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1984 Oscars

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  • RobertPius
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    #661369

    What are your choices?

    This is an odd year to me. I love the play Amadeus but somehow the movie lost all the psychological tension of the play and seems more like a costume drama/standard biopic to me. I guess the movie would seem better if you had never seen the play.   

    I think I’d vote for A Passage to India as Best Picture.  

    Best Actor:  tough one. I think I’d go with Jeff Bridges, Starman.

    Actress: this is the year of the three farm wives. Sally Field gets a lot of flack but I recently watched all three again and I think she clearly gives the best performance of those three. Jessica Lange is kind of shrill in Country and the movie doesn’t really hold up. Spacek is barely in The River. I don’t think I’ve ever seen The Bostonians and while I like Judy Davis in Passage to India I do acknowledge the critics of the film who felt her interpretation of the role was sort of different from what the character was supposed to be like.  I always felt this was a makeup nod for My Brilliant Career.

    Supporting Actor: Haing Ngor is great but a lead. I like John Malkovitch too though and he was great in Killing Fields also.

    Supporting Actress:  Peggy Ashcroft.

     

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    darthvader12
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    #661386

    Best Picture: Amadeus

    Best Director: Milos Forman, Amadeus

    Best Actor: F. Murray Abraham, Amadeus

    Best Actress: Judy Davis, A Passage to India

    Best Supporting Actor: Haing S. Ngor, The Killing Fields

    Best Supporting Actress: Geraldine Page, The Pope of Greenwich Village

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    OnTheAisle
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    #661388

    Best Picture: Places in the Heart

    Best Director: Roland Joffe for The Killing Fields

    Best Actress: Sally Field for Places in the Heart

    Best Actor: Steve Martin for All of Me

    Best Supporting Actress: Lily Tomlin for All of Me

    Best Supporting Actor: Haing S. Ngor for The Killing Fields

     

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    M
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    #661394

    Best Supporting Actress: Peggy Ashcroft, The Pope of Greenwich Village

    She won for A Passage to India.

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    darthvader12
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    #661395

    My mistake. I meant Geraldine Page.

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    Andrew Carden
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    #661418

    Best Actor: Steve Martin for All of Me

    Best Supporting Actress: Lily Tomlin for All of Me

    YES.

    Of the Academy’s picks, though, “The Killing Fields,” Roland Joffe, Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, Haing S. Ngor and Peggy Ashcroft.

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    KyleBailey
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    #661433

    Picture: Amadues
    Realistic: The Terminator

    Director: Milos Forman
    Realistic: James Cameron “The Terminator”

    Actor: Tom Hulce “Amadeus”
    Realistic: Hulce

    Actress: Sally Field “Places in the Heart”
    Realistic: Field

    Supporting Actor: Adolph Caesar “A Soldier’s Story”
    Realistic: Caesar

    Supporting Actress: Christine Lahti “Sing Shift”
    Realistic: Christine Ebersole “Amadeus” 

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    marcelo
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    Nov 24th, 2011
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    #661496

    Picture: Amadeus
    Director: Milos Forman, Amadeus
    Actor: F. Murray Abraham, Amadeus
    Actress: Sally Field, Places in the Heart
    Sup. Actor: Danny Glover, Places in the Heart 
    Sup. Actress: Peggy Ashcroft, A Passage to India 

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    BenitoDelicias
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    Nov 3rd, 2010
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    #661497

    Nothing can beat Amadeus. It’s amazing. Same for Abraham or Hulce in second place. 

     

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    RobertPius
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    #661539

    Anyone know the story of how they found Haing Ngor? He wasn’t even an actor surprisingly. He was a doctor. 

    How’d they end up with a doctor (who obviously also acted) in the role?  

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    babypook
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    Nov 4th, 2010
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    #661572

    What are your choices?

    This is an odd year to me. I love the play Amadeus but somehow the movie lost all the psychological tension of the play and seems more like a costume drama/standard biopic to me. I guess the movie would seem better if you had never seen the play.   

    I think I’d vote for A Passage to India as Best Picture.  

    Best Actor:  tough one. I think I’d go with Jeff Bridges, Starman.

    Actress: this is the year of the three farm wives. Sally Field gets a lot of flack but I recently watched all three again and I think she clearly gives the best performance of those three. Jessica Lange is kind of shrill in Country and the movie doesn’t really hold up. Spacek is barely in The River. I don’t think I’ve ever seen The Bostonians and while I like Judy Davis in Passage to India I do acknowledge the critics of the film who felt her interpretation of the role was sort of different from what the character was supposed to be like.  I always felt this was a makeup nod for My Brilliant Career.

    ? She’s the clear lead, and I remember her perf, which is substantial, as being the best in that cast. Lol. We must have watched an alternate universe version of The River, because Sissy is essential to that film.

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    OnTheAisle
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    #661596

    Anyone know the story of how they found Haing Ngor? He wasn’t even an actor surprisingly. He was a doctor. 

    How’d they end up with a doctor (who obviously also acted) in the role?  

    From the New York Times

    The search for someone to play Dith Pran consumed months. Both Mr. Joffe and Pat Golden, the casting director, realized that they could not cast a Caucasian in the role. But most of the Cambodian and Thai actors they met were trained in the highly stylized Asian theater tradition, one ill-suited for a realistic film. It fell to Miss Golden to scour the Cambodian expatriate communities in California, New York and Washington, D.C., and between January and April 1983 she interviewed 300 prospective Dith Prans. None fit.

    Dr. Ngor, meanwhile, had heard about Miss Golden’s efforts. A fellow Cambodian in southern California kept telling Dr. Ngor to audition and Dr. Ngor kept resisting. ”I didn’t think I’m a movie star,” he said. ”The producer or director want to choose a handsome, young guy. I think I have 100 percent no chance. I am not handsome. I am too old.”

    Miss Golden did not think so. Her casting search took her to a Cambodian wedding in Oxnard, Calif., at which Dr. Ngor was a guest. She asked him to remove his glasses and took his picture. He resembled Mr. Pran closely enough to merit a screen test, which was essentially a series of improvisations. In one, Dr. Ngor and Miss Golden acted out an argument between Mr. Dith and Mr. Schanberg. In another, Dr. Ngor had to react as if his wife had just been killed.

    ”It was the most astonishing thing,” Miss Golden said. ”I’d never seen anything like it.” When Mr. Joffe, the producer David Puttnam and others watched footage of the screen test in London, there were tears. The authenticity should not have been surprising. Dr. Ngor’s fiancee died under the Khmer Rouge, as did virtually all of his relatives.

    So close was Dr. Ngor’s experience to Mr. Dith’s that – although Mr. Waterston, for instance, spent almost a week with the real Sydney Schanberg and read all of his notebooks and dispatches from Cambodia – Dr. Ngor never even met the man he would recreate on film. Like Mr. Dith, Dr. Ngor was a relatively Westernized Cambodian, a doctor who spoke fluent French. And like Mr. Dith, Dr. Ngor realized that his only chance of survival among the Khmer Rouge lay in denying his past.

    On April 17, 1975, the day the Khmer Rouge seized Phnom Penh, Dr. Ngor and a colleague were in a military hospital, operating on a man wounded in the bombing of the city. ”I am operating on my patient,” he recalled. ”I am cleaning out the intestine. It is 9 o’clock when a Khmer Rouge get into the operating room. He put a gun on my right ear. He ask me, ‘Are you a doctor?’ I say, ‘No, he just left by back door. I am not a doctor.’ The Khmer Rouge ran away to find the doctor. So I tell my friend, ‘We leave the patient.’ He says, ‘No, we must finish.’ I say, ‘We must leave. If the Khmer Rouge come back, we will be killed.’ ”

    But like both the real Mr. Dith and Mr. Schanberg, Dr. Ngor at first underestimated the ferocity of the Khmer Rouge. When Pol Pot’s forces ordered Cambodians out of Phnom Penh, Dr. Ngor recalled, they said it was only to protect them from American bombing. Everyone would go back home in three hours. ”We don’t know,” Dr. Ngor said. ”We don’t know the Khmer Rouge lying.” Even after a three-day march to a Khmer Rouge encampment, Dr. Ngor added, ”We still think over and over again, maybe the Khmer Rouge call the people back to the city.”

    In the maelstrom, Dr. Ngor somehow found his brother and father, his fiancee and her mother. Together, on May 28, 1975, they began another march, to a camp near the Vietnamese border and to the heart of Cambodia’s darkness. From 4 A.M. to 1 P.M. every day, Dr. Ngor broke boulders into bits small enough for paving roads. His tool was a household hammer. At 1 P.M., the workers received their first meal of the day – ”A little watery rice. One tiny, small bowl. No, not even one bowl.” He returned to the rocks until 7 P.M., when he got another bowl of rice. After that, there was work on an irrigation canal until almost midnight.

    In Dr. Ngor’s second Khmer Rouge commune, the 7,000 workers received not even rice; they lived or died on whatever they could forage – insects, mice, lizards, snakes, scorpions. It is with no trace of irony that Dr. Ngor says, ”If you have mice to eat, lizards to eat, that’s the best food. One hundred percent.” The real Dith Pran survived by similar desperation; the character in the film eats small lizards and at one point sneaks into the commune’s stable to cut the skin and then suck the blood from a water buffalo. Caught, he is tortured.

    That, too, harkens to Dr. Ngor’s experience. The Khmer Rouge jailed him three times, trying to wring from him the admission he was a doctor. Having seen two other doctors executed, Dr. Ngor refused to tell. ”The Khmer Rouge ask me all the time, ‘Are you a doctor or not?”’ he remembered. ”I say, ‘I am no doctor.’ They still didn’t believe me. I tell them I was a taxi driver. I change my name.” The Khmer Rouge then tortured Dr. Ngor, once binding his limbs until they went numb, once searing his leg with an ember and once putting a plastic bag over his head until he almost suffocated – a torture reenacted at points in ”The Killing Fields.” Ultimately, Dr. Ngor escaped into Vietnamese-held territory and then to Thailand, the same path Dith Pran followed. The two men crossed the border within months of each other in 1979.

    The film makers went to great lengths to evoke life under the Khmer Rouge, as well as in Phnom Penh before the takeover. First, Mr. Puttnam – best known as the producer of the Oscar-winning ”Chariots of Fire” – selected in Mr. Joffe a director who had made his career in documentaries. Mr. Puttnam, Mr. Joffe and the screenwriter Bruce Robinson all interviewed Mr. Schanberg and Mr. Dith on several occasions and the director met with Cambodian refugees in the United States, Europe and Thailand. The depiction of life in the Khmer Rouge camps was drawn from refugees’ recollections and from Yugoslav and East German film footage. Mr. Joffe also talked to United States State Department experts on Cambodia and read the writings of Pol Pot.

    The film speculates on the reasons for the rise of the Khmer Rouge. Several times Mr. Joffe juxtaposes footage of President Nixon – in one case denying the invasion of Cambodia, which was already underway – with scenes of the Khmer Rouge’s horrors. Mr. Waterston also gives a speech, based on remarks the real Sydney Schanberg made to the Overseas Press Club, that criticizes the United States for intervening in Cambodia and implies that the incursion helped the Khmer Rouge gain strength.

    ”The film isn’t anti-American; it’s anti-ideology,” Mr. Joffe maintains. But he went on to say: ”The argument is that the degree of bombing on a peasant country creates a kind of distress and a fury. The average age of the Khmer Rouge troops that came into Phnom Penh was 17, and those troops had had 75 per cent casualties. That would psychologically affect you. What the film is saying is that the world isn’t filled with strange and bizarre acts for no reason.”

    Pressed further on the point, Mr. Joffe said that the Khmer Rouge’s atrocities – an almost unparalleled example of genocide committed against one’s own people – grew out of more than American bombing. ”I think the most terrifying thing in Pol Pot’s writing,” the director said, ”was the outstanding mediocrity and crudeness. One realized a mind that mediocre couldn’t see the ridiculousness of his ideas. It was close to being psychotic. The other thing I detected in Pol Pot was an intense nationalism and traces of paranoia – paranoia of the West, of Vietnam, of Thailand, even of China. Pol Pot had the idea of rebuilding the ancient peasant empire of Angkor Wat. He became an expression of the terror and hysteria of a whole country just as Hitler did.”

    While Holocaust survivors have helped perpetuate the memory of Nazi infamy, the Cambodian genocide is already being forgotten. Which is part of the reason Dr. Ngor decided to play the part of Dith Pran. ”When Pat Golden ask me how much money I want, I said I don’t care about salary,” he recalled. ”She say $800 a week. I say I don’t care. I want to be this actor. I want to show the world how the Communists really were. If any country get into a war, people killed by gun. In Cambodia, we are killed by rice; we are killed by starvation. If I die from now on, O.K. The film will go on 100 years.”

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    manakamana
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    #661597

    Picture: The Times of Harvey Milk
    Director: Sergio Leone, Once Upon a Time in America 
    Actor:  Albert Finney, Under the Volcano
    Actress: Peggy Ashcroft, A Passage to India (category frauded, as usual) 
    Supp. Actor: Haing S. Ngor, The Killing Fields
    Supp. Actress: Nastassja Kinski, Paris Texas

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    Madson Melo
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    #661623

    Amadeus is one of the best movies of the 80’s.

    Amadeus
    Milos Forman
    F. Murray Abraham
    Sissy Spacek
    John Malkovich
    Peggy Ashcroft (CF, but by far the best performance in the category)

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    Hunter Logan
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    #661813

    Obviously due to my profile pic, I’m a huge fan of Amadeus and feel it deserves every award it won and then some. A real masterpiece IMO. 

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