Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1985

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Harrison Ford (Witness)
James Garner (Murphy’s Romance)
William Hurt (Kiss of the Spider Woman)
Jack Nicholson (Prizzi’s Honor)
Jon Voight (Runaway Train)

Biggest Snub:

Raul Julia – Kiss of the Spider Woman

My Overall Thoughts:

This is another relatively lackluster year and none of the performances are spectacular.  Nicholson and Voight won the Golden Globes and it was a bit of shock that neither of them were able to take home Gold.  Ford gives one of his own best performances this year too and this still remains his sole nomination in his very prolific career.

My Rankings:

Acting Performances

5. James Garner
4. Jack Nicholson
3. Jon Voight
2. Harrison Ford
1. William Hurt


5. Murphy’s Romance – Fun Rom-com that just doesn’t really manage to take things to a higher level. Fields and Garner are both fine here but they lack the kind of real chemistry needed for a film like this.
4. Prizzi’s HonorNicholson and Turner are great here in the dark comedy about the mob. The story flows well and despite the characters not being as intelligent as those in most gangster films, it’s still lots of fun watching them. Interesting look at the dynamics of a mobster family gives us so much perspective on how things work. Supporting cast helps make this work even better especially Huston and Randolph in key roles.
3. Kiss of the Spider WomanInteresting character analysis movie. Julia and Hurt are both excellent here even though I do question the casting of Hurt. First time an actor won an Oscar for portraying a homosexual.
2. Runaway Train – Great thriller that was somewhat ahead of its time. Roberts and Voight are both great here as they try to get to freedom while being trapped on a train that cannot stop.
1. WitnessFord is great here. This (so far) has been the only time he has ever been nominated for an Oscar. The screenplay is amazing built up and is used in screenwriting courses as an example of a near perfect screenplay. Suspenseful movie keeps you on the edge of your seat. Some great scenes depicting the Amish way of life.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No!  Hurt plays a very complex character but he isn’t as believable in the role as one would expect. Ford did a much better job this year and should have taken home the Oscar for his performance in this film.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1985

  1. Kind of in lockstep here. Very well balanced group. But I love WITNESS and Ford is as good as he’s ever been (and this, to date, is the ONLY Oscar nomination of his storied career). I would’ve gone with Harrison.

    Liked by 1 person

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