Wednesday, June 15, 2016

1992--The Year in Review

Man, this is a year in which my choices aligned with the Academy almost right down the line--14 out of 24 categories, in fact. Strangely, I recall a dream I had in the summer of '92 in which I was flipping through the pages of Variety and came across an ad for Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven which touted its eight Oscar nominations--the exact number it eventually received. It's the only time I've had a dream like that. I also correctly predicted, upon its March US release, the win for Marisa Tomei and her superb comedic performance in My Cousin Vinny (which was later drubbed by a ridiculous controversy positing that Jack Palance misread her name off the envelope, which not only insulted Tomei's deserving performance, but also the aging Palance's reading ability). 1992 is not a great year for movies, but you have to admire the top fifteen films or so (Reservoir Dogs, The Long Day Closes. and Glengarry Glen Ross chief among them). And I love that Clint Eastwood finally got his due as a director, producer, and actor--that's 1992's major victory. James Ivory's shining adaptation of E.M. Forster's Howards End came close to besting this bunch (and it ends up doing pretty well in the final tally, with Emma Thompson's lead performance and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's screenplay emerging up top). But, honestly, nothing could come close to Eastwood's elegant and brutal western, which screamed out "Instant Classic" upon its release. I'm also thrilled with Mike Leigh's short film A Sense of History, made in collaboration with actor/co-screenwriter Jim Broadbent, which I urge anyone who loves movies to take a look at here. About the only major category in which I disagreed with the Academy in 1992 was Best Actor; out of guilt for not recognizing any of the actor's previous performances, the Academy lauded Al Pacino's excruciating and scenery-masticating performance in Scent of a Woman, while the REAL superlative lead male performance of the year came with Denzel Washington's show as Malcolm X in Spike Lee's slightly flawed biopic (and it was a real close contest here, with Harvey Keitel's memorable freak-out Bad Lieutenant nearly victorious). A final comment: this is absolutely the worst year for Best Song; not being a real rabid fan of Aladdin, I had to search hard for a preferable victor. 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: UNFORGIVEN (US, Clint Eastwood) (2nd: Howards End (UK, James Ivory), followed by: The Long Day Closes (UK, Terence Davies); Glengarry Glen Ross (US, James Foley); Reservoir Dogs (US, Quentin Tarantino); The Crying Game (UK, Neil Jordan); Hard Boiled (Hong Kong, John Woo); A Midnight Clear (US, Keith Gordon); Brothers Keeper (US, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky); Bad Lieutenant (US, Abel Ferrara); Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (US, David Lynch); My Cousin Vinny (US, Jonathan Lynn); Passion Fish (US, John Sayles); Baraka (US, Ron Fricke); Malcolm X (US, Spike Lee); The Player (US, Robert Altman); Life and Nothing More (Iran, Abbas Kiarostami); Lessons of Darkness (France/Germany, Werner Herzog); Visions of Light (US, Arnold Glassman, Todd McCarthy and Stuart Samuels); Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (US, Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick); Romper Stomper (Australia, Geoffrey Wright); Map of the Human Heart (US, Vincent Ward); Deep Cover (US, Bill Duke); Under Siege (US, Andrew Davis); Raising Cain (US, Brian De Palma); Husbands and Wives (US, Woody Allen); One False Move (US, Carl Franklin); Lorenzo's Oil (US, George Miller); Bitter Moon (France/UK/US. Roman Polanski); Innocent Blood (US, John Landis); American Heart (US, Martin Bell); El Mariachi (US/Mexico, Robert Rodriguez); Army of Darkness (US, Sam Raimi); Gas, Food, Lodging (US, Allison Anders); Of Mice and Men (US, Gary Sinise); Death Becomes Her (US, Robert Zemeckis); The Last of the Mohicans (US, Michael Mann); In The Soup (US, Alexandre Rockwell); A River Runs Through It (US, Robert Redford); Noises Off! (US, Peter Bogdanovich); Aladdin (US, John Musker and Ron Clements); The Story of Qiu Ju (China, Zhang Yimou); Indochine (France, Regis Wargnier); Orlando (UK, Sally Potter); The Waterdance (US, Neal Jimenez and Michael Steinberg); Aileen Wuernos: The Selling of a Serial Killer (UK, Nick Broomfield); Bebe's Kids (US, Bruce Smith); Strictly Ballroom (Australia, Baz Luhrmann); The Lover (France/UK, Jean-Jacques Annaud); Damage (UK/France, Louis Malle); The Tune (US, Bill Plympton); Olivier, Olivier (France, Agnieszka Holland); Leap of Faith (US, Richard Pearce); Savage Nights (France/Italy, Cyril Collard); Singles (US, Cameron Crowe); Porco Rosso (Japan, Hayao Miyazaki); Man Bites Dog (Belgium, Rémy Belvaux and André Bonzel); Dead Alive (New Zealand, Peter Jackson); A Few Good Men (US, Rob Reiner); Bram Stoker’s Dracula (US, Francis Ford Coppola); Hero (US, Stephen Frears); Sister Act (US, Emile Ardalino); Scent of a Woman (US, Martin Brest); Basic Instinct (US, Paul Verhoeven); A League of Their Own (US, Penny Marshall); Alien 3 (US, David Fincher); Batman Returns (US, Tim Burton); Chaplin (UK, Richard Attenborough); Hoffa (US, Danny De Vito))




ACTOR: Denzel Washington, MALCOLM X (2nd: Harvey Keitel, Bad Lieutenant, followed by: Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven; Stephen Rea, The Crying Game; Jack Lemmon, Glengarry Glen Ross; Russell Crowe, Romper Stomper; Harvey Keitel, Reservoir Dogs; John Lithgow, Raising Cain)



ACTRESS: Emma Thompson, HOWARDS END (2nd: Sheryl Lee, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, followed by: Michelle Pfeiffer, Batman Returns; Mary McDonnell, Passion Fish; Catherine Deneuve, Indochine; Gong Li, The Story of Qui Ju; Susan Sarandon, Lorenzo's Oil; Romane Bohringer, Savage Nights)



SUPPORTING ACTOR: Gene Hackman, UNFORGIVEN (2nd: Tim Roth, Reservoir Dogs, followed by: Alec Baldwin, Glengarry Glen Ross; Jaye Davidson, The Crying Game; Al Pacino, Glengarry Glen Ross; Steve Buscemi, Reservoir Dogs; Jack Nicholson, A Few Good Men; Fred Gwynne, My Cousin Vinny)



SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Marisa Tomei, MY COUSIN VINNY (2nd: Vanessa Redgrave, Howards End, followed by: Judy Davis, Husbands and Wives; Helena Bonham Carter, Howards End; Alfre Woodard, Passion Fish; Miranda Richardson, Damage; Miranda Richardson, The Crying Game; Juliette Lewis, Husbands and Wives)



DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood, UNFORGIVEN (2nd: James Ivory, Howards End, followed by: Terrence Davies, The Long Day Closes; Neil Jordan, The Crying Game; Quentin Tarantino, Reservoir Dogs; James Foley, Glengarry Glen Ross; John Woo, Hard Boiled; Keith Gordon, A Midnight Clear)



NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILM: HARD BOILED (Hong Kong, John Woo) (2nd: Life and Nothing More (Iran, Abbas Kiarostami), followed by: El Mariachi (US/Mexico, Robert Rodriguez); The Story of Qiu Ju (China, Zhang Yimou); Indochine (France, Regis Wargnier); Olivier, Olivier (France, Agnieszka Holland); Savage Nights (France/Italy, Cyril Collard); Porco Rosso (Japan, Hayao Miyazaki); Man Bites Dog (Belgium, Rémy Belvaux and André Bonzel))



DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: BROTHERS KEEPER (US, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky) (2nd: Baraka (US, Ron Fricke), followed by: Lessons of Darkness (France/Germany, Werner Herzog); Visions of Light (US, Arnold Glassman, Todd McCarthy and Stuart Samuels); Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (US, Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick); Aileen Wuernos: The Selling of a Serial Killer (UK, Nick Broomfield))



ANIMATED FEATURE: ALADDIN (US, John Musker and Ron Clements) (2nd: The Tune (US, Bill Plympton), followed by: Porco Rosso (Japan, Hayao Miyazaki); Bebe's Kids (US, Bruce Smith))



ANIMATED SHORT: MONA LISA DESCENDING A STAIRCASE (US, Joan C. Gratz) (2nd: La Course a l'Abime (Switzerland, George Schwizgebel); The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (Russia, Alexandr Petrov); Still Nacht III: Tales from the Vienna Woods (UK, Stephen Quay and Timothy Quay))



LIVE ACTION SHORT: A SENSE OF HISTORY (UK, Mike Leigh) (2nd: Rispondetemi (Canada, Lea Pool), followed by: Smells Like Teen Spirit (US, Samuel Bayer); Swan Song (UK, Kenneth Branaugh); Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint (US, Michael Moore);



ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: David Webb Peoples, UNFORGIVEN (2nd: Neil Jordan, The Crying Game, followed by: Terrence Davies, The Long Day Closes; Quentin Tarantino, Reservoir Dogs; John Sayles, Passion Fish)



ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, HOWARDS END (2nd: David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross, followed by: Michael Tolkin, The Player; Keith Gordon, A Midnight Clear; Horton Foote, Of Mice and Men)



CINEMATOGRAPHY: Phillippe Rousselot, A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT (2nd: Tony Pierce-Roberts, Howards End, followed by: Jack Green, Unforgiven; Robert Fraisse, The Lover; Michael Coulter, The Long Day Closes)



ART DIRECTION: HOWARDS END, Unforgiven, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Orlando, Toys

COSTUME DESIGN: BRAM STOKER‘S DRACULA, Howards End, Malcolm X, Toys, Orlando

FILM EDITING: UNFORGIVEN, Hard Boiled, Howards End, Glengarry Glen Ross, Under Siege

SOUND: TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME, Unforgiven, Under Siege, Hard Boiled, The Last of the Mohicans

SOUND EFFECTS: UNFORGIVEN, Under Siege, Hard Boiled 



ORIGINAL SCORE: Richard Robbins, HOWARDS END (2nd: Lennie Niehaus and Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven, followed by: Wojciech Kilar, Bram Stoker's Dracula; Mark Isham, A River Runs Through It; John Barry, Chaplin)



ADAPTED OR SONG SCORE: Alan Menken, Aladdin (won as Original Score) (2nd: Robert Kraft, The Mambo Kings) 



ORIGINAL SONG: "She Would Die for Love" from TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (Music by Angelo Badalamenti, lyrics by David Lynch); (2nd: "Friend Like Me" from Aladdin (Music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman), followed by: "A Whole New World" from Aladdin (Music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Tim Rice); "Beautiful Maria of My Soul" from The Mambo Kings (Music by Robert Kraft, lyrics by Artie Glimcher))



SPECIAL EFFECTS: DEATH BECOMES HER, Army of Darkness, Alien 3

MAKEUP: BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, Death Becomes Her. Batman Returns

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