Wednesday, April 13, 2016

1985--The Year in Review

A big, big drop down in overall oomph now that we are firmly in the 1980s. But the top 15 are all superb films (my top two really battled it out for the #1 spot yet, in the end, the winner was inevitable--and here we are, in the midst of its worldwide re-release in a 4K restoration). Still, 1985 is a lackluster year. The big Oscar winner, Sydney Pollack's Out of Africa, certainly ranks as among the most boring Best Picture winners, even if its score and photography are exquisite. But no way does it outrank Kurosawa's brilliant retelling of King Lear--it's the Japanese autuer's last great masterpiece. I should note that, otherwise, it's a remarkable year for comedy--just look at my top ten for proof! 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: RAN (Japan, Akira Kurosawa) (2nd: Brazil (UK, Terry Gilliam), followed by: The Purple Rose of Cairo (US, Woody Allen); After Hours (US, Martin Scorsese); Lost in America (US, Albert Brooks); Prizzi’s Honor (US, John Huston); My Life as a Dog (Sweden, Lasse Hallström); Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (US, Tim Burton); The Official Story (Argentina, Luis Puenza); Shoah (France/UK, Claude Lanzmann); Come and See (USSR, Elem Klimov); Witness (US, Peter Weir); A Room With a View (UK, James Ivory); Vagabonde (France, Agnès Varda); To Live and Die in L.A. (US, William Friedkin); Heaven Help Us (US, Michael Dinner); The Quiet Earth (New Zealand, Geoff Murphy); Smooth Talk (US, Joyce Chopra); The Falcon and the Snowman (US, John Schlesinger); Tampopo (Japan, Juzo Itami); Insignificance (UK, Nicolas Roeg); Dance With a Stranger (UK, Mike Newell); Death of a Salesman (US, Volker Schlondorff); Back to the Future (US, Robert Zemeckis); The Stuff (US, Larry Cohen); The Emerald Forest (UK, John Boorman); The Color Purple (US, Steven Spielberg); Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (Japan/US, Paul Schrader); The Breakfast Club (US, John Hughes); A Zed and Two Noughts (UK, Peter Greenaway); My Beautiful Laundrette (UK, Stephen Frears); Chronos (US, Ron Fricke); Pumping Iron II: The Women (US, George Butler); The Trip to Bountiful (US, Peter Masterson); The Boys Next Door (US, Penelope Spheeris); Year of the Dragon (US, Michael Cimino); The Statue of Liberty (US, Ken Burns); My Sweet Little Village (Czechlosovakia, Jiri Menzel); Wetherby (UK, David Hare); Police Story (Hong Kong, Jackie Chan and Chi-Hwa Chen); Return to Oz (US, Walter Murch); Dreamchild (US, Gavin Millar); Creator (US, Ivan Passer); Marie (US, Roger Donaldson); The Good Father (UK, Mike Newell); Las Madres: The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo (Argentina, Susana Blaustein Muñoz and Lourdes Portillo); Legend (US/UK, Ridley Scott); Fletch (US, Michael Richie); Desert Hearts (US, Donna Deitch); Mask (US, Peter Bogdanovich); Clue (US, Jonathan Lynn); Twice in a Lifetime (US, Bud Yorkin); The Sure Thing (US, Rob Reiner); Young Sherlock Holmes (US, Barry Levinson); Real Genius (US, Martha Coolidge); The Return of the Living Dead (US, Dan O'Bannon); Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (US, Guy Hamilton); Cocoon (US, Ron Howard); Kiss of the Spider Woman (US, Hector Babenco); Out of Africa (US, Sydney Pollack); Day of the Dead (US, George A. Romero); The Mean Season (US, Philip Borsos); Re-Animator (US, Stuart Gordon); Sweet Dreams (US, Karel Reisz); Commando (US, Mark L. Lester); Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (Australia, George Miller and George Ogilvie); Plenty (US, Fred Schepisi); Hail Mary (France, Jean-Luc Godard); The Goonies (US, Richard Donner); Weird Science (US, John Hughes); A Chorus Line (US, Richard Attenbourough); Ladyhawke (US, Richard Donner); Rambo: First Blood Part II (US, George Pan Cosmatos); Gymkata (US, Robert Klause))

ACTOR: Jack Nicholson, PRIZZI’S HONOR (2nd: Albert Brooks, Lost in America, followed by Tasuya Nakadai, Ran; Harrison Ford, Witness; Griffin Dunne, After Hours; Dustin Hoffman, Death of a Salesman; Sean Penn, The Falcon and the Snowman; William Hurt, Kiss of the Spider Woman)

ACTRESS: Norma Aleandro, THE OFFICIAL STORY (2nd: Mia Farrow, The Purple Rose of Cairo, followed by: Sandrine Bonnaire, Vagabonde; Geraldine Page, The Trip to Bountiful; Miranda Richardson, Dance with a Stranger; Theresa Russell, Insignificance; Whoopi Goldberg, The Color Purple; Kathleen Turner, Prizzi‘s Honor)

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis, A ROOM WITH A VIEW (2nd: William Hickey, Prizzi’s Honor, followed by: Ian Holm, Brazil; Christopher Lloyd, Back to the Future; Jay Patterson, Heaven Help Us; Peter, Ran; Denholm Elliott, A Room With a View; Treat Williams, Smooth Talk)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Mieko Harada, RAN (2nd: Angelica Huston, Prizzi’s Honor, followed by: Rosanna Arquette, After Hours; Katherine Helmond, Brazil; Maggie Smith, A Room With a View; Margaret Avery, The Color Purple; Meg Tilly, Agnes of God; Kate Reid, Death of a Salesman)

DIRECTOR: Akira Kurosawa, RAN (2nd: Terry Gilliam, Brazil, followed by: Martin Scorsese, After Hours; Woody Allen, The Purple Rose of Cairo; John Huston, Prizzi’s Honor; Albert Brooks, Lost in America; Lasse Hallstrom, My Life as a Dog; Tim Burton, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure) 

NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILM: RAN (Japan, Akira Kurosawa) (2nd: The Official Story (Argentina, Luis Puenzo), followed by: My Life as a Dog (Sweden, Lasse Hallstrom); Shoah (France/UK, Claude Lanzmann); Come and See (USSR, Elem Klimov); Vagabonde (France, Agnes Varda); Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (Japan/US, Paul Schrader); Tampopo (Japan, Juzo Itami); My Sweet Little Village (Czechlosovakia, Jiri Menzel); Police Story (Hong Kong, Jackie Chan and Chi-Hwa Chen))

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: SHOAH (France/UK, Claude Lanzmann) (2nd: Chronos (US, Ron Fricke), followed by: Pumping Iron II: The Women (US, George Butler); The Statue of Liberty (US, Ken Burns); Las Madres: The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo (Argentina, Susana Blaustein Muñoz and Lourdes Portillo))

ANIMATED SHORT: THE BIG SNIT (Canada, Richard Condie) (2nd: Prehistoric Beast (US, Phil Tippett), followed by: Money for Nothing (US, Steve Barron); Second Class Mail (Canada, Allison Snowden))

LIVE ACTION SHORT: RAINBOW WAR (Canada, Bob Rogers) (2nd: Cry (US, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme), followed by: Don’t Come Around Here No More (US, Jeff Stein))

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard and Charles McKeown, BRAZIL (2nd: Albert Brooks and Monica Johnson, Lost in America, followed by: Woody Allen, The Purple Rose of Cairo; Luis Puenzo and Aida Bortnik, The Official Story; Joseph Minion, After Hours)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Richard Condon and Janet Roach, PRIZZI‘S HONOR (2nd: Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni and Masato Ide, Ran, followed by: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, A Room With a View (won in 1986); Lasse Hallstrom, Reidar Jonsson, Brasse Branstrom and Per Berglund, My Life as a Dog; William Friedkin and Gerald Petievich, To Live and Die in L.A.)

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Takao Saito, Masaharu Ueda and Asakazu Nakai, RAN (2nd: Phillippe Rousselot, The Emerald Forest, followed by: John Seale, Witness; David Watkin, Out of Africa; Gordon Willis, The Purple Rose of Cairo)

ART DIRECTION: BRAZIL, Ran, Legend, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, The Purple Rose of Cairo 

COSTUME DESIGN: RAN, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Brazil, A Room With a View (won in 1986), The Color Purple 

FILM EDITING: RAN, After Hours, Witness, Brazil, Prizzi’s Honor 

SOUND: BACK TO THE FUTURE, Ran, After Hours, Witness, Silverado 

SOUND EFFECTS: BACK TO THE FUTURE, Brazil, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure 

ORIGINAL SCORE: Danny Elfman, PEE-WEE‘S BIG ADVENTURE (2nd: John Barry, Out of Africa, followed by: Maurice Jarre, Witness; Toru Takemitsu, Ran; Alex North, Prizzi’s Honor)

ADAPTATION SCORE/SCORING OF A MUSICAL: Michael Kamen, BRAZIL (2nd: Quincy Jones, Jeremy Lubbock, Rod Temperton, Caiphus Semenya, Andrae Crouch, Chris Boardman, Jorge Calandrelli, Joel Rosenbaum, Fred Steiner, Jack Hayes, Jerry Hey, and Randy Kerber, The Color Purple, followed by: Ralph Burns, A Chorus Line)

ORIGINAL SONG: “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” from THE BREAKFAST CLUB (Music and lyrics by Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff) (2nd: “Crazy For You” from Vision Quest (Music by Jon Lind, lyrics by John Bettis), followed by: “To Live and Die in L.A.” from To Live and Die in L.A. (Music and lyrics by Jack Hues and Nick Feldman); “Invincible“ from The Legend of Billie Jean (Music and lyrics by Holly Knight and Simon Climie); “Miss Celie’s Blues (Sister)” from The Color Purple (Music by Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton, lyrics by Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton and Lionel Richie); “Goonies R Good Enough” from The Goonies (Music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, Steve Lunt and Arthur Stead); "The Power of Love" from Back to the Future (Music by Chris Hayes and Johnny Colla, lyrics by Huey Lewis); "Say You, Say Me" from White Nights (Music and lyrics by Lionel Richie); "Separate Lives" from White Nights (Music and lyrics by Phil Collins); "We Don't Need Another Hero" from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (Music and lyrics by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle))

SPECIAL EFFECTS: BRAZIL, Back to the Future, Return to Oz, Young Sherlock Holmes, Cocoon

MAKEUP: MASK, Legend, Ran, Brazil, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins

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