1983_iconic_picture_director_writing_bridges_actress_maclaine_supporting_nicholsonThis is a companion piece to three different series.  The first is The History of the Academy Awards, in which I covered each category in individual posts.  This was originally done in 2009 and additions were included in 2010.  You can find links to all of these pieces in each individual category.  I have grouped all of the categories together for the same reason that I did so originally – because most pieces on the Oscars don’t approach the awards through the categories, but through the years.  This specific piece is designed to take a closer look at the decade and how I think the Academy did in those years.

The second series is my Year in Film series.  That is mentioned here because in those pieces I included paragraphs about the Oscars as a whole for each year and included a considerable amount of trivia.  Since I had based my Year in Film series and eligibility as such on the Academy calendar, it all seemed very relevant.  Also, I include various prizes (Worst Oscar, Worst Nomination, Worst Omission, etc) and I didn’t want to repeat myself, so following the links will bring you there.  Those links are at the end of this piece, where I do a brief summation of each year and how the Academy did.  One note on the Year in Film posts – I did those before started putting up official information about release dates.  Several films have been moved from the years where they appeared in those posts – see the Nighthawk Awards posts for more accurate placement – I have included links in the years.

The third series is my History of the Academy Awards: Best Picture series, where I reviewed every film ever nominated for Best Picture (except The Patriot, which is lost).  Those links are also down below, grouped by year. (more…)


ran-1985-1You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 10 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Ran  *
  2. Blood Simple
  3. Kiss of the Spider Woman
  4. The Purple Rose of Cairo  *
  5. Brazil
  6. Witness  *
  7. Back to the Future
  8. The Color Purple  *
  9. After Hours
  10. A Private Function

Analysis:  It’s the fourth time that Kurosawa wins Best Picture at the Nighthawks, although Bergman has won it three times since Kurosawa won it last.
This is the strongest Top 5 in this category in five years, namely because Brazil is the best #5 film in five years.  Witness is the best #6 film in six years.  That strong top 5 means a low Oscar score (54.1 – the lowest since 1977 and second lowest since 1969).  The Oscar itself goes to Out of Africa, the worst choice since the 50’s; it’s the first film since 1974 to win without a single critics award.  But the Consensus Award goes to Prizzi’s Honor, which is my #12. (more…)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) - the best film of 1988 and the best animated film of the 80's

1980  –  1989

Total Films I’ve Seen:  942

Films That Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  43

Best Film Not to Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  Platoon

Film of the Decade:  Raiders of the Lost Ark

Worst Film of the Decade:  Human Highway

Worst Best Picture Nominee of the Decade:  Fatal Attraction

Worst Film of the Decade Made by a Top 100 Director:  Phobia


The hairwashing scene in Out of Africa (1985)

The 58th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 1985.  The nominations were announced on February 5, 1986 and the awards were held on March 24, 1986.

Best Picture:  Out of Africa

  • Kiss of the Spider Woman
  • Witness
  • The Color Purple
  • Prizzi’s Honor

Most Surprising Omission:  Ran

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Ran

Best Eligible English Language Film Not Nominated:  Blood Simple

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #43 (more…)

the land is unwisely divided among the sons in Akira Kurosawa's Ran (1985)

My Top 20:

  1. Ran
  2. Blood Simple
  3. The Purple Rose of Cairo
  4. Kiss of the Spider Woman
  5. Brazil
  6. Back to the Future
  7. Witness
  8. The Color Purple
  9. Prizzi’s Honor
  10. After Hours
  11. A Private Function
  12. Queen Kelly
  13. The Official Story
  14. The Breakfast Club
  15. Silverado
  16. Plenty
  17. The Sure Thing
  18. Cocoon
  19. Dance with a Stranger
  20. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (more…)