Thursday, March 12, 2015

Best Picture of 1987

I believe I've yet again broken the record for the longest period between the first review and the verdict. At around nine months, reviewing 1987's Best Picture nominees has certainly taken a long time, all the more shameful considering it's not even a 10-nominee year. But let's wrap it up now with my thoughts on which film should have taken home the trophy.

The nominees for Best Picture of 1987 are:
  • Broadcast News
  • Fatal Attraction
  • Hope and Glory
  • The Last Emperor
  • Moonstruck
Quite an eclectic bunch. Period war films and epic biopics are stalwart genres for the Academy, but this year also saw the poorly represented comedies and psychological thrillers have their shot at the limelight.

It will be no surprise to anyone who read my previous review that Hope and Glory is being eliminated from the running first. Contrived in script and performance, it did not appeal to me at all. Beyond that, it's a much tougher decision. Moonstruck is incredibly charming and funny with some beautifully touching moments, but the crazy performance by Nicolas Cage precludes me from naming it my favourite. In a similar fashion, The Last Emperor is sumptuous in design, easily the most visually stunning of the five, but a slightly aloof script means I'll set it aside as well.

That leaves two films that I enjoyed immensely. Broadcast News is captivating and moving with a cheeky sense of humour. However, for a completely different reason, Fatal Attraction affected me more. Its thrills may be old tricks, but they're still extremely effective and what more can we ask of cinema than to be affected emotionally, whether it be sadness, joy, or in this case, nervous apprehension bordering on terror. Simply entertainment. Thus, I now officially proclaim Fatal Attraction as my favourite Best Picture nominee from 1987.
Best Picture of 1987
Academy's choice:

The Last Emperor

Matt's choice:

Fatal Attraction

Your choice:

Let me know what you think of 1987's nominees in the comments and/or by voting in the poll above. Meanwhile, as I attempt to continue my viewing streak, I've decided on the next year of review based on the fact that Jerry Maguire is playing at the New Beverly Cinema tonight. So, we now move to 1996's Best Picture contenders, a nice bunch of mostly independent flicks.

And the nominees for Best Picture of 1996 are:
  • The English Patient
  • Fargo
  • Jerry Maguire
  • Secrets and Lies
  • Shine
Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. Unlike our amazing agreement on this year's Academy Award predictions, I'm afraid our view of 1987s Best Picture nominees do not coincide nearly as well. I should point out that I didn't get a chance to rewatch any of the pictures and must rely on past ratings and viewings.

    Sorry to say that Fatal Attraction finished in last place for me. It didn't make my top 10 either, although as a cultural touchstone it was significant, even making its way into the screenplay of Sleepless in Seattle. I would have replaced it with Radio Days, Raising Arizona or Wings of Desire.

    4th Place: The Last Emperor. I agreed with your assessment of the movie.

    3rd Place: Hope and Glory. I bought into Boorman's nostalgic memoir of WWII as seen through his eyes as a youth. It finished in 6th place in my top 10 a few spots ahead of the other WWII film with a young protagonist, Empire of the Sun.

    2nd. Place: Moonstruck. I did write about this one earlier

    1st. Place: Broadcast News. An easy choice for me. I've become narrower in my appreciation of comedies as I have aged. This one makes me laugh constantly and has some of the best lines of any contemporary comedy.

    William Hurt: "What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?"
    Albert Brooks: "Keep it to yourself."