Bad Choices and Women’s Sexual Agency: The 1989 Oscars

As we've seen already, the 80s were not a time when the Academy rewarded movies for visual artistry or innovative storytelling. Many of the movies nominated were not great. Yet a subset of these nominees (if not winners) had some interesting things to say about women's sexuality, and the way white women have used it in … Continue reading Bad Choices and Women’s Sexual Agency: The 1989 Oscars

Highs and Lows: the 1979 Oscars

As we've seen, some Oscar years are very serious. Others are not. This one is a grab bag. We have two serious films about Vietnam, The Deer Hunter and Coming Home, a "prison drama" in Midnight Express, a PG romp in Heaven Can Wait, and a comedic examination of single womanhood in An Unmarried Woman. It's a strange combo.   I imagine most of the … Continue reading Highs and Lows: the 1979 Oscars

Watergate Does Not Bother Me: the 1977 Oscars

When I started this post I thought it was going to be about journalism and Watergate. But it turns out these movies have a lot more to do with anger, resentment, and masculinity--by 1976 (the year the movies came out), this was how political weariness manifested. In all the movies I saw, the city streets … Continue reading Watergate Does Not Bother Me: the 1977 Oscars

Sidney Poitier, #OscarsSoWhite, and the 1968 Oscars

I've finally watched all 5 Best Picture nominees! These movies are pretty solid, so in several of the categories I think multiple nominees deserved to win. But it was 1968, and so political and social issues were paramount. Perhaps more than most years, it was important to acknowledge films of substance. Of the Best Picture nominees, … Continue reading Sidney Poitier, #OscarsSoWhite, and the 1968 Oscars

Of Astronauts and Ensembles: The 1984 Oscars

The 1984 Oscars (honoring movies from 1983) was a bit more traditional than 1988. But several of the films honored featured ensemble casts that I think threw off the awards that year, and it led to some odd nominations. Here were the Best Picture Nominees. I've decided I can only do one of these if I've seen at least … Continue reading Of Astronauts and Ensembles: The 1984 Oscars

Two Rom-Coms and a Thriller: Re-Evaluating the 1988 Oscars

Inspired by my older-movie-watching and the Vanity Fair podcast Little Gold Men (which is trying somewhat unsuccessfully to stretch an award season podcast into a weekly year-round one), I've decided to look back at the bizarre combination of movies nominated for the 1988 Oscars. Ideally, I would [re-] watch all the movies, but I don't want … Continue reading Two Rom-Coms and a Thriller: Re-Evaluating the 1988 Oscars