Wednesday, January 30, 2008

58th Academy Awards

The 58th Academy Awards were held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on March 24th 1986 and honored film achievements of 1985. The hosts were Alan Alda, Jane Fonda and Robin Williams. During the ceremony actress Sarah Cunningham, wife of actor John Randolph, suffered an asthma attack in the lobby and died. Twelve people were nominated for Best Original Score for The Color Purple, the most ever nominated for a single award. They lost to John Barry for Out of Africa.

Out of Africa is a 1985 film based loosely on the autobiographical book by Isak Dinesen (pseudonym of Karen Blixen) published in 1937, as well as Dinesen's Shadows on the Grass and other sources. The movie received 28 film awards, including seven Academy Awards (Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Original Score, Art Direction, Sound) and three Golden Globes (Best Picture, Supporting Actor, Original Score). The book describes events during 1914–1931 concerning European settlers and the native people in the bush country of Kenya (British East Africa), from seaside Mombasa to Nairobi, from Mount Kenya to Kilimanjaro, as told from the lyrical, poetic viewpoint of Danish Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke. The book was continually in print during the 20th Century, reprinted by many publishers. The film was adapted by Kurt Luedtke and directed by Sydney Pollack. It starred Meryl Streep, Robert Redford (as Denys), Klaus Maria Brandauer (as Baron Blixen), Michael Kitchen (as Berkeley Cole), Malick Bowens (as Farah), Stephen Kinyanjui (as Chief), Michael Gough (Delamere), Suzanna Hamilton (as Felicity who is based on famous aviatrix Beryl Markham), and supermodel Iman (in a cameo role as Mariammo).

Sydney Pollack is an Academy Award-winning American film director, producer and actor. He has directed over 21 films and 10 television shows, acted in over 30 films or shows, and produced over 44 films. Pollack is best known for directing films Out of Africa (Best Director Oscar, 1985), Tootsie (1982), Three Days of the Condor (1975), The Way We Were and Jeremiah Johnson (1972), along with newer films The Interpreter (2005), Sabrina (1995 film), The Firm (1993) and Havana. He has appeared in over 15 films, including The Interpreter (2005), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Husbands and Wives (1992), The Player and The Electric Horseman (1979). Most recently he appeared opposite George Clooney in Michael Clayton (2007). Pollack has been married to Claire Griswold, a former student of his, since 1958. They had three children,Rachel Pollack, Rebecca Pollack and Steven Pollack (who died in a plane crash in 1993).

The Best Actor award went to William Hurt. Hurt appeared first on stage, only later turning to film. His first major role was in the sci-fi hit Altered States (1980) which gave him wide recognition for playing an emotionally obsessed scientist. He received the Best Male Performance Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Actor for Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1985. He received three additional nominations, one for Children of a Lesser God (1986), one for Broadcast News (1987) and one for A History Of Violence (2005). Often cast as an intellectual, Hurt has put this to good use in many films like Lost in Space and The Big Chill, but he is also effective in other kinds of roles like I Love You to Death, and David Cronenberg's psychological drama A History of Violence (2005), wherein, with less than 10 minutes of screen time, he plays the creepy mob boss Richie Cusack. That same year, Hurt could be seen as a mysterious government operative in Stephen Gaghan's ensemble drama about the politics of Big Oil, Syriana. He recently appeared in Sean Penn's critically acclaimed film Into the Wild, the true story of Christopher McCandless and his life changing adventures. He has a daughter with actress Sandrine Bonnaire and a son, Alex, with Sandra Jennings. He was previously married to Mary Beth Hurt from 1971 to 1982 and lived with Marlee Matlin for a period of time in 1986. Hurt has two sons, named Sam and William Hurt, from his 1989-92 marriage to Heidi Henderson.

Geraldine Page was an Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated American actress. Although starring in at least two dozen feature films, she is primarily known for her celebrated work in the American theater. Page gave celebrated performances in films as well as her work on Broadway. Her film debut was in Out of the Night (1947). Her role in Hondo, garnered her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In all, despite her relatively small filmography, Page received eight Academy Award nominations. She finally won the Oscar for Best Actress in 1986 for a wonderful performance in The Trip to Bountiful, which was based on a play by Horton Foote. Had she not won for Trip to Bountiful, she would have held the record for most nominations without a single win. When she won, she received a standing ovation from the audience at the ceremony. She was surprised by her win (she openly talked about being a seven-time Oscar loser), and took a while to get to the stage to accept the award because she had taken off her shoes while sitting in the audience. She had not expected to win, and her feet were sore. Her other notable screen roles include Academy Award-nominated performances in Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke (1961); Sweet Bird of Youth (1962); Toys in the Attic(1963) and Woody Allen's Interiors (1978). She also appeared in quirky and eccentric roles such as calculating murderer of old ladies in What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? (1969); a repressed schoolmistress in the Clint Eastwood film The Beguiled (1971); a charismatic evangelist (modeled after Aimee Semple McPherson) in The Day of the Locust (1975); and as Sister Walburga in Nasty Habits (1977). Page was married to violinist Alexander Schneider from 1954 to 1957. In 1963 she married actor Rip Torn, who was 7 years younger than Page. They remained married until her death. Page and Torn had three children, a daughter (actress Angelica Torn) and twin sons (actor Tony Torn, and Northern Arizona University professor Jon Torn). Page, who also suffered from kidney disease, died of a heart attack in 1987 aged 62.

The Best Supporting Actor award was won by Don Ameche. After the release of two 1970 comedies, The Boatniks and Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came?, Ameche was absent from theatrical films for the next 13 years. His only appearance in cinema during that time was in F For Fake, Orson Welles' documentary on hoaxes, when 20th Century-Fox mistakenly sent Welles newsreel footage of Ameche misidentified as footage of Howard Hughes. Ameche and fellow veteran actor Ralph Bellamy were eventually cast in John Landis' Trading Places in 1983, playing rich brothers intent on ruining an innocent man for the sake of a one-dollar bet. Ameche's next role, in Cocoon (1985), won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He continued working for the rest of his life (including a role in the sequel, Cocoon: The Return). His last films were Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993) and Corrina, Corrina (1994), completed only days before his death. Ameche was married to Honore Prendergast from 1932 until her death in 1986. They had six children. Ameche died on December 6, 1993, of prostate cancer.

Anjelica Huston is an Academy Award- and Golden Globe Award-winning American actress and former fashion model. Huston won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for her performance in 1985's Prizzi's Honor. She later was nominated in 1990 and 1991 for her acting in Enemies, a Love Story and The Grifters respectively. Among her roles, she starred as Morticia Addams in The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993), receiving Golden Globe nominations for both. She is the the daughter of film director John Huston (1906-1987) and his fourth wife, a prima ballerina Enrica Soma (1930-1969). Two of Huston's first movies, Sinful Davey (1969) and A Walk with Love and Death (1969) were directed by her father. She would lose her mother in a car accident the same year; her father remarried Celeste Shane three years later. She appeared in only a few films over the next decade, moving to United States and pursuing a successful career in modeling. Huston would again retreat to familiar roots, taking on small roles in films in the early Eighties; one in which she would star alongside Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange in Bob Rafelson's The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Frances (1982) which would also star Jessica Lange. Huston landed her big role, winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Maerose Prizzi in Prizzi's Honor (1985), a film directed by her father, John Huston and starring opposite Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner. Huston collaborated with her father again in The Dead, a film for which she was awarded an Independent Spirit Award. It was John Huston's final film before passing away from emphysema in 1987. Huston was nominated for another Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Tamara Broder in Enemies, a Love Story (1989) and another for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her role as Lily Dillon in The Grifters (1990). She received three Saturn Award nominations for one of her most memorable roles, The Grand High Witch in The Witches (1990). Later she received nominations for her role as Morticia Addams in Addams Family Values (1993) and for her role as Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent in Ever After (1998). Huston lived with Jack Nicholson from 1973 to 1989. She married sculptor Robert Graham Jr. in 1992.

The Official Story (Spanish: La historia oficial) (1985) is a Argentine drama film directed by Luis Puenzo and written by Puenzo and Aída Bortnik. It has also been released as The Official Version in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. The film features Norma Aleandro, Héctor Alterio, among others. The film is about a couple in Buenos Aires with an adopted child. The mother comes to realize that her daughter may be the child of a desaparecido, that is, a victim of the disappearances that occurred during Argentina's Dirty War in the 1970s. The film won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

"Say You, Say Me" is a song recorded by Lionel Richie. It hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on December 21 in 1985. The Academy Award winning song was featured on the soundtrack of the movie White Nights featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines. However, the song is not available on the movie soundtrack album.

No comments: