Ingmar Bergman (Fanny and Alexander)
Philip Kaufman – The Right Stuff
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with some good nominees, but only one could really be classified as great and that is the film that dominated the awards season.
5. Peter Yates
4. Bruce Beresford
3. Ingmar Bergman
2. Mike Nichols
1. James L. Brooks
5. Fanny and Alexander – Great production, but the story itself creeps along and gets quite boring along the way. Bergman was a superb director yet this story doesn’t manage to stay interesting long enough. This film was nominated for 6 Oscars and managed to win 4 in mostly technical categories. I can understand how this film could win Best Foreign language film at the Oscars, but it just isn’t the kind of film that I enjoy.
4. The Dresser – Finney is great as the aging stage actor, but Courtney overshadows him as his assistant the entire time. Loved the way that they showed how behind the scenes work in some ways is so much more important to the success or failure of a show. The film itself is far from perfect, but the performances make this so worth while watching.
3. Tender Mercies – Very good performance by Duvall. Storyline is slow, but still good. They manage to present an interesting story about a washed up singer trying to find the right path in life.
2. Silkwood – Streep is impressive in this role which isn’t a very glamorous one. Russell and Cher both help keep the mood of this very deep storyline lighter by their humor and camaraderie. The story is presented really well and it gives us the impression that she isn’t actually imagined all that is happening to her. Sill amazes me to know that Ephron wrote this film because it’s much darker and dramatic than most of the rom-com films she wrote years later.
1. Terms of Endearment – Very moving movie, deservingly won Best Picture.Performances of MacLaine, Nicholson and especially Winbger are superb. Manages to keep a fair balance between dramatic and comedic scenes and stays very interesting and engaging throughout.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes! Brooks is a great director and the way that he presents this story works really well. None of the other nominees have a story that stays engaging as this one.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!