Friday, April 17, 2015

The 1982 Fisti Awards

[Images May Be Enlarged By Clicking on Them]

1982.  Fucking Gandhi.  I can't stand that movie.  So flaccid, so self-important and underdeveloped and just, yuck.  So, like, you won't see that film anywhere here.  On the outset, 1982 can look like a pretty mediocre year, but the strength in the few films that rise to the top of the pack is so strong, so profound and so iconic (possibly the two greatest sci-fi films of all time) that I can't find fault with the year, despite the low number of truly great films.  It also saddens me that my two favorite films of the year pretty much compete head to head in every category and so one of them, which I consider to be one of the greatest children's films of all time (you can guess right now which film I'm talking about) has to settle with a mere Original Screenplay win and nothing more.  This also marks a pretty huge sweep, with my Best Picture winner taking home almost every award it's up for.  So, without further ado, I present to you the Fisti Awards of 1982!

[EDIT: Apparently the Original Song category is a real bitch for me, since I originally nominated three songs that, as it turns out, were not original.  So, 'I Will Always Love You', 'Tomorrow' and 'The Wall' are no longer Fisti nominees, and in their place we find...a lot of songs from Victor/Victoria!]

Award's Tally

[8 Wins]

Blade Runner

[2 Wins]

Shoot the Moon

[1 Win]

Coup de Torchon
Das Boot
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
La Traviata
One From the Heart
The Return of the Soldier
The Thing


  1. LOVE IT! Blade Runner dominating. Shoot the Moon getting 2 acting wins. E.T., One from the Heart, Das Boot, and The Thing getting a win apiece... Great stuff man.

    I really need to see La Traviata, Coup de Torchon, and The Return of the Soldier!

    1. YAY! I knew you'd like these. That Blade Runner domination is all sorts of SLAYAGE! I feel bad that E.T., my #2 this year and like in my Top 25 of all time, walks away with a singlular Screenplay win...but Blade Runner is so ahead of it's groundbreaking.

      The Shoot the Moon acting pair was so effective, so beautiful together, and it was a way to finally award Keaton, who until now was Fisti-less.

      And yes, you need to see those three films. All of them are superb!

  2. I need to see Shoot the Moon. I love Albert Finney in virtually everything.

    1. He's so good, isn't he! I love him. He pulls off such a complex character portrait here. Both he and Keaton are just at the top of their game.

  3. Oh Yay!, I was hoping you would get to 1982 soon!! You know of my deep love of The Return of the Soldier and I was wondering how that awesome quartet would land in you lineups. A very strong year for film overall which I think shows in our lineups which especially in picture and director are miles apart.

    My Favorite Year
    The Return of the Soldier
    Runner-Up-Poltergeist, Shoot the Moon

    Such a varied crop of pictures this year. I haven't seen two from your line-up, Das Boot-which I have in my NF queue and La Traviata-which seems sadly unavailable. I know its fans are ardent but I'm not a big fan of Blade Runner. E.T. taps into the stuff of fantasy and the worlds of soap operas and live TV that Tootsie and Favorite Year portray are perfectly captured. As much as I love the gorgeously shot Return of the Soldier and its look at the repressed class structure of WWI England the mixing of the almost documentary feel and mystery of Missing has always made me connect to it a bit more, the two are among my top favorite films.

    Richard Benjamin-My Favorite Year
    Costa Gavras-Missing-Winner
    Sydney Pollack-Tootsie
    Ridley Scott-Blade Runner
    Steven Spielberg-E.T.
    Runner-Up-Alan Bridges-Return of the Soldier, Alan Parker-Shoot the Moon

    I'm not a big sci-fi person so I'm not over enamored of Blade Runner but Scott's direction propels it in compelling fashion since you love the film I can see him being your winner. Benjamin sets the proper gentle tone for the nostalgic Year, Spielberg displays his special gift for adding a sense of youthful wonder to a story in E.T. and the versatile Pollack sets a jaunty tone in his look into the wacky world of soaps. But Costa Gavras was at the top of his game with Missing and with the help of two master thespians he created a gripping document.

    Albert Finney-Shoot the Moon
    Dustin Hoffman-Tootsie-Winner
    Jack Lemmon-Missing
    Jack Nicholson-The Border
    Peter O'Toole-My Favorite Year
    Runner-Up-Michael Keaton-Night Shift, Kevin Kline-Sophie's Choice, Peter MacNicol-Sophie's Choice

    All this work is so great I wish I could declare a five way tie in both best actor & actress. Finney is great in Shoot the Moon and a worthy winner but I'm going with Hoffman for creating two distinctly different people in Michael Dorsey & Dorothy Michaels. O'Toole's debauched Alan Swann is among his best work and a VERY close runner up for me.

    1. Missing is a film I never much cared for. It didn't move me like I wanted it to, and I did not like Lemmon's performance at all. Spacek was very good, but I felt like the style of the film was offputting. It's been years since I've seen it though, so maybe I should revisit.

      Hoffman is indeed great, and he was probably my runner-up. I couldn't really make up my mind between Finney, Hoffman and Newman...and every day I was pulling another name out of a hat, but at the end of the day, despite Hoffman creating two characters, I feel like Finney's work was more complex.

    2. Newman was good in The Verdict but God I hated that movie! Just like Best Actress Actor was a packed category and it wouldn't take me much to change to Finney or O'Toole as my winner on any given day. Sorry to hear you don't much care for Missing or Lemmon's performance. I always found his slow journey from exasperation through befuddlement and anger to weary resignation incredibly moving but so goes film viewing.

    3. I didn't hate it at fact, it's one of the few courtroom drama films that I actually really liked.

      And like I said, regarding Missing, I probably really need to rewatch it. It's been years since I've seen it. I remember it pretty well (I have one of those weird cinematic memories), but my impression of Lemmon in particular could probably use some refreshing.

  4. Actress:
    Julie Christie-The Return of the Soldier-Winner
    Glenda Jackson-The Return of the Soldier
    Jessica Lange-Frances
    Sissy Spacek-Missing
    Meryl Streep-Sophie's Choice
    Runner-Up-Diane Keaton-Shoot the Moon

    A crowded field and Keaton is a brilliant match to Finney, it’s an almost impossible year to choose! I've only been able to make it through Sophie's Choice once, it's just too emotionally devastating for repeat viewings, but I'll always remember Streep's performance. Without question this is her most deserved award however it was a year full of spectacular work by many other actresses. Lange's work as the tormented Frances Farmer is truly searing and Sissy's quiet, resolute Beth is the exactly right reading of the part. But the two that really stand out for me are by two titans of the British acting world. Both Julie and Glenda are stupendous, even more so for taking on roles that are the inverse of their expected persona. Glenda as the gentle, caring Margaret is quite a change of pace for her from her standard hard driving women and one she does wonders with. Her role skirts being supporting but since the story is about the dynamic between Alan, Julie & she lead is where she belongs. But this was the film where I fell in love with Julie Christie and she became my favorite living actress so if for nothing else she would be my winner. However she manages to make the brittle, haughty Kitty and her limited world view understandable, if not relatable and even at times sympathetic. Her wordless moments, particularly one at a window, where she seems to be doing so little yet conveys so much. It's beautiful work and she's matched by her co-stars.

    Supporting Actor:
    Alan Bates-The Return of the Soldier-Winner
    Charles Durning-Tootsie
    George Gaynes-Tootsie
    Lou Gossett, Jr.-An Officer and a Gentleman-Winner
    Robert Preston-Victor/Victoria
    Runner-Up-David Keith-An Officer and a Gentleman, Bill Murray-Tootsie

    Preston is wise and wonderful in V/V and Gossett a real stand out in Officer & Gentleman, of the actual nominees I'm glad he won since the direction his career took afterwards didn't allow him another chance, at least to date. Durning does so much with a more or less nothing role and manages to make it memorable in Tootsie but Gaynes's totally brilliant take on the pompous, forgetful soap veteran John Van Horn in the same film is a joy and my runner up. But none of them can compete with Bates’ sheer brilliance in Return of the Soldier, he really makes you ache for the lost Chris Baldry. I’m so glad he’s your winner too!

    Supporting Actress:
    Ann-Margret-The Return of the Soldier
    Teri Garr-Tootsie-Winner
    Dana Hill-Shoot the Moon
    Kate Jackson-Making Love
    Diana Rigg-Evil Under the Sun
    Runner-Ups-Doris Belack-Tootsie, Zelda Rubenstein-Poltergeist, Lesley Ann Warren-Victor/Victoria

    We are far apart and I haven’t seen Huppert performance but I love that you tagged Cher’s work in Jimmy Dean that’s a funny quirky movie.

    Like her co-stars in Soldier the nearly unrecognizable Ann-Margret does sharp, well-observed work as Bates's conflicted cousin Jenny. Dame Diana storms into Evil Under the Sun with a take no prisoners attitude and for her short time in the picture chews the scenery up one side and down the other with a comic gem of a performance. Kate as the cuckold wife in, for the time, an odd triangle captures all the confusion and anger of the wronged wife. Dana Hill balances all the heavy duty emotions of being pulled between two warring parents with great elegance, she's my runner up but this is perhaps the brilliant Garr's best showcase, every quirk and peculiarity honed to perfection.

    1. I really liked Christie in The Return of the Soldier, but Jackson's work to me was more heart-reaching...and that scene in the nursery...just UGH.

      I love all the performances you list there though.

      I'm s glad that Bates is your winner, and that you nominate Durning for Tootsie and not Whorehouse (he was #7 for me) and Preston (my #6). I am not a fan of Gossett, Jr.'s work in Officer...I found it completely one note and cliched (that film is pretty cliched all the way around, honestly). I loved Keith though, and really wanted to nominate him as well. Supporting Actor was just so rich!

      I'm glad that Garr is your winner! Such a deserving win. She's astonishingly good in the film, and she also had One From the Heart that year, which was really good as well. She had a great year. I love Cher so much in that bizarre little film, she has such cheeky charm, and I almost gave her the win, but Huppert's star making turn has such subtle complexity and tonal shifts that I had to give her the edge.

      Ever so slight edge.

    2. It was such a hard choice to pick between the two Soldier women, I love both their work so much. Aside from Julie being my favorite actress her ability to subsume her natural warmth, which is usually a big part of her portrayals, for the haughty Kitty was something that she rarely ever does whereas Glenda has shown that gentle side that is so essential to Margaret in some of her other work. If I could though I'd have awarded an ensemble award to the Julie, Glenda, Alan and Ann-Margret. That way Ian Holm's small but excellent contribution could be acknowledged as well. And I agree that the nursery scene is amazing and heartbreaking, and the scenes at the windows, and the scene in the drawing room and the scene..........

      As for the other actress nominees this was SUCH a strong year for performances, it seems crazy that Diane Keaton's beautiful work couldn't make my top five and in other years I have to scramble just to fill those.

      I should really watch Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean again it's been years. What an eclectic cast! I had forgotten Kathy Bates was even in it until I read a piece on it on another site recently. For such a small film it really made a big difference in Cher's acting career and she terrific.

      I've never heard of Huppert's film but I read a synopsis and it sound quite interesting so I'll be checking it out.

      One other thing, I Will Always Love You wasn't written originally for Best Little Whorehouse. Dolly wrote it as a goodbye gift to Porter Wagoner a decade before the film when their partnership was ending.

    3. I think our reactions to Christie and Jackson are reversed due to my being unfamiliar with their complete bodies of work. I love Christie so much, but for me I've seen her play that kind of detached, cold role before and for me, Jackson was a complete departure from what I've seen her in already. I've only seen Jackson in films where she's either crazy (Marat/Sade, that Women in Love thing), sharp tongued (Touch of Class) and in Sunday Bloody Sunday, so for me, this was a real different side of her, and I loved it.

      Ian Holm was also great in such a limited part. The whole ensemble, as you said, was wonderful.

      That Jimmy Dean ensemble was also great. Karen Black was close to my Top 12, and I loved Dennis's unhinged performance. The film was so weirdly staged and yet worked well within those limitations. For me, though, it was all about Cher. What a star making turn!

      LOL, I'm having no luck with Original Song this year. I have a link to the Oscar eligibility lists for each year, but apparently their list also contains songs eligible for 'adapted song/score' or some other category that no longer exists and so it's cluttered with un-original songs. Josh already pointed out songs that were originally on my ballot that I had to edit already. Looks like I know what I'm doing tomorrow morning!

  5. I will never understand why Gandhi was the best film of 1982 over such classics as Fitzcarraldo, Blade Runner, E.T. the Extra-terrestrial, The Thing, and Tootsie.

    1. Gandhi hit all the AMPAS bait marks in such a dull and boring way but the point is that it hit all their marks...and so they gobbled it up.

    2. Ben Kingsley over Harrison Ford, Dustin Hoffman, Klaus Kinski, Paul Newman, and Jack Lemmon for Missing? FACKING BULLSHIT!!!!!

    3. Yeah, it's pretty gross.

    4. I love Ben Kingsley and think he's a tremendous actor but I agree that this shouldn't have been the performance that won him the award. I just saw Gandhi within the last year, it was sort of a duty watch being one of the few BP winners I hadn't seen, and while I didn't hate it the film was such a blatant Oscar grab it was ridiculous. There were scenes where I felt OSCAR CLIP should of scrolled across the top of the frame.

    5. I like, don't love, Kingsley, but Gandhi was such a cookie cutter Oscar performance/win that it bothers me. I saw no real depth of man, it was all technical, all 'exact' heart.

  6. I'm about to commit blasphemy, but I hate Blade Runner. Sooooo boring. That said, you chose correctly in giving it best visual effects. My best pic would've been Das Boot. But what do I know, I would've given Fast Times at Ridgemont High a nom. And yeah, E.T. still works.

    1. It's not complete blasphemy, considering that Joel just admitted above to not caring much for it either :-P

      And you know a thing or two...Das Boot is a tremendous films, and Fast Times is in my Top 12 for a reason!

      Love E.T.!

  7. Love that Blade Runner has won in many places which I agree with. I am glad Victor/Victoria is here and Robert Preston would have won best supporting for me. Jessica Lange would have been given best actress for her amazing performance of Frances Farmer. I have not seen this film since it came out and yet her performance still dominates my mind. Glad Das Boot gets some love also

    1. Lange and Preston are SO GOOD. Dropping Preston from my lineup was hard, since I love what he does in the film, but this year was so tight in some categories, so rich!

  8. I officially need to see Blade Runner now. Damn! You hooked that one up. I don't know how it's escaped me for so long. Had it on the queue once awhile back and just kept knocking it down. I really need to see Tootsie and Diner. Two movies I've wanted to see for years as well.

    E.T. wins the big prize for me of your nominees as it's the only one I've seen. It may be my favorite of that year as it stands anyway. Hard to beat Meryl in Sophie's Choice. I need to see Diane Keaton is this flick.

    I have never seen Gandhi. Never really felt the need.

    1. Gandhi is pretty mediocre stuff, but if you ever decide to be one of those Oscar completists, you'll need to see it.


      But DO see Blade Runner!!! And Tootsie!!! And Diner!!!

      E.T. is glorious. It's my runner-up, and I was so sad to not give it anything but Original Screenplay (and even that was on shaky ground and almost went to Shoot the Moon). It's such a brilliant film.

      Diane Keaton and Albert Finney are just...breathtaking.

  9. Ahah, your intro cracks me up. I haven't seen Gandhi so I can't say, but frankly I have no interest in seeing that film.

    Ooooh I do love Blade Runner, which pains me to hear about the sequel in development, esp w/ Gosling in the cast, ugh!

    I want to see Diner too, esp for Rourke's performance.

    1. The whole Diner ensemble is great, and Barkin was so close to a nom from me as well, but Rourke is the real standout. He's all sorts of charm in the role.

      Blade Runner is, obviously, incredible. I'm skeptical of the sequel, but I don't loathe Gosling like you do, so I'm at least sort of hopeful.

      Sort of.

      Gandhi...what can be said other than...AVOID.

  10. My top 10:
    E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (favorite of the year)
    The Thing
    Pink Floyd: The Wall
    The Verdict
    Halloween: Season of the Witch

    I still need to check out Fitzcarraldo and Ladies and Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains.

    1. I love seeing films I have yet to see, and everyone keeps bringing up Poltergeist, which I ignored because it's not usually my kind of movie, but maybe I need to give that one a go...

    2. I'm not a big horror/paranormal guy either but I really liked Poltergeist. It had for the time very cool effects but also a sense of whimsy and fun, it was more interested in being unsettling than grossing the audience out which is what horror has now unfortunately come to mean in most cases. Plus it has a terrific cast of actors who were all believably real and with the actors playing the family believably related.

      It's not a "great" film but very entertaining, the sequels prove the point of diminishing returns however.

    3. I almost watched it before posting these and then got impatient. I kind of wish I'd waited now, at least for the effects part...but alas, that's what updates are for.

  11. Great picks! Love that ET and Diner picked up some noms. For me, Fanny and Alexander rules 1982. That film is everything to me. All FIVE hours of it :)

    1. I have Fanny and Alexander in 1983, since that is where Oscar nominated it, and it dominates pretty much every category.

      1983 Fistis will come in due time :-D