Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1985


Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Hector Babenco (Kiss of the Spider Woman)
John Huston (Prizzi’s Honor)
Akira Kurosawa (Ran)
Sydney Pollack (Out of Africa)
Peter Weir (Witness)

Biggest Snub:

Steven Spielberg – The Color Purple

My Overall Thoughts:

This was a  real competitive year and any of the 5 nominees would have been deserving winners for the work they did here.

My Rankings:

Directing

5. Hector Babenco 
4. Peter Weir
3. John Huston
2. Sydney Pollack 
1. Akira Kurosawa

Movies

5. Kiss of the Spider WomanInteresting character analysis movie. Julia and Hurt are both excellent here even though I do question the casting of Hurt. First time an actor won an Oscar for portraying a homosexual.
4. Prizzi’s HonorNicholson and Turner are great here in the dark comedy about the mob. The story flows well and despite the characters not being as intelligent as those in most gangster films, it’s still lots of fun watching them. Interesting look at the dynamics of a mobster family gives us so much perspective on how things work. Supporting cast helps make this work even better especially Huston and Randolph in key roles.
3. RanLoose adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear transplanted to feudal Japan which definitely gets its point across. The story is slow moving at certain times, but is visually stunning to watch. Kurosawa made lots of great films but this is considered by himself to be one of his best. He put so much of himself into making this film and it clearly shows. The epic grandeur of it all is amazing to watch and it really shows us how it is possible to make such a film that is so colorful yet poignant in everything that happens along the way.
2. Out of AfricaEpicly done. Well deserving of the Best Picture. Parts are very slow, but done well.
1. WitnessFord is great here. This (so far) has been the only time he has ever been nominated for an Oscar. The screenplay is amazing built up and is used in screenwriting courses as an example of a near perfect screenplay. Suspenseful movie keeps you on the edge of your seat. Some great scenes depicting the Amish way of life.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No!  SP does an amazing job putting things together in OoA but I still think AK’s vision in Ran is done even better. Unfortunately, a Foreign Language film has yet to win BD and even AK couldn’t break that trend.

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

Let me Know what you think!!

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