The five films nominated for the 1992 Academy Award for Best Picture are:
The Crying Game
produced by Stephen Woolley
first and only nomination; BAFTA Awards winner for Best British Film, LAFCA Awards winner for Best Foreign Film, PGA Awards winner for Best Motion Picture; BAFTA Awards nominee for Best Film, Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture - Drama, National Board of Review - Top Ten Films of 1992
Weird little movie, shouldn't work. It does. Wonderfully. It's frank and surprising without ever feeling exploitative or forced. Sexy and romantic without being lurid. Manages to make that transition from IRA to GAY without seeming like two disparate ideas Frankenstein'd into one screenplay. Truly, a pleasure to watch!
A Few Good Men
produced by David Brown / Rob Reiner / Andrew Scheinman
Brown's third offour nominations, Reiner's first and only nomination, Scheinman's first and only nomination; Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture - Drama, National Board of Review - Top Ten Films of 1992, PGA Awards nominee for Best Motion Picture
Hokum, the lot of it. For every moment that rings true - Nicholson's dismissive sit-down in Cuba, for example - there are hundreds that remind you that this is, after all, mass market pablum. A lot of the ensemble does well, sure: Pollak, Nicholson, Bacon. But Sorkin's too-clever-by-half words ring false coming from Tom Cruise; Moore is pretty good except when she's not; oy, and those defendants, oy! It's just bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.
produced by Ismail Merchant
second of threeBest Picture nominations; BAFTA Award winner for Best Film, National Board of Review - Best Film of 1992; Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture - Drama, NYFCC Awards second runner-up for Best Film, PGA Awards nominee for Best Motion Picture
There's not a single thing about this movie I don't like. The performances are all stellar, the look superb, the music (both the original score and the arrangements of pieces by Percy Grainger) hits all the right emotional moments, the story! Its concerns regarding class are always relevant, but so too are its observations on the limitations of philosophical do-gooderism. No matter which of their films you may prefer, this one truly feels like the apex of what Merchant-Ivory can do.
Scent of a Woman
produced by Martin Brest
first and only Best Picture nomination; Golden Globe winner for Best Picture - Drama; PGA Awards nominee for Best Motion Picture
I've been saying this a lot but: this a very good, very long movie, and only one of those things is completely necessary. An hour too long is an hour too long. And I just don't see how the storyline about boarding school pranks goes with the story of a depressed blind man's last hurrah. As negative as that sounds, I don't regret watching it, nor would I count out watching it again. The Pacino performance alone is worth it.
produced by Clint Eastwood
first of five Best Picture nominations; LAFCA Awards winner for Best Picture; BAFTA Awards nominee for Best Film, Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture - Drama, National Board of Review - Top Ten Films of 1992, NYFCC Awards runner-up for Best Film, PGA Awards nominee for Best Motion Picture
Haunting movie, and I mean that in a "thinking about it completely changes my mood" way. I love that - movies should do that! Understated but nonetheless effective in its depiction of the mindless menace of violence. Not even comeuppance is satisfying, not when it comes at the tail end of "Deserve's got nothing to do with it," which just forces you to consider everyone's POV on the subject. ------------------------------- The Academy awarded Unforgiven:
No surprise, another five-star film for me. But so was another...and it's my winner. My vote goes to:
But that's not the end of 1992. Next week: the rest of the nominated films, then a look at 1992 Horror, as recommended by Graham Skipper and Joe Begos on Screen Drafts.
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