One more collection of nominees out of the way and, as I've come to expect from this project, not a dud among them. However, this decision proved to be a little easier than recent verdicts, for which my tired brain is grateful.
The nominees for Best Picture of 1984 are:
- The Killing Fields
- A Passage to India
- Places in the Heart
- A Soldier's Story
Contrary to the diversity of some of the previous years I've examined, these five films can almost be similarly categorised ... well, perhaps with a little manipulation. Each deals at some level with the dastardly deeds to which human beings can subject one another. Racism features prominently in four of the pictures, the fifth being a more personal account of hatred. Consequently, 1984 was a powerful year for the Best Picture award.
To be completely ruthless, A Soldier's Story left the smallest impact on me, which is more a credit to the other four films than a criticism of the Norman Jewison picture, for it is undoubtedly a poignant film. Nonetheless, it will be the first casualty of my selection. Next to go is A Passage to India which, although gripping in its latter half, suffered slightly from a slow start.
The final three all seem capable of claiming my top honour. But one of the trio was clearly the primary tickler of my fancy. So, I'll say goodbye to The Killing Fields and Places in the Heart, through no faults of their own. Both are extremely moving films. Coincidentally, the only non-racism themed picture is the sole survivor. Although, perhaps it is Amadeus' intimacy that touched me most. Whatever the reason, I now officially declare Amadeus to be my favourite 1984 Best Picture nominee, thereby agreeing once more with the Academy's decision.
Best Picture of 1984
Vote for your own favourite using the poll above. Some very fascinating results from previous verdicts. At last count, the 2001 race is almost a five-way tie. And Gone With the Wind has perhaps unsurprisingly swept all but one vote from the 1939 election. The next round of nominees belongs to 1944, containing a host of classic Hollywood fare...
And the nominees for Best Picture of 1944 are:
- Double Indemnity
- Going My Way
- Since You Went Away
See you again soon...