Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1994


Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Woody Allen (Bullets Over Broadway)
Krzysztof Kieslowski (Three Colors: Red)
Robert Redford (Quiz Show)
Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction)
Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump)

Biggest Snub:

Frank Darabont – The Shawshank Redemption

My Overall Thoughts:

This was a superb year for nominees in many categories at the Oscars, but in this category in particular. Any of the nominees would have been deserving of the win, but after sweeping the Globes and DGA, everyone knew RZ was on his way to a few Golden statuettes including the one for BD.

My Rankings:

Directing

5. Woody Allen
4. Robert Redford
3. Quentin Tarantino
2. Krzysztof Kieslowski
1. Robert Zemeckis

Movies

5. Bullets Over BroadwayTypical Allen fare that works more than not. The dialogue is superbly written and the rapid-fire way that the film moves along is great. The cast is perfect here and it’s no surprise that 3 cast members got Oscar nominations for this film. Allen does a wonderful job keeping the characters interesting the entire time. The film drags a bit in the middle, but manages to recover nicely by the end.
4. Quiz ShowWhat makes this story stand out in my eyes is that it brings to the forefront the dilemma of money and fame vs. integrity. It’s easy for us to sit on the sidelines and say we value integrity over money and fame, but if someone offers you a guaranteed $25,000, how many of us would say no and then things could just snowball from there. Robert Redford did a great job as director and brought a great cast to this film; Ralph Fiennes (who wasn’t really known then), John Turturro, Rob Morrow, Hank Azaria, Mira Sorvino, David Paymer and Paul Scofield {who ironically won an Oscar in 1966 for playing a man who’s integrity has no limits in A Man for All Seasons (1966)}
3. Three Colors: RedBest film of the trilogy because it captures the viewer’s attention so easily while the stories presented are intertwined really well. Jacobi and Trintignant are both superb in the leads and their conversations are so enjoyable to watch. The themes in this film about destiny, free will and yearning for something better in life all comes across expertly throughout. Once again the color schemes are truly beautiful to look at and the red is so dominant here. Loved the way that this film finds a way to make a strong connection between all of the films in the trilogy.
2. Pulp FictionTarantino is at his best, both in terms of storyline and dialogue. Quentin Tarantino showed the world was he was made of with his debut film Reservoir Dogs and that movie’s success led to this masterpiece getting proper funding. His use of non-traditional methods of storytelling works extremely well here as he tells three interweaving stories in a very unconventional non-linear fashion. The fact that he was capable of securing so many great actors for this movie is a testament to how amazing his story and script are. I love how QT has always been able to take characters in non-conventional roles and write perfect conversation dialogue totally unrelated to their current situations making the characters seem more real than we thought possible. The idea of having two hitmen discuss fast food in Europe while on their way to ‘work’ is brilliant.
1. Forrest GumpAmazing film that feels both magical and historical but overall it’s still a relevant and timeless look at modern American over the past 60 years. Hanks is superb in the lead and was extremely deserving of not only winning Best Actor at the Oscar, but also having the honor of being only the second lead actor in Academy history to win back to back awards. The special effects are extremely amazing to look at because it helps make the story work so seamlessly. The supporting cast is excellent with Sinise being the best, but Fields, Williams and Wright have helped create iconic film characters. Won 6 Oscars in a year that was VERY competitive. Clearly is the best film of the year and very enjoyable to watch unfold. The balance between drama, comedy, romance and pleasant shock is created so well throughout.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely!  The things that RZ did with this film are spectacular and none of the others are able to match it despite coming close.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1994

  1. You’re right about Darabont. You’re right about Zemeckis. Wrong about Woody (5th place out of 5 – for Bullets? No way) And Tarantino is WAY overrated – both as a director and most certainly as a writer.

    Liked by 1 person

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