the brilliant ee cummings says it all in a caption from hannah and her sisters

My Top 20:

  1. Hannah and Her Sisters
  2. Platoon
  3. A Room with a View
  4. Blue Velvet
  5. Stand By Me
  6. Mona Lisa
  7. My Beautiful Laundrette
  8. Aliens
  9. The Decline of the American Empire
  10. Something Wild
  11. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  12. Salvador
  13. The Sacrifice
  14. Little Shop of Horrors
  15. Peggy Sue Got Married
  16. The Assault
  17. The Color of Money
  18. True Stories
  19. Vagabond
  20. F/X

Consensus Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Best Director:  Oliver Stone  (Platoon)
  • Best Actor:  Bob Hoskins  (Mona Lisa)
  • Best Actress:  Sissy Spacek  (Crimes of the Heart  /  ‘Night Mother)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Dennis Hopper  (Blue Velvet)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Dianne Wiest  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  A Room with a View
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Best Cinematography:  The Mission
  • Best Foreign Film:  The Assault

Academy Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Platoon
  • Best Director:  Oliver Stone  (Platoon)
  • Best Actor:  Paul Newman  (The Color of Money)
  • Best Actress:  Marlee Matlin  (Children of a Lesser God)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Michael Caine  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Dianne Wiest  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  A Room with a View
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Best Cinematography:  The Mission
  • Best Foreign Film:  The Assault

"This is supposed to be one of the best movies of the decade so I brought it home." Thus I ended up watching Blue Velvet with my mother. Awkward.

Top 8 Films  (Top 1000):

  1. Blue Velvet  –  #107
  2. Aliens  –  #319
  3. The Sacrifice  –  #388
  4. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off  –  #558
  5. Vagabond  –  #674
  6. Hannah and Her Sisters  –  #691
  7. Down By Law  –  #712
  8. The Green Ray  –  #842

Top 5 Films  (1986 Best Picture Awards):

  1. Hannah and Her Sisters
  2. A Room with a View
  3. Platoon
  4. Blue Velvet
  5. The Mission

Top 10 Films  (Awards Points):

  1. Hannah and Her Sisters  –  1819
  2. A Room with a View  –  1397
  3. Platoon  –  1045
  4. The Mission  –  928
  5. Blue Velvet  –  827
  6. Mona Lisa  –  814
  7. Children of a Lesser God  –  466
  8. My Beautiful Laundrette  –  370
  9. Aliens  –  359
  10. Crimes of the Heart  –  271

Top 10 Films  (Box Office Gross):

  1. Top Gun  –  $176.78 mil
  2. Crocodile Dundee  –  $174.80 mil
  3. Platoon  –  $138.53 mil
  4. The Karate Kid II  –  $115.10 mil
  5. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home  –  $109.71 mil
  6. Back to School  –  $91.25 mil
  7. Aliens  –  $85.16 mil
  8. The Golden Child  –  $79.81 mil
  9. Ruthless People  –  $71.62 mil
  10. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off  –  $70.13 mil

AFI Top 100 Films:

  • Platoon  –  #83  (1998)  /  #86  (2007)

Nighthawk Golden Globes:

Oscar and Nighthawk winner for Best Actress: Marlee Matlin in Children of a Lesser God (1986)

Drama:

  • Best Picture:  Platoon
  • Best Director:  Oliver Stone  (Platoon)
  • Best Actor:  Bob Hoskins  (Mona Lisa)
  • Best Actress:  Marlee Matlin  (Children of a Lesser God)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Dennis Hopper  (Blue Velvet)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Maggie Smith  (A Room with a View)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  A Room with a View
  • Best Original Screenplay:  My Beautiful Laundrette

Comedy:

  • Best Picture:  Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Best Director:  Woody Allen  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
  • Best Actor:  Dexter Gordon  (‘Round Midnight)
  • Best Actress:  Melanie Griffith  (Something Wild)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Michael Caine  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Dianne Wiest  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Hannah and Her Sisters

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Best Director:  Woody Allen  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
  • Best Actor:  Bob Hoskins  (Mona Lisa)
  • Best Actress:  Marlee Matlin  (Children of a Lesser God)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Michael Caine  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Dianne Wiest  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  A Room with a View
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Best Editing:  Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Best Cinematography:  Platoon
  • Best Original Score:  Top Gun
  • Best Sound:  Platoon
  • Best Art Direction:  A Room with a View
  • Best Visual Effects:  Aliens
  • Best Sound Editing:  Aliens
  • Best Costume Design:  A Room with a View
  • Best Makeup:  Aliens
  • Best Original Song:  “Wild Wild Life” from True Stories
  • Best Foreign Film:  Manon of the Spring

Jennifer Connelly in Labyrinth - the dream girl for any 12 year old kid in 1986

Nighthawk Notables:

  • Best Film to Watch Over and Over:  Stand By Me
  • Best Line:  “I do have a test today.  That wasn’t bullshit.  It’s on European Socialism.  I’m not European, I don’t plan on being European, so who gives a shit if they’re Socialists?  They could be Fascist Anarchists for all I care.  It still wouldn’t change the fact that I don’t own a car.  (pause)  Not that I condone Fascism, or any ism for that matter.  Like John Lennon once said, ‘I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.’  Easy for him to say.  He was the walrus.  I could be the walrus.  I’d still have to bum rides off people.”  Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Best Opening:  Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Best Ending:  Stand By Me
  • Best Scene:  Ferris’ run home in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Best Use of a Song:  “Tracks of My Tears” in Platoon
  • Best Use of a Song (musical): “Dentist” in Little Shop of Horrors
  • Best Ensemble:  Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Funniest Film:  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Most Over-rated Film:  Down By Law
  • Worst Film:  Murphy’s Law
  • Performance to Fall in Love With:  Kerri Green in Lucas
  • #1 Reason to Remember Being 12 in 1986:  Jennifer Connelly in Labyrinth
  • Sexiest Performance:  Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in The Color of Money
  • Funniest Performance:  Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors
  • Best Cameo:  Bill Murray in Little Shop of Horrors
  • Best Guilty Pleasure:  One Crazy Summer
  • Best Soundtrack:  Stand By Me

Film History:  Siskel and Ebert moves into syndication.  Cary Grant dies on 21 November.  James Cagney on 30 March.  Andrei Tarkovsky dies of cancer at age 54 on 29 December.  In a five week stretch in May and June, Robert Pattinson, Megan Fox, Shia LaBeouf and the Olson twins are all born, thus dooming us all to endure crappy, crappy movies.  The video release of Sleeping Beauty sells over a million copies.  Ted Turner purchases the MGM/UA library.  John Huston holds a press conference to protest the colorizing of The Maltese Falcon.  David Puttnam becomes the first British film figure to take over a major Hollywood studio when he becomes head of Columbia, which will last just over a year.  Oliver Stone directs Salvador, his first film in 12 years.  The Mission wins the Golden Palm at Cannes.  Smooth Talk wins the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.  Crocodile Dundee becomes the biggest grossing non U.S. film in U.S. box office history.  In the second year for the Independent Spirit Awards, Platoon wins Picture, Director and Screenplay, forever disproving the “rule” that would later develop that says the ISA winner doesn’t win the Oscar.  Howard the Duck and Under the Cherry Moon share the Golden Raspberry.

Academy Awards:  For the first time since 1980, no film reaches double digits in nominations.  Randa Haines becomes the first female director to have a film nominated for Best Picture (Children of a Lesser God), though she is not nominated.  David Lynch becomes the first director in 16 years to earn the only nomination for a film (Blue Velvet).  Paul Newman finally wins an Oscar in his seventh nomination and becomes the first person to win Best Actor from a film not nominated for Best Picture in 12 years.  Platoon wins Picture and Director but not Screenplay – the first film to do so since the first Vietnam Best Picture, The Deer Hunter.  For the fifth straight year no film from Italy is nominated for Best Foreign Film – the longest streak for the country since the award began.  Czechoslovakia is nominated for Best Foreign Film (My Sweet Little Village) for the first time since the four straight nominations from 65-68.  The Netherlands wins its first of three Oscars – with 3 wins in 7 nominations it currently has the best winning percentage of any country with 5 or more nominations (42%).

For years I not only had Platoon as the number one film, but also as the number one film of the decade.  But now I think Hannah beats it out, though I can’t fault the Academy for giving it to a film that clearly earned it.  The Academy does a phenomenal job here.  Of the 19 categories, I agree with them on 10 of them and their winner comes in second place on my list in five more (Picture, Director, Editing, Cinematography, Makeup).  The remaining come in 3rd (Actor, Song), 5th (Score) and 6th (Foreign Film).  None of their acting nominees finish outside my top 10.  I do wish they had found room for more nominations for single nominees Stand By Me (it got Adapted Screenplay but also deserved Picture and Editing), Blue Velvet (it got Director but also deserved Picture, Supporting Actor, Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Score, Sound and Art Direction) and Mona Lisa (it got Actor but also deserved Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Director and Screenplay).  The latter two Supporting Actor mentions are part of the problem with the Academy system – Dennis Hopper and Michael Caine were already nominated and couldn’t be in twice.  But they completely missed out on both of Daniel Day-Lewis’ performances (A Room with a View and My Beautiful Laundrette), both of which are in my top 5.  The only place they really blew it was in Original Song, where they missed out on “Wild Wild Life” and “City of Dreams” (True Stories), “What Does it Take” (One Crazy Summer) and “It’s in the Way That You Use It” (The Color of Money).

  • Worst Oscar:  Best Foreign Film for The Assault *
  • Worst Oscar Nomination:  Best Foreign Film for Betty Blue
  • Worst Oscar Omission:  Best Foreign Film for  Manon of the Spring  **
  • Worst Oscar-Nominated Film:  Pirates
  • Best Eligible Film with No Oscar Nominations:  Something Wild
  • Best Foreign Film Submitted but Not Nominated:  The Sacrifice  (Sweden)
  • Worst Oscar Category:  Best Original Song
  • Best Oscar Category:  Best Sound
  • Oscar / Nighthawk Award Agreements:  Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Costume Design
  • *  –  The Assault is only the worst Oscar because it is the only Oscar winner that doesn’t make my nominee list.  It finished sixth.  This is an uncommonly good year for Oscar winners.
  • **  –  This really is a criticism of the board in France who chose their film.  To chose Betty Blue over Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring is embarrassing.

Golden Globes:  Hannah and Her Sisters becomes the first film in 7 years to win Best Picture but nothing else.  Platoon wins Picture, Director and Supporting Actor, while both Platoon and Hannah lose Best Screenplay to The Mission (which is also up for Picture and Director).  Platoon (3 wins) and The Mission (also winning Score) would be the only films to win multiple awards.  The Mission and Hannah lead the way with 5 nominations – the first time since 1971 that no film had at least 6 nominations.  The final two Picture / Director nominees would be A Room with a View and Stand By MeMona Lisa would get 4 nominations and win Best Actor while Children of a Lesser God would get 3 noms and win Best Actress (they both would get nominated for Picture (Drama) with 6 nominees in the category).  For the first time since 1978, every Best Picture nominee would get at least 2 nominations (even with the 6 nominations in both Picture categories).

Awards:  Platoon would win just one critics award – Best Director from the Boston Society of Film Critics – the first time an Oscar winner would only win one award since 1973.  Instead the biggest winner would be Hannah and Her Sisters – taking home 2 Best Picture awards (New York and LA), 2 Best Director (NYFC and the National Board of Review), 2 Best Screenplay (LA and the BSFC) and Supporting Actress from all five major groups.  Many of the rest of the awards would go to Blue Velvet – taking home Director and Supporting Actor from LA and big kudos from the BSFC and National Society of Film Critics (Picture, Director, Supporting Actor and Cinematography from both groups).  The final Best Picture award, from the NBR, would go to A Room with a View while Mona Lisa would take home 4 Best Actor awards (all but the NBR).

Woody Allen becomes the first person to earn four consecutive WGA nominations twice (77-80, 83-86) and moves into second place all time in points behind Billy Wilder.  Rob Reiner earns the first of his DGA nominations for Stand By Me (he still has not earned an Oscar nomination).  Platoon wins the DGA and the ACE (American Cinema Editors) and earns a WGA nomination.  It is not nominated for the new ASC Award (American Society of Cinematographers).  The initial winner is Peggy Sue Got Married over The Mission, The Karate Kid Part II, A Room with a View and The MissionThe Mission also earns an ACE nomination, but not a DGA or WGA nomination.  Instead, the DGA nominees are A Room with a View, Hannah and Her Sisters, Children of a Lesser God (making Randa Haines the first female American to earn a DGA nom) and Stand By Me.  All of the DGA nominees earn WGA nominations with Hannah and Room winning.  Of the other five WGA nominees only Salvador earns an Oscar nomination, with Blue Velvet, Mona Lisa, Little Shop of Horrors and Down and Out in Beverly Hills getting passed over.  The four Motion Picture Sound Editors awards go to Top Gun (2), Aliens and The Great Mouse Detective.

Hannah and Her Sisters becomes the first film in 12 years to win Director and Screenplay at the BAFTAs but fail to win Picture.  It marks Woody Allen’s fourth straight Original Screenplay nomination and his third straight win (and fifth win overall).  Instead it is A Room with a View that takes home Picture, as well as Actress, Supporting Actress, Art Direction and Costume Design.  Its 14 nominations (including Director, Adapted Screenplay and two for Supporting Actor) are second all-time behind Gandhi and its 570 points place it third all-time behind Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and GandhiOut of Africa, the year after its Oscar win does well, winning Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography and Sound among its 8 nominations but fails to get nominated for Picture or Director.  Instead, in the other two Picture and Director slots are The Mission (11 noms, 3 wins – Supporting Actor, Editing, Score) and Mona Lisa (6 noms, 1 win – Actor).  Ran wins Foreign Film and Makeup among its 6 nominations.  There are no big losers as every film with more than two nominations takes home at least one award.

David Byrne's bizarre, funny film True Stories (1986)

Under-appreciated Film of 1986:

True Stories  (dir. David Byrne)

I was all set to write a piece on Mona Lisa, on how, in spite of the numerous nominations from the BAFTAs, that it wasn’t fully appreciated – that all but 1 of its wins across the board were for Bob Hoskins, that the Academy, in only giving it one nomination, missed the boat on its script, direction and the marvelous performance from Cathy Tyson (also from Michael Caine, but he couldn’t be nominated twice).  But then two things happened.  First, this review went up on the Criterion Contraption, where he went far more in depth on the movie than I had planned.  Then, one morning going to work, “Wild Wild Life” was playing on the radio and I asked Veronica if she had ever seen True Stories.  She hadn’t and Tufts had it so we watched it that night and suddenly I had a new essay forming.

You could simply look at True Stories as a disjointed collection of Talking Heads videos.  Even if that was true, and that’s all it was, it would still be worth watching.  I rank it seventh all-time for original songs, ahead of any Disney animated film (the only films it finishes behind on my list are Mary Poppins, Help, A Mighty Wind, A Hard Day’s Night, Until the End of the World and The Wizard of Oz).  It not only has the warm and funny “People Like Us”, the inventive “Love for Sale”, the charming “Dream Operator” and the wonderful film-ending “City of Dreams,” but also an awesome crowd involving version of one of their best songs: “Wild Wild Life”.  How it incorporates all of these songs into the film is one of the wonderful things about this smart, odd, charming, funny film written and directed by the master talent behind the Talking Heads, David Byrne.

But being on a list with A Mighty Wind is appropriate, because it sets the stage for the Christopher Guest mockumentaries that would follow years later.  This film is a comedy about a town in Texas that is celebrating their sesquicentennial with a “Celebration of Specialness”.  This town, Virgil, has a wide collection of oddball characters and we get good glimpses of all of them as Byrne makes his way through the town.  Byrne, who was raised in Canada, is the perfect person to come in and observe the oddities of American behavior, especially in a state like Texas.  But Byrne, like Guest would later, though he is poking some fun at the subjects of the film, is also very sincere in his film.  He is simply poking a little fun.  But he obviously cares about these characters too much to actually ridicule them.  It is a gentle humor and there is a great deal of warmth in it.

Then there is also John Goodman.  Back then, in the days before “Roseanne” and before he started playing a complete nut in the Coen Brothers films, he was pretty much unknown.  But he is very charming and funny here (in a personal ad he describes his “panda bear” physique).  What he comes up with at the end of the film during the Celebration is a triumph for the film, the character and the music itself.

True Stories is a very strange film, but it is funny and would not have been out of place in the Best Original Screenplay category.  And, true to form, the Academy couldn’t even be bothered to notice its plethora of wonderful original songs (the Globes are usually better than them at this, but they also missed out).  Because, hey, why nominate “Wild Wild Life” when you could nominate “Life in a Looking Glass” from That’s Life.

About these ads