Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1978


Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Warren Beatty (Heaven Can Wait)
Gary Busey (The Buddy Holly Story)
Robert De Niro (The Deer Hunter)
Laurence Olivier (The Boys from Brazil)
Jon Voight (Coming Home)

Biggest Snub:

Brad Davis – Midnight Express

My Overall Thoughts:

This is another year with 5 very solid performances. Both De Niro and Voight were the frontrunners since they both portray Vietnam veterans dealing with life after returning home.

My Rankings:

Acting Performances

5. Gary Busey 
4. Warren Beatty 
3. Laurence Olivier 
2. Robert De Niro 
1. Jon Voight

Movies

5. The Buddy Holly StoryNicely done biopic. Busey is great here despite his age. Great songs (by Holly obviously). Wonder if someone could make a better movie about his life now.
4. Heaven Can WaitBeatty and Henry wrote a superb modern adaptation of Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) that is funnier and even more poignant than the original.  Excellent cast keeps this funny yet interesting. Loved the chemistry between Beatty and Christie but the best relationship actually is between Beattty and Warden.  Such a fun premise gets done right here.
3. The Boys from Brazil Wonderful and scary tale that builds itself up at a great pace keeping us wanting more. Great performances by Olivier and Peck. Scary how close to correct the science explained has evolved since this was made. Great adaptation of the book.
2. Coming Home Excellent anti-war film that deals with soldiers returning to their lives after seeing combat. Great performances by everyone involved. Voight and Fonda won Oscars for this movie.
1. The Deer HunterVery well made movie, but be warned that it’s very powerful especially since it deals with some very intense Vietnam issues.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely!  Voight’s portrayal of a man injured during Vietnam and his attempt to reintergrate into his old life is not an easy thing to watch because it is so emotional and powerful.  De Niro is a close second here because he deals with the psychological effects of war where Voight dealt with both the psychological and physical effects.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1978

  1. Agree on Davis’ “snub” – incredible performance in an incredible movie – right from the opening with him trying to board the plane…And yes – Voight was superb. DeNiro too, but more of an ensemble piece. This was early in Olivier’s run of accented sort of “character” roles – and he was solid opposite Peck. I liked the movie as a whole better than any single performance.

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