Tuesday, April 19, 2016

1987--The Year in Review

My choice for Best Picture of 1987 might seem unusual in the year of John Huston's final film, John Sayles' finest film (at least to this date), James L. Brooks' prescient TV critique Broadcast News (with one of Holly Hunter's two superb 1987 lead performances), Stanley Kubrick's Vietnam takedown (with that stunning near-debut from former drill instructor R. Lee Ermey), or the WWII epics--one cozily intimate, the other impressively huge--from John Boorman and Steven Spielberg. But Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire is the movie that utterly squashed my heart with its gorgeous embrace of life in the face of its celestial absence, with lead actor Bruno Ganz and cinematographer Henri Alekan (working in both color and resplendent black-and-white while nearing his 80s) as its MVPs. I was never a huge fan of the Academy's choice, Bertolucci's The Last Emperor, a beautiful but ponderous bio-pic most notable for being the first production to shoot in China's Forbidden City, but a film that's largely forgotten these days, despite its winning a sweeping nine Oscars. I was glad that Bertolucci finally got his due but, honestly, give me the angels any day. 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: WINGS OF DESIRE (West Germany, Wim Wenders) (2nd: Matewan (US, John Sayles), followed by: The Dead (UK/Ireland, John Huston); Full Metal Jacket (US, Stanley Kubrick); Hope and Glory (UK, John Boorman); Broadcast News (US, James L. Brooks); Empire of the Sun (US, Steven Spielberg); Raising Arizona (US, Joel Coen); Radio Days (US, Woody Allen); Someone To Love (US, Henry Jaglom); Au Revoir, Les Enfants (France, Louis Malle); Le Grand Chemin (France, Jean-Loup Hubert); Evil Dead II (US, Sam Raimi); Swimming to Cambodia (US, Jonathan Demme); Babette’s Feast (Denmark, Gabriel Axel); RoboCop (US, Paul Verhoeven); The Princess Bride (US, Rob Reiner); Street Smart (US, Jerry Schatzberg); Ironweed (US, Hector Babenco); Pelle the Conqueror (Denmark, Bille August); The Untouchables (US, Brian de Palma); Planes, Trains and Automobiles (US, John Hughes); Moonstruck (US, Norman Jewison); Housekeeping (US, Bill Forsyth); Tin Men (US, Barry Levinson); Prick Up Your Ears (UK, Stephen Frears); Maurice (UK, James Ivory); Fatal Attraction (US, Adrian Lyne); The Witches of Eastwick (US, George Miller); I've Heard the Mermaids Singing (Canada, Patricia Rozema); Sign o' the Times (US, Prince); Near Dark (US, Kathryn Bigelow); Bagdad Café (West Germany/US, Percy Adlon); House of Games (US, David Mamet); The Year My Voice Broke (Australia, John Duigan); The Glass Menagerie (US, Paul Newman); Wish You Were Here (UK, David Leland); Red Sorghum (China, Zhang Yimou); Law of Desire (Spain, Pedro Almodóvar); The Last Emperor (UK/Italy/China, Bernardo Bertolucci); Chuck Berry: Hail, Hail, Rock n' Roll (US, Taylor Hackford); The Living Daylights (US, John Glen); Dark Eyes (Italy, Nikita Mikhalkov); Intervista (Italy, Federico Fellini); Barfly (US, Barbet Schroeder); A Taxing Woman (Japan, Juzo Itami); Roxanne (US, Fred Schepisi); Hollywood Shuffle (US, Robert Townsend); Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam (US, Bill Couterie); The Bedroom Window (US, Curtis Hanson); The Hidden (US, Jack Sholder); The Whales of August (UK, Lindsay Anderson); Cry Freedom (UK/US, Richard Attenborough); Three O'Clock High (US, Phil Joanou); Someone to Watch Over Me (US, Ridley Scott); City on Fire (Hong Kong, Ringo Lam); Black Widow (US, Bob Rafelson); High Tide (Australia, Gillian Armstrong); The Stepfather (UK, Joseph Ruben); Athens GA: Inside Out (US, Tony Gayton); Innerspace (US, Joe Dante); Square Dance (US, Daniel Petrie); Good Morning, Vietnam (US, Barry Levinson); Wall Street (US, Oliver Stone); Lethal Weapon (US, Richard Donner); Some Kind of Wonderful (US, Howard Deutch); Predator (US, John McTiernan); Dirty Dancing (US, Emile Ardelino); Angel Heart (US, Alan Parker); The Running Man (US, Paul Michael Glazer); The Lost Boys (US, Joel Schumacher); Hellraiser (UK, Clive Barker); Overboard (US, Garry Marshall); Spaceballs (US, Mel Brooks); Three Men and a Baby (US, Leonard Nimoy); Street Trash (US, James M. Munro); Throw Momma From the Train (US, Danny DeVito); Ishtar (US, Elaine May))

ACTOR: Bruno Ganz, WINGS OF DESIRE (2nd: Christian Bale, Empire of the Sun, followed by: Nicolas Cage, Raising Arizona; Michael Douglas, Wall Street; Jack Nicholson, Ironweed; Spalding Gray, Swimming to Cambodia; Max Von Sydow, Pelle the Conqueror; William Hurt, Broadcast News)

ACTRESS: Holly Hunter, BROADCAST NEWS (2nd: Meryl Streep, Ironweed, followed by: Cher, Moonstruck; Christine Lahti, Housekeeping; Joanne Woodward, The Glass Menagerie; Stephane Audran, Babette's Feast; Holly Hunter, Raising Arizona; Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction)

SUPPORTING ACTOR: R. Lee Ermey, FULL METAL JACKET (2nd: Albert Brooks, Broadcast News, followed by: Vincent D’Onofrio, Full Metal Jacket; Morgan Freeman, Street Smart; John Candy, Planes, Trains and Automobiles; Sean Connery, The Untouchables; Orson Welles, Somebody to Love; Alfred Molina, Prick Up Your Ears)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Olympia Dukakis, MOONSTRUCK (2nd: Kathy Baker, Street Smart, followed by: Norma Aleandro, Gaby – A True Story; Veronica Cartwright, The Witches of Eastwick; Anne Archer, Fatal Attraction; Mary McCormack, Matewan; Karen Allen, The Glass Menagerie; Sammi Davis, Hope and Glory)

DIRECTOR: Wim Wenders, WINGS OF DESIRE (2nd: Stanley Kubrick, Full Metal Jacket, followed by: John Huston, The Dead; John Sayles, Matewan; John Boorman, Hope and Glory; James L. Brooks, Broadcast News; Steven Spielberg, Empire of the Sun; Joel Coen, Raising Arizona)

NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILM: WINGS OF DESIRE (West Germany, Wim Wenders) (2nd: Au Revoir, Les Enfants (France, Louis Malle, France), followed by: Le Grand Chemin (France, Jean-Loup Hubert); Babette’s Feast (Denmark, Gabriel Axel); Red Sorghum (China, Zhang Yimou); Law of Desire (Spain, Pedro Almodóvar); Intervista (Italy, Federico Fellini); A Taxing Woman (Japan, Juzo Itami); City on Fire (Hong Kong, Ringo Lam))

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: SWIMMING TO CAMBODIA (US, Jonathan Demme) (2nd: Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam (US, Bill Couterie), followed by: Sign o’ The Times (US, Prince); Athens GA: Inside Out (US, Tony Gayton); Chuck Berry: Hail, Hail Rock n’ Roll (US, Taylor Hackford))

ANIMATED SHORT: THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES (Canada, Frederic Back) (2nd: Your Face (US, Bill Plympton), followed by: The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer (UK, Stephen Quay and Timothy Quay); How Wang-Fo Was Saved (France, Rene Laloux); Breakfast on the Grass (USSR, Priit Parn))

LIVE ACTION SHORT: SUPERSTAR: THE KAREN CARPENTER STORY (US, Todd Haynes) (2nd: Gap-Toothed Women (US, Les Blank, Maureen Gosling, Susan Kell and Chris Simon), followed by: Bad (US, Martin Scorsese))

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: John Sayles, MATEWAN (2nd: James L. Brooks, Broadcast News, followed by: Wim Wenders and Peter Handke, Wings of Desire; Louis Malle, Au Revoir, Les EnfantsJohn Patrick Shanley, Moonstruck)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Tony Huston, THE DEAD (2nd: Stanley Kubrick, Michael Herr and Gustav Hasford, Full Metal Jacket, followed by: William Goldman, The Princess Bride; Tom Stoppard, Empire of the Sun; William Nicholson, Ironweed)

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Henri Alekan, WINGS OF DESIRE (2nd: Haskell Wexler, Matewan, followed by: Vittorio Storaro, The Last Emperor; Allen Daviau, Empire of the Sun; Douglas Milsome, Full Metal Jacket)

ART DIRECTION: THE LAST EMPEROR, The Untouchables, Radio Days, Empire of the Sun, Full Metal Jacket 

COSTUME DESIGN: THE LAST EMPEROR, Radio Days, The Untouchables, Matewan, The Dead

FILM EDITING: ROBOCOP, Full Metal Jacket, Empire of the Sun, Broadcast News, Raising Arizona

SOUND: ROBOCOP, Empire of the Sun, Full Metal Jacket, Broadcast News, Lethal Weapon


ORIGINAL SONG: “Calling You” from BAGDAD CAFÉ (Music and lyrics by Bob Telson) (2nd: “Someone to Love“ from Someone to Love (Music and lyrics by Diane Bulgarelli), followed by: “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing (Music and lyrics by Frankie Previte, Donald Markowitz, and John DiNicola); "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" from Mannequin (Music and lyrics by Albert Hammond and Diane Warren); "Light of Day" from Light of Day (Music and lyrics by Bruce Springsteen); “Storybook Love” from The Princess Bride (Music and lyrics by Willy DeVille); "Shakedown" from Beverly Hills Cop 2 (Music by Harold Faltermeyer and Keith Forsey; lyrics by Harold Faltermeyer, Keith Forsey and Bob Seger))

ORIGINAL SCORE: Basil Poledouris, ROBOCOP (2nd: Ennio Morricone, The Untouchables, followed by: John Williams, Empire of the Sun; Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne and Cong Su, The Last EmperorAbigail Mead, Full Metal Jacket)

ADAPTATION SCORE/SCORING OF A MUSICAL: Dick Hyman, RADIO DAYS (2nd: Mason Daring, Matewan, followed by: Carter Burwell, Raising Arizona; Elaine May and Paul Williams, Ishtar)


MAKEUP: EVIL DEAD II, Harry and the Hendersons, Predator, Hellraiser, Innerspace

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