Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1986

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Bob Hoskins (Mona Lisa)
William Hurt (Children of a Lesser God)
Dexter Gordon (Round Midnight)
Paul Newman (The Color of Money)
James Woods (Salvador)

Biggest Snub:

Harrison Ford – The Mosquito Coast

My Overall Thoughts:

UPDATED 28/6/18 – This was a year where Hoskins performance really stands out among the others in the Best Actor category. Despite this, it still opened the door to give a veteran actor an pseudo-honarary Oscar for a fine performance but it could never be classified as even close to being the best of his career.

My Rankings:

Acting Performances

5. Dexter Gordon (Not Yet Seen)
4. Bob Hoskins (Not Yet Seen)
3. William Hurt
2. James Woods
1. Paul Newman


5. Round Midnight (Not Yet Seen)
4. Children of a Lesser GodMatlin is amazing here and deserved her Best actress Oscar. Hurt is mediocre as usual. Interesting story but I think it would have been better if a more sincere feeling actor played Hurt’s role.
3. SalvadorNot as good as I had hoped. The storyline is very brutal and pulls no punches when trying to show the atrocities committed on both sides of this conflict. Not even close to being Stone’s best. Woods and Belushi do a good enough job with what they are given.
2. The Color of Money Better than the original, but still has its moments that don’t work as well. Newman and Cruise are pretty good together. Not Newman at his best, but pretty close.
1. Mona LisaHoskins is great here because he plays so against type in this role. The story is intriguing and keeps things interesting as we slowly learn more and more about what is going on. Hoskins was nominated for Best Actor for this role and his performance is quite deserving of all of the accolades it has received; he does give the best performance of the nominees and probably would have won had Newman not been given a “career” award. This story goes into very dark places in society and doesn’t lose focus on the kind of story that they are trying to tell.

UPDATED 28/6/18 Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No!  Newman was an amazing actor and he does a fine job in this film yet it still feels as if it was given more as an honorary award instead of one that he deserved specifically for this role. None of the other nominees were amazing here and Hoskins clearly gave the best performance and it comes across as a mostly lackluster year for Best Actor nominees.

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

3 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1986

  1. First of all – in years when you haven’t even seen 40% of the nominees – perhaps you should skip commenting on it entirely (until you have). I happened to think that SALVADOR was brutal and tough to watch but really good and Woods (who I do not like personally) was excellent in it. I disagree that Ford was “snubbed” for The Mosquito Coast -but I would say that Jim Belushi was criminally overlooked for Salvador as Supporting Actor. If anyone was “snubbed” in the Best Actor category- it was Gene Hackman in “Hoosiers”. Bob Hoskins was brilliant in Mona Lisa – which you wouldn’t know – because you didn’t see it. He won EVERY big award leading up to the Oscars for his performance. Probably should have won the Oscar as well. Let’s face it – Color of Money was not even close to one of Newman’s best performances (not even in his Top 5 IMO) and the film didn’t hold a candle to The Hustler – that movie and it’s performances (Newman, Laurie, Scott, Gleason etc.) ran rings around the equivalent cast of Money. This was a career award given by an Academy that felt it owed Paul one (maybe 2 or 3), but it was a make good, not deserved on merit. (BTW – not sure a more “sincere” actor would’ve charted higher for you than Hurt. He’s a very cerebral actor. That’s who he is. You don’t like him. That’s your perrogative. But that role in “Children of a Lesser God” can be a thankless one and get lost in the bravura of the lead woman character – “Sarah Norman”. A deaf actress won the Tony for that role on Broadway in its 1st incarnation. Matlin – in her FIRST screen role and at 21, the youngest Best Actress winner in Academy history – won the Oscar, and yesterday – another deaf actress, Lauren Ridloff,was nominated as Best Actress for the revival of the play on Broadway (I’ve seen it. She’s excellent). Joshua Jackson, playing the William Hurt role – was exceptional. Never leaves the stage. Is either speaking, signing or both for the entire play. He was overlooked. No nomination for Best Actor. A shame. A mistake by the Tony committee. Just saying.

    Liked by 1 person

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