Saturday, March 26, 2016

1983--The Year in Review

The top five pictures of 1983 are easily a few of the 1980s most stellar titles, and the subsequent fifteen titles are also essential viewing. But there is a general drop-off in quality this year, and it’ll be a while before we see anything like 1967-82 again. Still, I treasure my top pick, Local Hero, like a precious jewel; I deeply feel that it is my movie, made with love and care just for my adoration. I had been a fan of Scottish director Bill Forsyth for a few years before seeing this masterpiece that, with its gorgeous lensing, gently funny screenplay, and stunning Mark Knopfler score, urges its viewers to stop the hubbub in their lives and admire the beauty of the world that surrounds us. Of course, its nearest competitor. Philip Kaufman's The Right Stuff is clearly the American movie of the year--a movingly patriotic epic about the nascent days of the U.S. space program that's irreverent, accurate, and remarkable in its perfect production and inventive casting. Two movies with venal lead characters dancing around the edges of the entertainment industry vied most closely for Best Actor this year: Robert De Niro's Rupert Pupkin is an unforgettable invention (as is Sandra Bernhard's nutty superfan), but it is Eric Roberts' murderous, painfully tortured Paul Snider in Bob Fosse's sleazy take on Hollywood that had to take the prize (the Academy went with another, more likable industry outlier played by Robert Duvall). At the Oscars, TV veteran James L. Brooks dominated with his adaptation of Larry McMurtry's Terms of Endearment (which finally netted an award for Shirley MacLaine, rightfully so, as well as a second Oscar for Jack Nicholson, hilarious as a hard-partying retired astronaut). Comedy as a whole made terrific strides this year with movies like Zelig, Trading Places, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, The Big Chill, Educating Rita, Risky Business, The Man with Two Brains, Valley Girl, Strange Brew, National Lampoon's Vacation, and that holiday perennial A Christmas Story. But in all it was a pretty serious film output this year, as screens were studded with such downbeat tales as The Dresser, Entre Nous, Silkwood, The Ballad of Narayama, Betrayal, Under Fire, Daniel, Scarface, Bad Boys, and two devastating looks at the effects of nuclear war on average citizens, Testament and The Day After (to that time, the highest rated TV movie ever). On the short film front, I had to give the live action award to what is in the running for the best music video of all time, while the animation spot goes to one of the indisputable masters of Czech cinema. NOTE: These are MY choices for each category, and are only occasionally reflective of the selections made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (aka The Oscars). When available, the nominee that actually won the Oscar will be highlighted in bold.

PICTURE: LOCAL HERO (Scotland, Bill Forsyth) (2nd: The Right Stuff (US, Philip Kaufman), followed by: The King of Comedy (US, Martin Scorsese); Star 80 (US, Bob Fosse); Entre Nous (France, Diane Kurys); Zelig (US, Woody Allen); The Dresser (UK, Peter Yates); Silkwood (US, Mike Nichols); Terms of Endearment (US, James L. Brooks); Marvin and Tige (US, Eric Weston); The 4th Man (Netherlands, Paul Verhoeven); Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (UK, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam); Lianna (US, John Sayles); Tender Mercies (US, Bruce Beresford); Sans Soleil (France, Chris Marker); Careful, He Might Hear You (Australia, Carl Schultz); The Dead Zone (Canada, David Cronenberg); Betrayal (UK, David Hugh Jones); El Norte (US, Gregory Nava); Testament (US, Lynne Littman); Rumble Fish (US, Francis Ford Coppola); Educating Rita (UK, Lewis Gilbert); Never Cry Wolf (US, Carroll Ballard); Trading Places (US, John Landis); Man of Flowers (Australia, Paul Cox); Risky Business (US, Paul Brickman); Videodrome (Canada, David Cronenberg); Marlene (West Germany, Maximilian Schell); Pauline at the Beach (France, Eric Rohmer); Under Fire (US, Roger Spottiswoode); L’Argent (France, Robert Bresson); Nostalghia (Italy/USSR, Andrei Tarkovsky); Made in Britain (UK, Alan Clarke); Valley Girl (US, Martha Coolidge); The Big Chill (US, Lawrence Kasdan); The Day After (US, Nicholas Meyer); The Outsiders (US, Francis Ford Coppola); The Ballad of Narayama (Japan, Shohei Imamura); Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (UK/Japan/New Zealand, Nagisa Oshima); Sugar Cane Alley (France/Martinique, Euzhan Palcy); Of Unknown Origin (Canada, George Pan Cosmatos); Daniel (US, Sidney Lumet); Le Bal (France/Italy, Ettore Scola); WarGames (US, John Badham); Return of the Jedi (US, Richard Marquand); Yentl (US, Barbra Streisand); À Nos Amours (France, Maurice Pialat); He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin' (US, Emile Ardalino); Twice Upon a Time (US, John Korty and Charles Swenson); Scarface (US, Brian de Palma); And the Ship Sails On (Italy, Federico Fellini); All the Right Moves (US, Michael Chapman); A Christmas Story (Canada, Bob Clark); Something Wicked This Way Comes (US, Jack Clayton); Cross Creek (US, Martin Ritt); Heart Like a Wheel (US, Jonathan Kaplan); Utu (New Zealand, Geoff Murphy); The Man with Two Brains (US, Carl Reiner); Wild Style (US, Charlie Ahearn); Bad Boys (US, Rick Rosenthal); Reuben, Reuben (US, Robert Ellis Miller); Strange Invaders (US, Michael Laughlin); To Be or Not To Be (US, Alan Johnson); Max Dugan Returns (US, Herbert Ross); The Star Chamber (US, Peter Hyams); Strange Brew (Canada, Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas); Hanna K. (Israel/France, Costa-Gavras); Octopussy (UK, John Glen); Brainstorm (US, Douglas Trumbull); Christine (US, John Carpenter); Cujo (US, Lewis Teague); National Lampoon's Vacation (US, Harold Ramis); Eddie and the Cruisers (US, Martin Davidson))

ACTOR: Eric Roberts, STAR 80 (2nd: Robert De Niro, The King of Comedy, followed by: Robert Duvall, Tender Mercies; John Cassavetes, Marvin and Tige; Tom Courteney, The Dresser; Albert Finney, The Dresser; Christopher Walken, The Dead Zone; Al Pacino, Scarface; Peter Riegert, Local Hero)

ACTRESS: Shirley MacLaine, TERMS OF ENDEARMENT (2nd: Julie Walters, Educating Rita, followed by: Debra Winger, Terms of Endearment; Meryl Streep, Silkwood; Isabelle Huppert, Entre Nous; Jane Alexander, Testament; Bonnie Bedelia, Heart Like A Wheel; Wendy Hughes, Careful, He Might Hear You

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jack Nicholson, TERMS OF ENDEARMENT (2nd: John Lithgow, Twilight Zone: The Movie, followed by: Guy Marchand, Entre Nous; Jerry Lewis, The King of Comedy; Fred Ward, The Right Stuff; Sam Shepard, The Right Stuff; Denis Lawson, Local Hero; Ed Harris, The Right Stuff) 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Sandra Bernhard, THE KING OF COMEDY (2nd: Amanda Plummer, Daniel, followed by: Cher, Silkwood; Veronica Cartwright, The Right Stuff; Tess Harper, Tender Mercies; Alfre Woodard, Cross Creek; Jamie Lee Curtis, Trading Places; Michelle Pfeiffer, Scarface)

DIRECTOR: Bill Forsyth, LOCAL HERO (2nd: Philip Kaufman, The Right Stuff, followed by: Martin Scorsese, The King of Comedy; Diane Kurys, Entre Nous; Woody Allen, Zelig; Bob Fosse, Star 80; Mike Nichols, Silkwood; Peter Yates, The Dresser)

NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILM: ENTRE NOUS (France, Diane Kurys) (2nd: The 4th Man (The Netherlands, Paul Verhoeven), followed by: Pauline at the Beach (France, Eric Rohmer); Marlene (West Germany, Maximilian Schell); L’Argent (France, Robert Bresson); Nostalghia (Italy/USSR, Andrei Tarkovsky); The Ballad of Narayama (Japan, Shohei Imamura); Sugar Cane Alley (France/Martinique, Euzhan Palcy); Le Bal (France/Italy, Ettore Scola); À Nos Amours (France, Maurice Pialat); And the Ship Sails On (Italy, Federico Fellini))

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: SANS SOLEIL (France, Chris Marker) (2nd: He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin' (US, Emile Ardalino), followed by: Wild Style (US, Charlie Ahearn))

ANIMATED FEATURE: TWICE UPON A TIME (US, John Korty and Charles Swenson)

LIVE ACTION SHORT: THRILLER (US, John Landis) (2nd: Down to the Cellar (Czechoslovakia, Jan Svankmajer), followed by: Rockit (US/UK, Kevin Godley and Lol Creame); Every Breath You Take (UK, Kevin Godley and Lol Creame); Passionless Moments (Australia, Jane Campion and Gerard Lee)

ANIMATED SHORT: THE VANISHED WORLD OF GLOVES (Czechoslovakia, Jiri Barta) (2nd: A Ballad About Green Wood (Czechoslovakia, Jiri Barta), followed by: Sundae in New York (US, Jimmy Picker); Mickey's Christmas Carol (US, Burney Mattinson))

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Paul D. Zimmerman, THE KING OF COMEDY (2nd: Bill Forsyth, Local Hero, followed by: Horton Foote, Tender Mercies; Woody Allen, Zelig; Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin and Eric Idle, Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life; John Sayles, Lianna)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Philip Kaufman, THE RIGHT STUFF (2nd: Diane Kurys and Alain Le Henry, Entre Nous, followed by: Ronald Harwood, The Dresser; Harold Pinter, Betrayal; James L. Brooks, Terms of Endearment; Nora Ephron and Alice Arlen, Silkwood)

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Chris Menges, LOCAL HERO (2nd: Caleb Deschanel, The Right Stuff, followed by: Gordon Willis, Zelig; Stephen Burum, Rumble Fish; Hiro Narita, Never Cry Wolf)

ART DIRECTION: THE RIGHT STUFF, Return of the Jedi, The Dresser, Local Hero, Something Wicked This Way Comes

COSTUME DESIGN: ZELIG, The Right Stuff, The King of Comedy, The Dresser, Something Wicked This Way Comes

FILM EDITING: THE RIGHT STUFF, Silkwood, Star 80, The King of Comedy, Flashdance

SOUND: THE RIGHT STUFF, Return of the Jedi, Never Cry Wolf, WarGames, The King of Comedy

SOUND EFFECTS: THE RIGHT STUFF, WarGames, Return of the Jedi

ORIGINAL SCORE: (TIE) Mark Knopfler, LOCAL HERO and Stewart Copeland, RUMBLE FISH (2nd: Bill Conti, The Right Stuff, followed by: Patrick Williams, Marvin and Tige; John Barry, High Road to China; Jerry Goldsmith, Under Fire)

ADAPTATION SCORE/SCORING OF A MUSICAL: Michel Legrand, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, YENTL (2nd: William Elliott, The Pirates of Penzance, followed by: Elmer Bernstein, Trading Places)

ORIGINAL SONG: “Galaxy Song” from MONTY PYTHON’S THE MEANING OF LIFE (Music by Eric Idle and John Du Prez, lyrics by Eric Idle) (2nd: “Don’t Box Me In” from Rumble Fish (Music and lyrics by Stewart Copeland and Stan Ridgway), followed by: "I’ve Decided to Leave Here Forever" from Tender Mercies (Music and lyrics by Robert Duvall); "Holiday Road" from National Lampoon's Vacation (Music and lyrics by Lindsay Buckingham); "The Meaning of Life" from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (Music by Eric Idle and John Du Prez, lyrics by Eric Idle); "If You'll Hold the Ladder (I'll Climb to the Top)" from Tender Mercies (Music and lyrics by Buzz Rabin and Sara Busby); "Easy Money" from Easy Money (Music and lyrics by Billy Joel); “Stay Gold” from The Outsiders (Music by Carmine Coppola, lyrics by Stevie Wonder); “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” from Yentl (Music by Michel Legrand, lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman); "Flashdance...What A Feeling" from Flashdance (Music by Giorgio Moroder, lyrics by Irene Cara and Keith Forsey); “It Hurts to Face Reality” from Tender Mercies (Music and lyrics by Lefty Frizzell); "Maniac" from Flashdance (Music by Michael Sembello and Dennis Matkosky); "The Way He Makes Me Feel" from Yentl (Music by Michel Legrand, lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman); "All The Right Moves" from All the Right Moves (Music by Tom Snow, lyrics by Barry Alfonso); "On The Dark Side" from Eddie and the Cruisers (Music and lyrics by John Cafferty); "All Time High" from Octopussy (Music by John Barry, lyrics by Tim Rice))


MAKEUP: THE DRESSER, Videodrome, Twilight Zone: The Movie

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