“And now all that is over, and that’s the hardest part.  Today everything is very different.  No more action.  I have to wait around like everyone else.  I’m an average nobody.  I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.”  (p 284)

My Top 10

  1. GoodFellas
  2. The Grifters
  3. Dances with Wolves
  4. Presumed Innocent
  5. The Hunt for Red October
  6. Reversal of Fortune
  7. White Hunter Black Heart
  8. Misery
  9. Mr. & Mrs. Bridge
  10. Awakenings

note:  Once you get past the top two, it’s not nearly as strong as 1989 but it would hard to be that good.  There is, however, a large number of films on my list outside of the Top 10 (barely making the list but making it nonetheless) which are all listed down at the bottom.



This 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 Oscars.org 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…)

The second Marty film to win the Nighthawk. It won't be the last.

The second Marty film to win the Nighthawk. It won’t be the last.

You 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. GoodFellas  **
  2. Dances with Wolves  *
  3. Miller’s Crossing
  4. The Grifters
  5. Presumed Innocent
  6. The Hunt for Red October
  7. Cinema Paradiso
  8. Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams
  9. May Fools
  10. Reversal of Fortune

Analysis:  GoodFellas sets new Consensus records for points, wins (6) and nominations (8).  It has the highest percentage of points since 1946.  All of these will be thumped in 1993.  But it begins the trend of a film dominating the critics awards (and sometimes the BAFTA) but losing the Globe, PGA, DGA and Oscar.  That trend will repeat in 1994 and 1997 and, with some variations, in 2010, 2012 and 2014.  It remains in the Top 10 all-time for Consensus points in spite of the BFCA not existing yet at this point. (more…)

Beauty and the Beast during their best song in the film ("Something There"). The best Animated Film of the 90's.

1990  –  1999

Total Films I’ve Seen:  1217

Films That Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  53

Best Film Not to Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  The Shawshank Redemption

Film of the Decade:  GoodFellas

Worst Film of the Decade:  Showgirls

Worst Best Picture Nominee of the Decade:  Braveheart

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


A perfect example of the populist Best Picture winner: Dances with Wolves, which beat out GoodFellas in 1990

The 63rd Academy Awards for the film year 1990.  The nominations were announced on February 19, 1991 and the awards were held on March 25, 1991.

Best Picture:  Dances with Wolves

  • GoodFellas
  • The Godfather Part III
  • Awakenings
  • Ghost

Most Surprising Omission:  Reversal of Fortune

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Miller’s Crossing

Rank  (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #22 (more…)

A nice family dinner in GoodFellas (1990) - never mind the guy dying in the trunk

My Top 20:

  1. GoodFellas
  2. Dances with Wolves
  3. Miller’s Crossing
  4. The Grifters
  5. Presumed Innocent
  6. Cinema Paradiso
  7. The Hunt for Red October
  8. Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams
  9. May Fools
  10. The Killer
  11. Longtime Companion
  12. Reversal of Fortune
  13. Avalon
  14. Jesus of Montreal
  15. Edward Scissorhands
  16. White Hunter, Black Heart
  17. Total Recall
  18. The Nasty Girl
  19. Misery
  20. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (more…)