Friday, July 29, 2011

Best Picture of 1982

I've come across some eclectic shortlists over the course of this project, but none more so than 1982's bunch of nominees. Usually, the larger the difference between each film, the more difficult it becomes to compare them, and while that sentiment remains true here, it was, nonetheless, relatively easy to choose my favourite.

The nominees for Best Picture of 1982 are:
  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  • Gandhi
  • Missing
  • Tootsie
  • The Verdict
A science-fiction family film, a historical biopic, a political suspense drama, a legal character study and a comedy classic. A diverse group, no question. Selecting a favourite should have been complicated, yet I deliberated only briefly.

Missing was eliminated early on. Though an involving story, its overly sincere attitude gives it a conspiratorial feel. Harder to dismiss is Tootsie. Funny and poignant, it succeeds on many levels, only slightly hindered by some convenient plot points, particularly the pat conclusion.

Thus, we are left with three extremely worthy films. The least well-known of the trio, The Verdict is thoroughly engaging, containing little with which to find fault. Reluctantly, I remove it from the running for barely justifiable reasons. The Academy's choice, Gandhi, is epic yet intimate, a fascinating character study with a deservedly lauded lead performance. But my pick is the evocative and stunningly beautiful E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. A classic loved by young and old alike, E.T. is exceptional in both its story and its technique. Cinema at its finest.

Best Picture of 1982
Academy's choice:


Matt's choice:

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Your choice:

You may choose your favourite, too, by voting in the poll above. Next up, we examine a year of many classics from the 1960s.

And the nominees for Best Picture of 1967 are:
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • Doctor Dolittle
  • The Graduate
  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
  • In the Heat of the Night

As I approach final rehearsals for The 39 Steps, there will undoubtedly be another short hiatus before the next round of reviewing begins. Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. Pick for 1982
    First off, 1982’s sins of omission: The most underappreciated film at the time in light of today’s critical view is probably Blade Runner. Other films of note include Das Boot, The Road Warrior, and smaller films like Diner and The World According to Garp.

    Ranking the nominees
    5. Missing – Well-made but not my kind of film.
    4. Gandhi – Competent and handsomely produced, but a bit too conventional for my tastes
    3. The Verdict – Perhaps more plot than it needed, it was nonetheless compelling and very well performed and directed.
    2. Tootsie – At my age, the most watchable of the nominees and a flat out great screenplay.
    1. ET: The Extraterrestrial: A classic that can stand beside The Wizard of Oz that demonstrates the talent of Steven Spielberg perhaps better than any of his many esteemed films.

    My major Awards for 1982 would go to:
    Picture: ET: The Extraterrestrial
    Director: Steven Spielberg, ET
    Actor: Dustin Hoffman, Tootsie
    Actress: Meryl Streep, Sophie’s Choice
    Supporting Actor: Robert Preston, Victor Victoria
    Best Supporting Actress: Glenn Close, The World According to Garp.

    1967 was a watershed year with a couple of films that pushed the envelope competing with more traditional films tackling the social issues of the day, and another musical candidate in a decade of musicals.