Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1991


Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs)
Barry Levinson (Bugsy)
Ridley Scott (Thelma & Louise)
John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood)
Oliver Stone (JFK)

Biggest Snub:

Kenneth Branagh – Dead Again

My Overall Thoughts:

This was another great year of nominees and any of the 5 could have conceivably won, but it ultimately was done to Demme and Stone (who won the DGA and Golden Globe Awards respectively) for this category

My Rankings:

Directing

5. Ridley Scott
4. Barry Levinson
3. John Singleton
2. Oliver Stone
1. Jonathan Demme

Movies

5. BugsyGives a good impression of who Bugsy was; a dreamer and a businessman whose motivations often clashed with his colleagues. The ‘industry’ loves Beatty more than they should because this movie is far from being perfect but still has some entertaining scenes. Terrible chemistry between Beatty and Benning which is quite ironic.
4. Thelma & Louise – Interesting idea that was quite revolutionary for its time. Both Sarandon and Davis are great here in the lead roles and were deserving of Oscar nominations for Best Actress. Unfortunately the storyline meanders along too much and loses focus along the way. This film does manage to show female independence and the leads are quite strong, but it would have helped if the plot was also just as powerful which it unfortunately isn’t. Pitt and Keitel are great in supporting roles.
3. Boyz n the HoodVery powerful movie. Singleton’s best movie by far perhaps because of his personal connection to the story and characters.
2. JFKExcellent movie that gives so much ammunition for the conspiracy nuts out there (like me). It’s a bit one sided but still an extremely entertaining 3.5 hour movie. Amazing cast led by Costner, Jones and Pesci among others. Director Stone manages to raise enough doubt and I’m still surprised that so many documents are still classified today and that no one is demanding that they be released.
1. The Silence of the LambsGreat psychological thriller that gives us so much insight into the mind of serial killers. Lecter is one of the best villains from literature because he is so intelligent, calm and extremely dangerous at the same time. Foster and Hopkins have amazing chemistry in their scenes together and they both were very deserving of the Oscars they won for these roles.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely!  SotL is such an amazing film that works on numerous levels and still holds up and remains spectacular to watch even after close to 3 decades

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

3 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1991

  1. Can’t really complain about the noms or the winner, here. I’d be okay with any of them winning except Ridley Scott, but only because I still haven’t seen Thelma & Louise. Sad, I know. Haven’t seen Dead Again, either, but I do have another possible snub – James Cameron for Terminator 2. I know, I know, not an Oscar-type.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pretty much in agreement here on choices and order. Though NOT on the “snub” for Branagh. I was never a big fan of Thelma and Louise but it landed in the zeitgeist at the right moment. I recuse myself on “BUGSY”, because I wrote a much better script, sold it in a bidding war, and had to watch while Beatty attached himself to my movie and then staled the producers (and 2oth Century Fox) while he had a completely new script written by a writer (recently outed in the #MeToo blitz) to whom he had loaned $30,000. to repay gambling debts. I also disagree that Beatty and Benning had “no chemistry”. Maybe it was just bad acting by Warren. Boyz in the Hood was superb. JFK was thought-provoking. Silence of the Lambs was an excellent adaptation of a page turning best selling – and as to it’s Oscar for Best Adapted screenplay – it virtually wrote itself. If you followed the blueprint of the novel – you couldn’t go wrong. It was almost all there. As to Best Director – I would’ve been fine with any of your top 3 – Singleton, Stone or Demme.

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