The Academy's eclectic tastes are hardly more evident than in 1986's shortlist: drama and comedy, contemporary and period. Stylistically, these five films have very little in common with each other, yet they each excel in their own right. Nonetheless, choosing a favourite was not as difficult as one would expect.
The nominees for Best Picture of 1986 are:
- Children of a Lesser God
- Hannah and Her Sisters
- The Mission
- A Room with a View
The nominee with the most visible flaw is Children of a Lesser God. Despite its touching story, the general conceit of a hearing man repeating everything his deaf lover utters is hard to overcome, so Marlee Matlin's debut film is first to be struck off the list.
The next two to go are Hannah and Her Sisters, a fine contemporary comedy exploring the human condition (otherwise known as a Woody Allen film), and its polar opposite, The Mission, a fine adventure drama exploring politics, religion and racial relations.
Finally, we have two more immensely contrasting pictures, the graphically anti-war Platoon and the exquisitely period A Room with a View. Both are expertly produced and fulfil their genres' expectations satisfyingly. But, for me, it is Oliver Stone's Vietnam story that has the slight edge, so, just as the Academy did, I officially award Platoon top honours in the 1986 Best Picture contest.
Best Picture of 1986
Don't agree with me and the Academy? Make it known by voting in the poll above. We now move back to the 1950s, and as per your wishes, we will focus on the following five contenders.
And the nominees for Best Picture of 1951 are:
- An American in Paris
- Decision Before Dawn
- A Place in the Sun
- Quo Vadis
- A Streetcar Named Desire