Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1984

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

 F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus)
Jeff Bridges (Starman)
Albert Finney (Under the Volcano)
Tom Hulce (Amadeus)
Sam Waterston (The Killing Fields)

Biggest Snub:

Steve Martin – All of Me

My Overall Thoughts:

This was a pretty good year, but the devious performance by Abraham was clearly the front runner among the nominees. In retrospect, his performance is the most riveting even after 34 years.

My Rankings:

Acting Performances

5. Albert Finney (Not Yet Seen)
4. Jeff Bridges
3. Tom Hulce
2. Sam Waterston 
1.  F. Murray Abraham


4. Under the Volcano (Not Yet Seen)
3. StarmanBridges and Allen are quite good here, but the story itself is way too reminiscent of another alien film that came out not long beforehand. Ultimately, this film feels too much like a more adult version of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and doesn’t feel unique or even innovative in anything that it does. I’m a bit shocked that Bridges was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for this role, because his performance doesn’t at all feel out of the ordinary or unique in any way.
2. AmadeusEpic biopic that is truly a spectacle to watch. Abraham truly deserved his award for playing such a complex and devious character so perfectly.
1. The Killing FieldsAmazing film that is very graphic and realistic in its depiction of the atrocities committed in Cambodia. Waterston is wonderful in the lead role yet this is Ngor’s film the entire time. He may have won an Oscar and a Globe as Best Supporting Actor but he is the main reason this film is so poignant and harrowing to watch even after 35 years. It would take a few more years before the members of the Academy would be able to give a film depicting the nature of Southeast Asia the award for Best Picture and Director eventhough this is clearly the best film of the 5 nominees.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely!  There are few acting performances in most years that can rival the devious and sinister one presented to us all by Abraham.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1984

  1. Don’t disagree with you here – but I loved Hulce in the same movie and he and Abraham were 2 sides of a single coin IMO – one shouldn’t have won without the other. At the time I saw the movie (when it was originally released – I actually thought Hulce was slightly better). So the only thing that would’ve worked for me here – would’ve been a tie.


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