in a dead heat for second. I agree re: "Wuthering Heights"--dated, dated, dated.

    Recently seen "Each Dawn I Die", and the problem is that it was directed by William Keighley, who was Warner's house hack. (If you see a MGM film directed by Jack Conway, same reaction; the film may have good things in it, but the direction will not be one of them.) I've never gotten through a Keighley film yet, and this one was no exception. His middle name is Obvious. The film has a great title, a great poster:

    [image=http://www.moviegoods.com/Assets/product_images/1020/417888.1020.A.jpg]

    I also agree that Raft, if not exactly an actor, has a great natural presence. The camera loves him. But Cagney is a good bit over the top here. The s
  4. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    CEREMONY YEAR: 1934

    BEST PICTURE

    42nd Street
    A Farewell to Arms
    Cavalcade ? WINNER
    I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
    Lady for a Day
    Little Women
    The Private Life of Henry VIII
    She Done Him Wrong
    Smilin? Through
    State Fair

    This version of Farewell to Arms is pretty bad, if you ask me. So is She Done Him Wrong, which is a Mae West vehicle that Cary Grant later stated was his worst movie (yes, Nevermind, Grant likes this one even less than Arsenic & Old Lace, which he also hates) and I think he?s not far from wrong there.

    Of these, the clear winner is I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, which is a gripping, bleak picture of a man?s life being destroyed; it feels a few decades ahead of its time. It?s a great flick.

    The major snub here is King Kong, which is a masterpiece (though I?d still give the win to Chain Gang), but I?d also love to have seen Gold Diggers of 1933 nominated. It?s a pitch perfect pre-Code musical that?s unjustly forgotten.

    Yes, but Cary Grant is not Cary Grant yet. He's just a tall, dark and handsome extra.
    "King Kong" should be nom'd but of those that were, I suppose "I am a Fugitive" is prolly the best. Lots of films not nom'd, "Zero de Conduite", "The Mummy", "Duck Soup", etc.



    BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

    Leslie Howard ? Berkeley Square
    Charles Laughton ? The Private Life of Henry VIII ? WINNER
    Paul Muni ? I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang

    Muni, a vastly underrated actor, is magnificent in Chain Gang.

    Wow, long list of flicks, short list of flacks. Never seen the Howard film--or even heard of it--Laughton's good but campy. Muni is intensely humourless, but that's what this role requires.

    BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

    Katharine Hepburn ? Morning Glory ? WINNER
    May Robson ? Lady for a Day
    Diana Wynyard ? Cavalcade

    Would it kill you if I said Fay Wray deserved a nom for King Kong? All jokes aside, she?s game for anything, spends half the movie acting to something that isn?t there and those screams are absolutely iconic.

    I've seen "Morning Glory" and wish I hadn't. Haven't seen the other two. Loretta Young should have been nom'd for "Man's Castle"

    NO SUPPORTING AWARDS WERE GIVEN FOR PERFORMANCES THIS YEAR

    It?s too bad no supporting awards. I?d have nominated Aline MacMahon for her role in Gold Diggers of 1933; she?s the sardonic, witty heart of the movie. Then there?s the marvelous Guy Kibbee. Or what about Warren William as the straight-laced older brother to Dick Powell, who finds himself seductively drawn into the comedic revels? And what about Charley Chase in Laurel & Hardy?s Sons of the Desert? It?s hard to believe anyone could steal a movie from Laurel & Hardy, but Chase?s manic, alcohol fueled performance is riotously funny and brilliant.

    BEST DIRECTOR

    Frank Capra ? Lady for a Day
    George Cukor ? Little Women
    Frank Lloyd ? Cavalcade ? WINNER

    James Whale deserved a nomination for The Invisible Man. And how King Kong didn?t get a nod here, I don?t know; if you love nothing else in the movie (and I love it entire), you still have to give it up for that masterful, breakneck direction.

    Cukor. Capra should have been nom'd for "The Bitter Tea of General Yen", Leo McCarey for "Duck Soup", Karl Freund for "The Mummy", Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast for "Topaze"

    NO MUSICAL AWARDS WERE GIVEN THIS YEAR

  5. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    CEREMONY YEAR: 1983

    BEST PICTURE

    E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
    Gandhi ? WINNER
    Missing
    Tootsie
    The Verdict

    Of these, I?d say E.T. deserved the win. It?s an evergreen. Tootsie is a lot of fun, but not really Best Picture caliber. The Verdict definitely is; it?s a great flick.

    A couple that I think could be subbed in for Tootsie. Well, first off there?s Blade Runner, a movie not without flaws, but visionary and brilliant. Also, for comedy, there?s Barry Levinson?s marvelously enjoyable Diner, a movie not enough people talk about.


    BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

    Dustin Hoffman ? Tootsie
    Ben Kingsley ? Gandhi ? WINNER
    Jack Lemmon ? Missing
    Paul Newman ? The Verdict
    Peter O?Toole ? My Favorite Year

    Newman?s performance in The Verdict is a stunner, even in Newman?s career, which is filled with brilliant performances. The sequence of him taking pictures of his client in the hospital is just astonishingly well acted, near onto perfect, if we?re being honest.

    I suppose it?s to the good, the two comic nominations. Hoffman is very good in Tootsie, especially as Michael Dorsey; he does the egomaniacal/neurotic actor to absolute perfection, though he?s not believable as a woman for a hot second. O?Toole?s nomination is especially appreciated; as the boozing, decrepit movie star in My Favorite Year, he?s brilliant. It?s a great, great performance ? definitely worthy of the nomination.

    On the unfairly snubbed front, I might give Michael Caine a nod for Deathtrap, a movie that isn?t exactly serious, but Caine is good as the playwright who can?t come up with a good play to save his life, but has more than one or two schemes going in his real life.


    BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

    Julie Andrews ? Victor Victoria
    Jessica Lange ? Frances
    Sissy Spacek ? Missing
    Meryl Streep ? Sophie?s Choice ? WINNER
    Debra Winger ? An Officer & a Gentleman

    Of these, Julie Andrews, believe it or not. Like Hoffman, she?s playing a gender switching role and, also like Hoffman, she isn?t believable at all as a man. But the movie has its charms and Andrews is one of them.

    Streep is actually not very good in Sophie?s Choice; I?m kind of surprised Sophie?s Choice didn?t get a Best Picture nod. It?s such a perfect ?Oscar bait? movie, but it?s actually not very good. Read the novel instead; the movie is a non-event.

    But seriously, folks, JoBeth Williams for Poltergeist; I revisited the movie recently and was really taken with her arc in the film, from pot-smoking, ditzy, irresponsible mother to determined, mature warrior, she nails every single beat.


    BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

    Charles Durning ? The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
    Louis Gossett Jr. ? An Officer & a Gentleman ? WINNER
    John Lithgow ? The World According to Garp
    James Mason ? The Verdict
    Robert Preston ? Victor Victoria

    Of these, I?d have given it to Mason, who is absolutely wonderful as Newman?s competition in The Verdict, the conniving lawyer known as ?The Prince of Darkness.? He avoids overdoing it, for one thing, which most actors would have done. Robert Preston is a lot of fun in Victor Victoria too; actually, he?s probably the best thing about the movie. . . or, well, second best anyway.

    There?s one horrendous snub here that just really burns me up. Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty is the deformed, psychotic, tragic heart and soul of Blade Runner. It?s a fan-frigging-tastic villainous performance that still holds up today. He?s probably the best supporting performance of the year.

    Other great supporting work this year that went unrecognized:

    Kevin Kline as the psychopathic Nathan in Sophie?s Choice; he?s the only one in the movie giving a real performance and it?s a darn good one
    Mickey Rourke as the shiftless layabout in Diner; for the Popcorn scene alone, he deserved something
    Sean Penn, freakishly young, hilariously funny and effortlessly charming as pothead Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High; I don?t care for the movie really, but Penn is far and away the best thing in it.
    Bill Murray as the deadpan roommate in Toots
  6. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Didn't Blade Runner bomb and became more of a cult film or something on original release? The AMPAS exclusions have never surprised me.

    Gandhi is better than E.T.. There, I said it. Attenborough cribs from Lean, for sure, but shifts the focus away from Gandhi himself ever so slightly, and is more interested in how he exasperates and inspires those around him. And for that matter, the two biggest snubs, in my opinion, come from a film that swept anyway - Roshan Seth for Best Supporting Actor and Rohini Hattangadi for Best Supporting Actress. Both got BAFTA noms, and Hattangadi actually won, but no such luck from AMPAS. A shame.

    I dig Victor Victoria though, and I'm glad that it got a strong showing even if it got shut out of deserved BP and BD nods. Preston or Mason should have taken home Supporting, but it had to go to Gossett shouting and kickboxing his way through that idiotic Richard Gere film. Bleh.
  7. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    CEREMONY YEAR: 1983

    BEST PICTURE

    E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
    Gandhi ? WINNER
    Missing
    Tootsie
    The Verdict

    Of these, I?d say E.T. deserved the win. It?s an evergreen. Tootsie is a lot of fun, but not really Best Picture caliber. The Verdict definitely is; it?s a great flick.

    A couple that I think could be subbed in for Tootsie. Well, first off there?s Blade Runner, a movie not without flaws, but visionary and brilliant. Also, for comedy, there?s Barry Levinson?s marvelously enjoyable Diner, a movie not enough people talk about.

    A good film could be made about Gandhi. This one isn't it. It's nicely made, and pretty intelligent, I suppose; but Ron Howard could have directed it. (translation: Yawnsville) "E.T." is better. (Love to see a rip-snortin' mini-series about the Gandhi-Nehru clan, though.)

    BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

    Dustin Hoffman ? Tootsie
    Ben Kingsley ? Gandhi ? WINNER
    Jack Lemmon ? Missing
    Paul Newman ? The Verdict
    Peter O?Toole ? My Favorite Year

    Newman?s performance in The Verdict is a stunner, even in Newman?s career, which is filled with brilliant performances. The sequence of him taking pictures of his client in the hospital is just astonishingly well acted, near onto perfect, if we?re being honest.

    I suppose it?s to the good, the two comic nominations. Hoffman is very good in Tootsie, especially as Michael Dorsey; he does the egomaniacal/neurotic actor to absolute perfection, though he?s not believable as a woman for a hot second. O?Toole?s nomination is especially appreciated; as the boozing, decrepit movie star in My Favorite Year, he?s brilliant. It?s a great, great performance ? definitely worthy of the nomination.

    On the unfairly snubbed front, I might give Michael Caine a nod for Deathtrap, a movie that isn?t exactly serious, but Caine is good as the playwright who can?t come up with a good play to save his life, but has more than one or two schemes going in his real life.

    Kingsley is good, but Newman would be my choice.

    BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

    Julie Andrews ? Victor Victoria
    Jessica Lange ? Frances
    Sissy Spacek ? Missing
    Meryl Streep ? Sophie?s Choice ? WINNER
    Debra Winger ? An Officer & a Gentleman

    Of these, Julie Andrews, believe it or not. Like Hoffman, she?s playing a gender switching role and, also like Hoffman, she isn?t believable at all as a man. But the movie has its charms and Andrews is one of them.

    Streep is actually not very good in Sophie?s Choice; I?m kind of surprised Sophie?s Choice didn?t get a Best Picture nod. It?s such a perfect ?Oscar bait? movie, but it?s actually not very good. Read the novel instead; the movie is a non-event.

    But seriously, folks, JoBeth Williams for Poltergeist; I revisited the movie recently and was really taken with her arc in the film, from pot-smoking, ditzy, irresponsible mother to determined, mature warrior, she nails every single beat.

    I'm sure Julie Andrews is a sterling person; but she's so damn starchy she can offer to sleep with a sleazy guy for a meatball and make it seem dull. Can we say 'none of the above'?

    BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

    Charles Durning ? The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
    Louis Gossett Jr. ? An Officer & a Gentleman ? WINNER
    John Lithgow ? The World According to Garp
    James Mason ? The Verdict
    Robert Preston ? Victor Victoria

    Of these, I?d have given it to Mason, who is absolutely wonderful as Newman?s competition in The Verdict, the conniving lawyer known as ?The Prince of Darkness.? He avoids overdoing it, for one thing, which most actors would have done. Robert Preston is a lot of fun in Victor Victoria too; actually, he?s probably the best thing about the movie. . . or, well, second best anyway.

    There?s one horrendous snub here that just really burns me up. Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty is the deformed, psychotic, tragic heart and soul of Blade Runner. It?s a fan-frigging-tastic villainous performance that still holds up today. He?s probably the best supporting performance of the year.

    Other great supporting work this year that went unrecognized:

    Kevin Kline as the psych
  8. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    CEREMONY YEAR: 1978

    BEST PICTURE

    Annie Hall ? WINNER
    The Goodbye Girl
    Julia
    Star Wars
    The Turning Point

    Ah, here we are, a nice controversial year for a Star Wars board. Annie Hall is a great flick, but I have to adhere to stereotype here: Star Wars is the better film. The Goodbye Girl is entertaining, if overlong, and not entirely believable in its shift from Odd Couple-esque comedy to romance.

    Here?s a couple that could have deserved a nom:

    Saturday Night Fever, remembered now mostly for its kickin? soundtrack, is, in fact, a gritty, nihilistic look at life on the wrong side of the tracks. It holds up as a gripping drama, dance sequences notwithstanding.
    A Bridge Too Far is a winning, star-studded epic that never loses sight of the fact that it?s actually not about a victory, but rather a massive cluster**** of truly epic proportions. This grim truth underlies all the heroics and the film is still massively entertaining and eminently watchable.


    BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

    Woody Allen ? Annie Hall
    Richard Burton ? Equus
    Richard Dreyfuss ? The Goodbye Girl ? WINNER
    Marcello Mastroianni ? A Special Day
    John Travolta ? Saturday Night Fever

    I find Dreyfuss pretty good in The Goodbye Girl, at least until he starts trying to channel Bogart in rooftop picnics in the overly sentimental closing passages. Nevermind has an opinion about why Dreyfuss won the award this year that is, I think, totally correct, so I?ll let him say it.

    It?s strange to see Allen get a nomination for acting; when he?s on, he?s very funny, no question, but his character in Annie Hall isn?t much beyond the same character he always plays. I think, of these, Travolta is probably the best; in the closing passages of Saturday Night Fever, he finds a totally bleak despair and desperation that is the absolute yin to the yang of his exuberant, vivacious character in the opening passages. He gets every beat of the character absolutely right.


    BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

    Anne Bancroft ? The Turning Point
    Jane Fonda ? Julia
    Diane Keaton ? Annie Hall ? WINNER
    Shirley MacLaine ? The Turning Point
    Marsha Mason ? The Goodbye Girl

    I guess I have two things to say: number one, just what the hell is The Turning Point, because I?d never heard of it before I pulled up this Oscar ceremony and it got hella love this year from the Academy. Number two, Keaton?s performance in Annie Hall is winning, lively, fresh and funny, so no quibbles here.

    BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

    Mikhail Baryshnikov ? The Turning Point
    Peter Firth ? Equus
    Alec Guinness ? Star Wars
    Jason Robards ? Julia ? WINNER
    Maximilian Schell ? Julia

    Guinness is, of course, very good in Star Wars. I think I might have given the nod to Harrison Ford instead though; his inhabitation of the cocky, abrasive Han Solo is note perfect and totally seamless.

    On the snub front, what about Anthony Hopkins for his brilliant work as the commander who gets sent to the titular Bridge Too Far and finds himself hung out to dry for his trouble?


    BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

    Leslie Browne ? The Turning Point
    Quinn Cummings ? The Goodbye Girl
    Melinda Dillon ? Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    Vanessa Redgrave ? Julia ? WINNER
    Tuesday Weld ? Looking for Mr. Goodbar

    Quinn Cummings is not bad in The Goodbye Girl, actually, and in the land of juvenile female actors, the ?not bad? is queen.

    BEST DIRECTOR

    Woody Allen ? Annie Hall ? WINNER
    George Lucas ? Star Wars
    Herbert Ross ? The Turning Point
    Steven Spielberg ? Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    Fred Zinnemann ? Julia

    I?m no fan of the movie, but the obvious proper winner here is Spielberg for the marvelous atmospherics of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He basically wrote the template for The X-Files, which I love him for and, while the emotional resonance of the film is way, way off base, sequences like the climb up Devil?s Tower, the reveal of the mothership and the abduction of Barry remain technically gorgeous and masterful.

    Allen has a good touch with Annie Hall; self-aware and deadpan: t
  9. corran2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2006
    star 4
    Best Picture I think I would still give to Annie Hall, blasphemous as that may be on this hallowed ground of fandom. Best Score I will agree with you on, though "Star Wars" is still a worthy winner. If Williams deserved it for any score, it was "Empire" which may be the best Williams score. Can't really comment a lot here, except to agree with you on "A Bridge Too Far" which is the perfect war epic for the 70's, as the Allies get it handed to them thanks to bureaucratic screw-ups.
  10. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    You shall lose no cool points. NDIB is one of the few Bond songs that can seriously lay claim to being the best of the bunch.
  11. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    CEREMONY YEAR: 1978

    BEST PICTURE

    Annie Hall ? WINNER
    The Goodbye Girl
    Julia
    Star Wars
    The Turning Point

    Ah, here we are, a nice controversial year for a Star Wars board. Annie Hall is a great flick, but I have to adhere to stereotype here: Star Wars is the better film. The Goodbye Girl is entertaining, if overlong, and not entirely believable in its shift from Odd Couple-esque comedy to romance.

    Here?s a couple that could have deserved a nom:

    Saturday Night Fever, remembered now mostly for its kickin? soundtrack, is, in fact, a gritty, nihilistic look at life on the wrong side of the tracks. It holds up as a gripping drama, dance sequences notwithstanding.
    A Bridge Too Far is a winning, star-studded epic that never loses sight of the fact that it?s actually not about a victory, but rather a massive cluster**** of truly epic proportions. This grim truth underlies all the heroics and the film is still massively entertaining and eminently watchable.

    "Star Wars" v. "Annie Hall" -- either one would be a good choice; the rest of the noms are zeigeist stuff. It's a lousy year. Of the other movies only "Slap Shot" is a favorite.

    BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

    Woody Allen ? Annie Hall
    Richard Burton ? Equus
    Richard Dreyfuss ? The Goodbye Girl ? WINNER
    Marcello Mastroianni ? A Special Day
    John Travolta ? Saturday Night Fever

    I find Dreyfuss pretty good in The Goodbye Girl, at least until he starts trying to channel Bogart in rooftop picnics in the overly sentimental closing passages. Nevermind has an opinion about why Dreyfuss won the award this year that is, I think, totally correct, so I?ll let him say it.

    It?s strange to see Allen get a nomination for acting; when he?s on, he?s very funny, no question, but his character in Annie Hall isn?t much beyond the same character he always plays. I think, of these, Travolta is probably the best; in the closing passages of Saturday Night Fever, he finds a totally bleak despair and desperation that is the absolute yin to the yang of his exuberant, vivacious character in the opening passages. He gets every beat of the character absolutely right.

    The theory is that one scene did the job for Dreyfus...the scene after he has made a gigantic public fool of himself--at the bequest of an idiot director--and played Richard III in a very swishy manner on the stage. His face is swollen like he's been crying for *years* and he looks utterly beaten. This very artifical and not very good film gets a sudden shot of something like adreniline. It reverts to type very shortly thereafter, but you remember that scene.

    I haven't seen Burton or Mastrionni films. Allen plays Allen, and does a damn fine job of it. You can argue that it's as much a role as anything else. But I agree that Travolta's dynamism is very good in another fairly lousy movie; of those nom'd, he probably should have won. But the award goes to Paul Newman in "Slap Shot, or Rutger Hauer in "Soldier of Orange"


    BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

    Anne Bancroft ? The Turning Point
    Jane Fonda ? Julia
    Diane Keaton ? Annie Hall ? WINNER
    Shirley MacLaine ? The Turning Point
    Marsha Mason ? The Goodbye Girl

    I guess I have two things to say: number one, just what the hell is The Turning Point, because I?d never heard of it before I pulled up this Oscar ceremony and it got hella love this year from the Academy. Number two, Keaton?s performance in Annie Hall is winning, lively, fresh and funny, so no quibbles here.

    "The Turning Point" is a movie about ballet. Baryshnikov is in it, so it's not an entire waste of time. But I would have abstained this year.

    BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

    Mikhail Baryshnikov ? The Turning Point
    Peter Firth ? Equus
    Alec Guinness ? Star Wars
    Jason Robards ? Julia ? WINNER
    Maximilian Schell ? Julia

    Guinness is, of course, very good in Star Wars. I think I might have given the nod to Harrison Ford instead though; his inhabitation of the cocky, abrasive Han Solo is note perfect and totally seamless.

    On the snub front, what about Anthony Hopkins for his brilliant work as the commander