Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1992

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Robert Altman (The Player)
Martin Brest (Scent of a Woman)
Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven)
James Ivory (Howards End)
Neil Jordan (The Crying Game)

Biggest Snub:

Richard Attenborough – Chaplin

My Overall Thoughts:

This was a good year for nominees even if they were somewhat weak. Up to the Oscars, Eastwood was the frontrunner, but since different films won the top awards all along the way, it was anybody’s game when it came to winning the Oscar.

My Rankings:


5. James Ivory
4. Neil Jordan
3. Martin Brest
2. Robert Altman
1. Clint Eastwood


5. The Crying GameMovie starts off really well, but loses its impact if you are aware of the big twist. Great performances by Rea and Whitaker make this start off as a film with so much potential that gets lost along the way. I wonder what I would have thought about it had I not known what would happen. I liked parts of this film, but I’m still not convinced that it’s a film that should have made the cut of the best 5 of the year.
4. Howards EndGreat analogy of how the British class structure worked a hundred years ago. Excellent cast led by Hopkins and Thompson. Thompson deservingly won an Oscar for Best Actress for this interesting role. Probably easier to comprehend in book form than visually on screen, but still enjoyable.
3. The PlayerInteresting idea that Altman gets right largely due to the fact that he is able to satirize the whole film industry and how things work. The cast is spectacular and the film is filled with so many cameos of famous people in the industry.  Altman isn’t afraid of making fun of the way things work and manages to show things in an over the top fashion which works most of the time.  It’s very understandable how Hollywood insiders could love this film but it still isn’t perfect.
2. Scent of a WomanInteresting story about being yourself and the importance of integrity. Pacino’s over the top performance won him an Oscar. The ending is done well, but the spontaneous applause seems extraneous at best.
1. UnforgivenExcellent film which is among Eastwood’s best as both Director and Actor. The anti-western aspect of it all plus the realism help make this so enjoyable and stunning to watch. Freeman and Hackman are also both amazing here in supporting roles and its ironic that Eastwood ended up helping both of them eventually win Best Supporting Actor Oscars for roles he directed them in. The slow pace works really well here to help establish the story and the necessity to follow through with the job they agreed to fulfill. Loved the way that they show how the west probably really was and we see that not all is just or unjust but just like real life, it is a mixture of both.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep!  Unforgiven is by far the most powerful of the films nominated this year and since the Academy loves actors who direct, it was no surprise that this film won and it was very deserving.

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

3 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1992

  1. Unforgiven is far and away the best film in this group – and Eastwood deserves his Director Oscar. Scent f a Woman was all Pacino, and very little else. Already commented on The Player. Nicely done by Altman and a very diverse and talented cast. Howard’s end has a stick up it’s bum. And when The Crying Game came out – no one knew about “the twist” – so it DID work. And the underlying story of the kidnapping of the soldier etc. added suspense and tension as well. It was quite well done. So to say “it loses its impact if you know the twist” is a bit simpleminded and disingenuous.


  2. Of what’s nominated, I’m cool with Eastwood winning. Unforgiving is a great movie. To me, there were two bigger snubs than Attenborough, even though Chaplin was also awesome. They were my personal winner, Spike Lee for Malcolm X, and probably my runner-up (or 3rd behind Clint), Tarantino for Reservoir Dogs.


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