Academy Awards Revisited: Who Should Have Really Won (1979-1981)

Academy Awards Revisited

On the verge of yet another awards season, I decided to revisit past Academy Awards and see if I agree with the list of winners. I will mostly concentrate on the following categories:

MUSIC
CINEMATOGRAPHY

ACTING (LEAD AND SUPPORTING)

WRITING (ORIGINALS AND ADAPTATIONS)

DIRECTOR and

BEST FILM

And if there’s other notes about that years other categories, I’ll do a quick run-by at the end. I shall begin the list from 1979, the year I was born and try to reach all the way to the year 2014. That seems appropriate. Shall we begin?

1979

Music:

WON: Georges Delerue, A LITTLE ROMANCE

SHOULD: Although Delerue’s score for A Little Romance is really, really good, it’s Jerry Goldsmith’s STAR TREK – THE MOTION PICTURE which is majestic, beautiful and powerful and ultimately the better score.

Cinematography:

WON: Vittorio Storaro, APOCALYPSE NOW

SHOULD: Yeah, absolutely, Storaro’s camerawork was easily that year’s best.

Best Supporting Actress:

WON: Meryl Streep, KRAMER VS. KRAMER

SHOULD: Why not, if combined for Kramer AND her role in MANHATTAN. She was on a roll. And actually she still is.

Best Supporting Actor:

WON: Melvin Douglas, BEING THERE

SHOULD: Ian Holm in ALIEN. Scary as fuck.

Best Actor:

WON: Dustin Hoffman, KRAMER VS. KRAMER

SHOULD: Dustin earned that statue. Heartbreaking stuff.

Best Actress:

WON: Sally Field, NORMA RAE

SHOULD: I kinda liked Jessica Lange in ALL THAT JAZZ, but Sally Field must win at some point, so why the hell not this time? So yeah, whatever.

Original Screenplay:

WON: Steve Tesich, BREAKING AWAY

SHOULD: The Monty Python guys for LIFE OF BRIAN.

Adapted Screenplay:

WON: Robert Benton, KRAMER VS. KRAMER

SHOULD: Yeah, Benton did a solid adaptation.

Directing:

WON: Robert Benton KRAMER VS. KRAMER

SHOULD: Francis Ford Coppola, for turning APOCALYPSE NOW from a troubled production to a gripping masterpiece.

Best Film:

WON: KRAMER VS. KRAMER

SHOULD: Fuck off, ALIEN was the year’s best film.

other notes: ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE should’ve won for best song. And it wasn’t even nominated, for Brian’s sake.

1980

 

Music:

WON: Michael Gore, FAME

SHOULD: Are you kidding me? John Williams, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Cinematography:

WON: Geoffrey Unsworth & Ghislain Cloquet, TESS

SHOULD: John Alcott, THE SHINING

Best Supporting Actress:

WON: Mary Steenburgen, MELVIN & HOWARD

SHOULD: Either her or Eileen Brennan for PRIVATE BENJAMIN. Solid work from both.

Best Supporting Actor:

WON: Timothy Hutton, ORDINARY PEOPLE

SHOULD: Joe Pesci, RAGING BULL

Best Actor:

WON: Robert DeNiro, RAGING BULL

SHOULD: DeNiro was awesome, but John Hurt as THE ELEPHANT MAN was outstanding, so him.

Best Actress:

WON: Sissy Spacek, COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER

SHOULD: Shelley Duvall, THE SHINING

Original Screenplay:

WON: Bo Goldman, MELVIN & HOWARD

SHOULD: Colin Higgins & Patricia Resnick, 9 TO 5

Adapted Screenplay:

WON: Alvin Sargent, ORDINARY PEOPLE

SHOULD: Leigh Brackett & Lawrence Kasdan, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

Directing:

WON: Robert Redford, ORDINARY PEOPLE

SHOULD: Stanley Kubrick, THE SHINING

Best Film:

WON: ORDINARY PEOPLE

SHOULD: THE SHINING

other notes: TESS is a terribly overrated film.

 

1981

Music:

WON: Vangelis, CHARIOTS OF FIRE

SHOULD: Ugh, this should go without saying. John Williams, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

Cinematography:

WON: Vittorio Storaro, REDS

SHOULD: Vilmos Zsigmond, BLOW OUT

Best Supporting Actress:

WON: Maureen Stapleton, REDS

SHOULD: I honestly can’t say. Stapleton, you win.

Best Supporting Actor:

WON: John Gielgud, ARTHUR

SHOULD: Hell yes. Gielgud owns the film.

Best Actor:

WON: Henry Fonda, ON GOLDEN POND

SHOULD: You know what? Kurt Russell, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK

Best Actress:

WON: Katherine Hepburn, ON GOLDEN POND

SHOULD: She deserved it, no question about it.

Original Screenplay:

WON: Colin Welland, CHARIOTS OF FIRE

SHOULD: John Landis, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON

Adapted Screenplay:

WON: Ernest Thompson, ON GOLDEN POND

SHOULD: Rospo Pallenberg & John Boorman, EXCALIBUR

Directing:

WON: Warren Beatty, REDS

SHOULD: Brian DePalma, BLOW OUT

Best Film:

WON: CHARIOTS OF FIRE

SHOULD: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

Next: 1982-1984

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