Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1982

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Dustin Hoffman (Tootsie)
Jack Lemmon (Missing)
Ben Kingsley (Gandhi)
Paul Newman (The Verdict)
Peter O’Toole (My Favorite Year)

Biggest Snub:

Richard Gere – An Officer and a Gentleman

My Overall Thoughts:

Excellent year with 5 top notch nominees.  All 5 has Oscars (including one Honorary for O’Toole) and they all did wonderful jobs with the roles they were given.

My Rankings:

Acting Performances

5. Peter O’Toole 
4. Dustin Hoffman
3. Paul Newman
2. Jack Lemmon 
1. Ben Kingsley


5. My Favorite YearInteresting view of the behind the scenes of a 1950’s variety show. The fact that this is somewhat based on Brooks’ experiences make things even more interesting but the story unfortunately deviates too much from the Brooks character who should have remained the main focus the whole way through. O’Toole is great as the womanizing/boozing Hollywood star who does whatever he pleases and despite seeming to be miscast, he is extremely convincing in the role. Loved how it seems as if many of the backstage shenanigans here are similar to things we have seen recently on shows like 30 Rock that parody variety type shows.
4. The VerdictGood average courtroom drama that doesn’t seem to translate very well to the screen. Paul Newman continues to show how great an actor he can be even when the material isn’t top notch.
3. TootsieGreat film that works on numerous levels. Hoffman is superb in the dual roles and is quite convincing in both of them. The supporting cast is perfectly chosen with Pollack standing out as Hoffman’s agent and Lange as an actress who he befriends. The script is fun and witty and works the entire time despite the premise seeming to be a bit crazy. This film is still very relevant today after more than 35 years and says so much about how Hollywood (and the entertainment industry on a whole) has worked for years without much changes. Was nominated for 10 Oscars yet only managed to win Best Supporting Actress for Lange. It did win Best Musical or Comedy Film at the Golden Globes that year tho.
2. GandhiAmazingly done Epic biopic movie by Attenborough. Kingsley is superb in the title role.
1. MissingWhat a great telling of true events. Lemmon and Spacek are both excellent. It’s very interesting that even 32 years after the film was made and 41 years after the events, the story is still not completely done.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely!  Kinsley is superb as Gandhi and makes it all look so easy to do.

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

4 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1982

  1. Agree with you that this was a top notch year in this category. Might even agree that Gere was “snubbed” although I think an even bigger one was for Robin Williams in “The World According to Garp”. Kingsley’s performance in this epic true story (and “important” film which carries extra weight with Academy voters) was superb and iconic and in any year would’ve been tough to beat. O’Toole (who with this loss would tie his best friend Richard Burton for most nominated “loser” in Oscar history) was wonderful, basically playing Errol Flynn – who is the real soused actor who appeared on Your Show of Shows. Lemmon, as the everyman searching for his son, did fine work in another true story. Hoffman was a riot and dead on the nose in his portrayal of an egotistical actor whose sense of his worth was bigger than his talent. Directed by Pollack, it was Hoffman who badgered him into also taking on the role as his agent (Pollack started as a child actor – including a memorable role in an Alfred Hitchcock Presents on TV). For me – Newman was superb as the alcoholic washed up lawyer who took on the case of his life and risked all to try the case against a formidable adversary (the Catholic Church and it’s attorney – James Mason) rather than take a settlement for his clients. It would be his 6th loss at the Oscars (it was O’Toole’s 7th).

    Where I vociferously disagree with you is calling The Verdict an “average” courtroom drama and saying that Newman’s performance rose above material that wasn’t “top notch”. No offense, but you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about here. I don’t want to play my professional screenwriter card – but the screenplay by David Mamet (Oscar nominated in its own right), one of the best playwrights/screenwriters in the business, was excellent. This is one of my favorite courtroom movies of all time. In fact, one of my favorite movies overall. I have seen it many times and it is mesmerizing each time. Beautifully structured in its plot and characters (from leads to one scene supporting players – take another look at the scene where the nurse is called to testify about the Xerox copies of the report she took prior to the operation), sewn together with care and intrigue from Newman’s first sight of his client hooked up to machines in the hospital to the set up with Jack Warden’s smoking habit to the slap in the bar to that last shot of Newman alone in his office with the ringing phone that he’s not going to answer. I suggest you watch it again sometime. But even if you choose not to – you’re wrong on this one, Rob. Way wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

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