Thursday, June 30, 2016

1993--The Year in Review

Steven Spielberg waited a long time for his Oscar recognition. He wasn't even nominated for his breakthrough film, Jaws, and had to suffer losses over much-loved hits like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. The Extraterrestrial, The Color Purple (nominated for 11 Oscars but NOT for Best Director), and Empire of the Sun (ignored in almost all categories). But with his adaptation of Thomas Keneally's account of German WWII profiteer Oskar Schindler's hesitantly heroic endeavor to rescue his Jewish workforce from the Nazi ovens, Spielberg was all but guaranteed 1993's highest acclaim. The piece is flawed in its final, overbearing moments, yet it's obviously the year's bravest, most intensely stunning film. The director worked here without storyboards for the first time (and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski's striking black-and-white photography marked the beginning of their ongoing collaboration); these new elements notably enlivened his already accomplished but sometimes too schematic filmmaking. Though this was a remarkable cinematic year that included superlative efforts by directors James Ivory, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Martin Scorsese, Mike Leigh, Ross McElwee, Robert Altman, Richard Linklater, Peter Weir, Steven Soderburgh, and Jane Campion, there was no way that any other than Schindler's List was going to come out on top. However, I do think the Academy was slightly too generous to the film, and so I've spread the love out a bit to include other supreme work, including a second top spot for Anthony Hopkins for his magnificent portrayal of an emotionally clueless butler in James Ivory's The Remains of the Day. But I'm thrilled to give then-newcomer Ralph Fiennes the recognition he deserved for his portrayal of the venal Nazi commandant Amon Goetz, righting one of the few awards that Spielberg's masterpiece did not finally capture. Still, this marks the second year in a row that I agree with the Academy's choices (this year, in 12 out of 24 instances). 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: SCHINDLER'S LIST (US, Steven Spielberg) (2nd: Time Indefinite (US, Ross McElwee), followed by: The Remains of the Day (UK, James Ivory); Three Colors: Blue (Poland/France, Krzysztof Kieslowski); The Age of Innocence (US, Martin Scorsese); Naked (UK, Mike Leigh); Short Cuts (US, Robert Altman); Dazed and Confused (US, Richard Linklater); Groundhog Day (US, Harold Ramis); Fearless (US, Peter Weir); Silverlake Life: The View From Here (US, Peter Friedman and Tom Joslin); King of the Hill (US, Steven Soderburgh); Clean, Shaven (US, Lodge Kerrigan); Falling Down (US, Joel Schumacher); The Piano (New Zealand, Jane Campion); Ruby in Paradise (US, Victor Nunez); The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (France/Germany/UK/Belgium, Ray Muller); Latcho Drom (France, Tony Gatlif); Menace II Society (US, Allen Hughes and Albert Hughes); Stalingrad (Germany, Josef Vilsmaier); Farewell My Concubine (China, Chen Kaige); Sonatine (Japan, Takeshi Kitano); True Romance (US, Tony Scott); The Fugitive (US, Andrew Davis); A Perfect World (US, Clint Eastwood); Barbarians at the Gate (US, Glenn Jordan); Manhattan Murder Mystery (US, Woody Allen); The War Room (US, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus); What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (US, Lasse Hallstrom); The Cement Garden (UK, Andrew Birkin); Little Buddha (Italy/France/UK, Bernardo Bertolucci); Caro Diario (Italy, Nanni Moretti); The Scent of Green Papaya (France/Vietnam, Tran Ahn Hung); Cronos (Mexico, Guillermo Del Toro); Three Colors: White (Poland/France, Krzysztof Kieslowski); The Nightmare Before Christmas (US, Henry Selick); In The Line of Fire (US, Wolfgang Petersen); Carlito's Way (US, Brian De Palma); Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (Canada, Francois Girard); Matinee (US, Joe Dante); Much Ado About Nothing (UK/US, Kenneth Branaugh); And The Band Played On (US, Roger Spottiswoode); Gettysburg (US, Ronald Maxwell); The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb (UK, Dave Borthwick); The Wedding Banquet (Taiwan/US, Ang Lee); The Positively True Story of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom (US, Michael Richie); This Boy's Life (US, Michael Caton-Jones); Shadowlands (UK, Richard Attenbourough); Germinal (France, Claude Berri); Six Degrees of Separation (US, Fred Schepisi); The Ballad of Little Jo (US, Maggie Greenwald); Philadelphia (US, Jonathan Demme); Dave (US, Gary Ross); Sankofa (UK/Germany/Burkina Faso/Ghana, Haile Germina); Searching for Bobby Fisher (US, Steve Zaillian); What's Love Got to Do With It? (US, Brian Gibson); The Secret Garden (US, Agnieszka Holland); Tombstone (US, George P. Cosmotos); Red Rock West (US, John Dahl); A Bronx Tale (US, Robert De Niro); Rudy (US, David Anspaugh); Jurassic Park (US, Steven Spielberg); Fire in the Sky (US, Robert Lieberman); In The Name of the Father (Ireland/UK/US, Jim Sheridan); Sleepless in Seattle (US, Nora Ephron); The Firm (US, Sydney Pollack); A Dangerous Woman (US, Stephen Gyllenhaal); Kalifornia (US, Dominic Sena); Faraway, So Close (Germany, Wim Wenders); Fear of a Black Hat (US, Rusty Cundieff); Romeo is Bleeding (UK, Peter Medak); Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (US, Gus Van Sant); Blue (UK, Derek Jarman)) 

ACTOR: Anthony Hopkins, THE REMAINS OF THE DAY (2nd: David Thewlis, Naked, followed by: Jeff Bridges, Fearless; Michael Douglas, Falling Down; Liam Neeson, Schindler’s List; Bill Murray, Groundhog Day; Tom Hanks, Philadelphia; Clint Eastwood, In The Line of Fire; Kevin Costner, A Perfect World)

ACTRESS: Juliette Binoche, THREE COLORS: BLUE (2nd: Holly Hunter, The Piano, followed by: Emma Thompson, The Remains of the Day; Patricia Arquette, True Romance; Ashley Judd, Ruby in Paradise; Debra Winger, Shadowlands; Stockard Channing, Six Degrees of Separation; Angela Bassett, What’s Love Got to Do With It?; Holly Hunter, The Positively True Story of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom)

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Ralph Fiennes, SCHINDLER‘S LIST (2nd: Leonardo DiCaprio, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, followed by: Tommy Lee Jones, The Fugitive; John Malkovich, In The Line of Fire; Sean Penn, Carlito's Way; Matthew McConaughey, Dazed and Confused; Jeff Daniels, Gettysburg; Tim Robbins, Short Cuts; John Goodman, Matinee)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anna Paquin, THE PIANO (2nd: Annie Ross, Short Cuts, followed by: Rosie Perez, Fearless; Winona Ryder, The Age of Innocence; Julianne Moore, Short Cuts; Embeth Davidz, Schindler’s List; Katrin Cartlidge, Naked; Miriam Margoyles, The Age of Innocence; Darlene Cates, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?) 

DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg, SCHINDLER’S LIST (2nd: Krzysztof Kieslowski, Three Colors: Blue, followed by: Ross McElwee, Time Indefinite; Mike Leigh, Naked; James Ivory, The Remains of the Day; Robert Altman, Short Cuts; Martin Scorsese, The Age of Innocence; Richard Linklater, Dazed and Confused; Peter Weir, Fearless; Steven Soderburgh, King of the Hill) 

NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILM: THREE COLORS: BLUE (Poland/France, Krzysztof Kieslowski) (2nd: Stalingrad (Germany, Josef Vilsmaier); Farewell My Concubine (China, Chen Kaige); Sonatine (Japan, Takeshi Kitano); Caro Diario (Italy, Nanni Moretti); The Scent of Green Papaya (France/Vietnam, Tran Ahn Hung); Cronos (Mexico, Guillermo Del Toro); Three Colors: White (Poland/France, Krzysztof Kieslowski); The Wedding Banquet (Taiwan/US, Ang Lee); Germinal (France, Claude Berri); Sankofa (UK/Germany/Burkina Faso/Ghana, Haile Germina)) 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: TIME INDEFINITE (US, Ross McElwee) (2nd: Silverlake Life: The View From Here (US, Peter Friedman and Tom Joslin), followed by: The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (France/Germany/UK/Belgium, Ray Muller); Latcho Drom (France, Tony Gatlif); The War Room (US, Chris Hedgedus and D.A. Pennebaker)) 

ANIMATED FEATURE: THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (US, Henry Selick) (2nd: The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb (UK, Dave Borthwick)) 

ANIMATED SHORT: THE WRONG TROUSERS (UK, Nick Park) (2nd: The Mighty River (Canada, Frederic Back), followed by: Anamorphosis, or: De Artificiali Perspectiva (UK, Stephen Quay and Timothy Quay); Blindscape (US, Stephen Palmer); Human Behavior (France, Michel Gondry)

LIVE ACTION SHORT: BLOOD TIES: THE LIFE AND WORK OF SALLY MANN (US, Steven Cantor) (2nd: Le Batteur du Bolero (France, Patrick Leconte), followed by: Black Rider (Germany, Pepe Danquart); Jeremy (US, Chris Cuffaro); Cigarettes & Coffee (US, Paul Thomas Anderson))

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Harold Ramis and Danny Rubin, GROUNDHOG DAY (2nd: Mike Leigh, Naked, followed by: Krzysztof Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz, Three Colors: BlueJane Campion, The PianoQuentin Tarantino, True Romance) 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, THE REMAINS OF THE DAY (2nd: Robert Altman and Frank Barhydt, Short Cuts, followed by: Martin Scorsese and Jay Cocks, The Age of Innocence; Steven Zallian, Schindler’s List; Steven Soderburgh, King of the Hill) 

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Janusz Kaminski, SCHINDLER’S LIST (2nd: Michael Ballhaus, The Age of Innocence, followed by: Slawomir Idziak, Three Colors: Blue; Tony Pierce-Roberts, The Remains of the Day; Conrad Hall, Searching for Bobby Fischer) 

ART DIRECTION: THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, Schindler’s List, The Remains of the Day, Little Buddha, King of the Hill 

COSTUME DESIGN: THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, Schindler’s List, The Piano, The Remains of the Day, King of the Hill 

FILM EDITING: SCHINDLER'S LIST, Short Cuts, The Fugitive, Groundhog Day, Falling Down 

SOUND: JURASSIC PARK, Schindler’s List, The Fugitive, Three Colors: Blue, Stalingrad 

SOUND EFFECTS: JURASSIC PARK, The Fugitive, Cliffhanger 

ORIGINAL SCORE: Zbigniew Preisner, THREE COLORS: BLUE (2nd: Elmer Bernstein, The Age of Innocence, followed by: John Williams, Schindler’s List; Richard Robbins, The Remains of the Day; Dave Grusin, The Firm) 


ORIGINAL SONG: “Streets of Philadelphia” from PHILADELPHIA (Music and lyrics by Bruce Springsteen) (2nd: “Philadelphia” from Philadelphia (Music and lyrics by Neil Young), followed by: “Stay” from Faraway, So Close (Music and lyrics by Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen); "Jack‘s Lament“ from The Nightmare Before Christmas (Music and lyrics by Danny Elfman); “Faraway, So Close” from Faraway, So Close (Music and lyrics by Nick Cave); “Oogie Boogie’s Song” from The Nightmare Before Christmas (Music and lyrics by Danny Elfman)) 


MAKEUP: MRS. DOUBTFIRE, The Age of Innocence, Schindler's List

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