Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1990

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Kevin Costner (Dances With Wolves)
Robert De Niro (Awakenings)
Gerard Depardieu (Cyrano de Bergerac)
Richard Harris (The Field)
Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune)

Biggest Snub:

James Caan – Misery

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year where none of the nominees were really breathtaking and despite them all being good, Irons is the most creepy and developed character of them all.

My Rankings:

Acting Performances

5. Gerard Depardieu
4. Kevin Costner 
3. Richard Harris 
2. Robert De Niro 
1. Jeremy Irons


5. The FieldVery interesting premise that features great performances but moves along a bit too slowly for its own good.  Harris is great here and truly deserved an Oscar nomination for this role. Great supporting turns by Berenger, Bean and Hurt. The way that this story shows the difficulties of a man who only wants to feel the delight of farming his own land and will do anything to have it for himself and his descendants is a great one and is portrayed really well here.
4. Cyrano de BergeracGreat version of the Cyrano story. Depardieu does a great job in the lead and was very deserving of an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for his performance but lost to Jeremy Irons’ portrayal of Claus Von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune (1990). The story moves along at a great pace and we get the known the wisdom and humor of the main character quite well.  I’m still a bigger fan of the modern version of the story – Roxanne (1987) starring Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah.  Despite the good pacing, this film does feel a bit too long, and cutting it down a bit more would have made it tighter.
3. Reversal of FortuneGood legal drama that loses a bit because very little takes place in the courtroom itself. Great acting by Irons and Silver.
2. AwakeningsWilliams and DeNiro are both excellent here and it’s understandable how they both could get acting nominations for these roles; Williams at the Globes and DeNiro at the Oscars. The story is heartwarming yet falls a bit flat about half way through. The biggest problem that I had with this is that despite both lead actors giving amazing performances, they lack a chemistry that a film like this sorely needed.
1. Dances With WolvesExcellent movie. Worthy of all it’s awards. By far, Costner’s best movie.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes!  Irons was definitely the best choice in a year where there were no real standout amazing performances.

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1990

  1. Haven’t seen reversal of Fortune since it’s release, but don’t remember being all that impressed at the time. Same with Irons. I thought that Williams and DeNiro had excellent chemistry and thought DeNiro’s performance was brave and heart-breaking.I agree with the snub of Caan (especially given Bates WINNING fr the same movie) but would add Williams as a snub (and drop Depardieu and irons). Costner was excellent – moreso since he directed himself – I’d have him as a tie for 2nd with Williams and DeNiro winning.


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