Friday, September 1, 2017

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Part Two: 1986 Retro Hollmann Awards

Previously, on the 1986 Retro Hollmann Awards...

A Room with a View led the nominations, with twelve....

Aliens and Peggy Sue Got Married lead in wins so far, with two apiece...

Overall, the Top Ten films have been dominating the proceedings, though Top Gun and Legend snuck in with wins of their own...

And now, Part Two - beginning with....

Best Supporting Actress

Maggie Smith as Charlotte Bartlett 
A Room with a View

2. Isabella Rossellini in Blue Velvet; 3. Dianne Wiest in Hannah and Her Sisters; 4. Judi Dench in A Room with a View; 5. Mia Farrow in Hannah and Her Sisters

The key scene for Charlotte Bartlett comes late in the movie, when Lucy realizes her cousin has blabbed about her and George's kiss in Italy. "I shall never forgive myself," Charlotte insists, going back to a regular phrase that usually sets people right. Instead, Lucy snaps, "You always say that, but you always do forgive yourself." You see a shift in Charlotte's eyes, and not only is she suddenly vulnerable, able to express both warmth and realize that Maggie Smith has actually kept much of her face...not immobile, but calculated. Slight eyebrow-raise here, a firmness of the jaw there, but otherwise Smith maintains Charlotte's mask of wide-eyed innocence, something that helps when doling out insincere remorse calculated to make the injured party comfort her. That she went two hours with limited movement conveying all - and still getting the best laughs in the film - says it all. She is one in a million.

Isabella Rossellini wins second for her portrayal of the sadistically abused yet confusingly masochistic chanteuse Dorothy Vallons. Dianne Wiest comes in third for her portrayal of the sister searching for herself wherever she can, whether it's in an audition or up her nose. Judi Dench places fourth for her pretentious romance novelist that loves her voice and mind. Mia Farrow is in fifth as the strong-willed, helpful sister who keeps her own frustrations buried deep.

Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Song, Best Actor...and Best Picture of the Year...after the jump

Best Original Screenplay

Hannah and Her Sisters
Woody Allen

2. A Great Wall; 3. Blue Velvet; 4. Peggy Sue Got Married; 5. My Beautiful Laundrette

Just a few reasons why Hannah and Her Sisters sings so beautifully:

  • "If Jesus came back and saw what was going on his name, he'd never stop throwing up."
  • "I think it's a matter for your analyst. And mine."
  • "With you as her mother, her father could be anyone in Actor's Equity!"
  • "You're grateful, but you resent me."
  • "What if there is no God and you only go around once and that's it - well, you know, don't you want to be part of the experience?"
  • "Mickey...I'm pregnant."

In second, the family dynamics of A Great Wall. In third, the dime-novel sins of Blue Velvet. In fourth, the time-traveling whimsy of Peggy Sue Got Married. In fifth, the immigrant experience, first-gen expectations, and gay hotness of My Beautiful Laundrette.

Best Director
David Lynch for Blue Velvet

2. James Ivory for A Room with a View; 3. Woody Allen for Hannah and Her Sisters; 4. Randa Haines for Children of a Lesser God; 5. Claude Lanzmann for Shoah

There are not very many movies like Blue Velvet, which plays like a bizarre cross of Douglas Sirk and Samuel Fuller with a shot of early grindhouse viciousness. Yet despite these influences, it's distinctly its own thing - and that's all David Lynch. A man who can terrify and amuse you in the same scene, the same shot, is a man who not only knows how to push buttons, but which ones need to pushed, and when. Even his "happy" ending

In second place, Ivory's light yet firm touch. In third, Allen's balance of jokes and emotions. In fourth, Haines' humanity and visualization of a world of silence. In fifth, Lanzmann's sensitive but firm handling of victims, witnesses, and perpetrators.

Best Ensemble

A Great Wall

2. Hannah and Her Sisters; 3. A Room with a View; 4. April Fool's Day; 5. My Beautiful Laundrette

In first place: A Great Wall, whose sprawling ensemble crosses an ocean to depict the culture clash between extended family members...and neighbors! The US-based Fangs are an Asian-American family. They come to China to visit Fang's sister's family, the Chaos. The Chaos are more well-off than their neighbors the Lius, but the children seem to have some unspoken affection for each other. The movie is all about these relationships, and how the different cultures and classes dictate how they interact. And the cast is flawless.

In second, the very close family at the center of Hannah and Her Sisters. In third, the poor relations, well-off suitors, spinster sisters, opposite-minded clergy, and various others, inhabiting A Room with a View. In fourth, a group of college friends celebrating a frightening April Fool's Day. In fifth, immigrants, first-gen Britons, and white lovers take over My Beautiful Laundrette.

Best Original Song
1. "Kiss" from Under the Cherry Moon
music and lyrics by Prince

2. "Mysteries of Love" from Blue Velvet
music by Angelo Badalamenti
lyrics by David Lynch

3. "Take My Breath Away" from Top Gun
music by Giorgio Moroder
lyrics by Tom Whitlock

4. "If You Leave" from Pretty in Pink
music and lyrics by Martin Cooper, Paul Humphreys, Andy McCluskey

5. "There Are No Cats in America" from An American Tail
music by James Horner & Barry Mann
lyrics by Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil

Best Editing
A Room with a View
Humphrey Dixon
2. Shoah; 3. Hannah and Her Sisters; 4. Aliens; 5. Blue Velvet

The editing in A Room with a View hits all the right notes at all the right times - it's funny, it's romantic, it's shattering! I think of the careful timing of that kiss in the poppy field, with the subtly big buildup, Charlotte wandering about, and George finally taking Lucy in his arms. Of that perfect cut from "Lying to Cecil" straight to "Because I wouldn't play tennis with Freddy? I never do play tennis!" Of the Rev. Mr. Beebe sneaking away behind the bushes before the ladies see he, too, has gone bathing in the pond. Of Charlotte excitedly exclaiming, "I think Lucy has something to tell us," before we see her smiling face glistening with happy tears.

Shoah's nine-plus hours of testimony in second. Hannah and Her Sisters' ensemble juggling in third. Aliens' action in fourth. Blue Velvet's disorienting madness in fifth.

Best Production Design

Blue Velvet
Patricia Norris, production designer
Edward "Tantar" LeViseur, set decorator

2. Little Shop of Horrors; 3. Legend; 4. Aliens; 5. A Room with a View

The first shot of the film: Red Roses in bloom, their stalks a deep green, against a bright white picket fence and bluest of skies - bright, bold, simple Americana. Dorothy's apartment - too bright to be red, not quite pink...magenta? But it's almost covered in it, and to see the blue velvet against that is surprisingly eerie. The starkness of This Is It - how long has it been there, why is it so empty of both people and furniture? It's all off-kilter, uneasy...frightening. It, too, is pink-hued - it's like both these apartments are the mouths of beasts.

In second, the soundstage wonders of Skid Row and Mushnik's in Little Shop of Horrors. In third, the vast magical forest and imposing temple of Darkness in Legend. In fourth, the space stations and planetary colonies in Aliens. In fifth, the plush yet rustic luxuries of an Italian hotel and the bookshelves upon bookshelves of an English home in A Room with a View.

Best Actor

William Hurt in Children of a Lesser God
2. Paul Newman in The Color of Money; 3. Harrison Ford in The Mosquito Coast; 4. Jeremy Irons in The Mission; 5. Jeff Goldblum in The Fly

I don't think William Hurt's ever been more handsome, or more human, than in this movie. His deadpan frustration with the headmaster. His eagerness to get people to not just like him, but adore him. His confidence that, as a "cool", educated, hearing man, he's not only correct but unbiased. The way he's speechless when he tries to tell Sarah how he feels...and his scrambling for forgiveness when, in the heat of passion, he begs her to say his name. A need for control mixed with a childish fumbling, Hurt has created the definitive portrayal of this role.

In second, Paul Newman's hustler returns - and he's still fine. In third, Harrison Ford's somewhat sociopathic genius. In fourth, Jeremy Irons' holy activist. In fifth, Jeff Goldblum's scientist-turned-monster.

Best Picture
A Room with a View
Ismail Merchant, producer
2. Blue Velvet; 3. Hannah and Her Sisters; 4. Children of a Lesser God; 5. A Great Wall

6. Aliens; 7. Peggy Sue Got Married; 8. Demons; 9. Shoah; 10. 8 Million Ways to Die

Like I said before, this is my favorite comedy, full of passion and wit. It is not only the best of the Oscar nominees, it is the best of my nominees, and therefore....the Best Picture of 1986. A true classic.

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