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Oscars 1991: Who Came In Second?

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  • Joe Burns
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    Best Picture: This is tricky because I think that the reason Silence won was because of the lack of strong contenders in this race: Beauty And The Beast was never going to win BP, so we can cross that off, Prince Of Tides was weakened by it’s Best Director snub, JKF may have been too controversial to take the prize, leaving G.G Best Motion Picture Drama winner Bugsy the runner-up? Silence was underestimated by pundits who felt it’s content would prevent it from winning, not to mention the controversy surrounding the LGBT community’s reaction to Buffalo Bill as well. It dominated the Guild Awards, taking PGA, DGA, and WGA awards and most likely had a powerful, long-lasting impact on Oscar voters following it’s Valentines Day release, making it the third film in history to win the top 5 Oscars.

    Best Director: Demme probably won by a respectable amount, but may have been slightly hurt by his “La La Land” comment, prompting Stone and Beatty to probably be tied in third place. That said, according to Tom’s book, it only occurred a week before Oscar voting was completed, so it may not have mattered much. Scott was most likely 4th, followed closely behind by John Singleton.

    Best Actor: Hopkins narrowly triumphed over Nolte, due to the unforgettable nature of his performance/character. Nolte was probably also hurt by the Streisand snub. Williams, Beatty, and De-Niro had no chance of winning, with their place-holder positions being reflected in the above order.

    Best Supporting Actor: Jack Palance won this one pretty easily it seems- can anybody provide more details for me? I’m kinda drawing a blank, lol.

    Best Actress: Foster was the favorite and for the same reason her film was: her competition really had no chance. Midler was hampered by her film completely bombing at the box office, Dern’s film was not widely seen enough, and who can choose between Sarandon and Davis in Thelma And Louise? Foster rode on the success of her film and triumphed. I’d say Sarandon came in second, followed closely by Davis, followed closely by Dern, and Bette bringing up the rear.

    Best Supporting Actress: Ruehl won this one due to the Academy liking her film and the fact that her competition was weak as well: Tandy had just won, Rambling Rose didn’t have any buzz , and from what I gather, Lewis was an also-ran. The only other contender who I think could have won would be Nelligan due to wealth spreading and having given another acclaimed performance that year in Frankie And Johnny. It seems that the Academy just did not really care for The Prince Of Tides in the end. In conclusion, I think Nelligan was second, Ladd was third, Tandy was fourth, and Lewis was 5th.

    Best Original Screenplay: Thelma And Louis was the winner here, most likely followed by Bugsy, Boyz In The Hood, The Fisher King, and Grand Canyon.

    Best Adapted Screenplay: Silence picked up this one, followed by Prince Of Tides, JFK, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Europa, Europa.

    Wow, what a dull year to analyze! Honestly, it was pretty hard to come up with good answers for this, given how there was no strong, across the board consensus. What are your thoughts?

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    RobertPius
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    It seems pretty obvious that Silence would win nowadays but back then I think it was a bit of a surprise. It was just so dark but it clearly stuck with voters and got in because nothing else had momentum. I think some people were actually predicting Beauty and the Beast. Bugsy had won the Globes but I think Annette Bening being snubbed showed their ambivalence about the film as a whole.

    As for the acting Nolte was the favorite and likely just missed winning. I still think he was hurt in that they just didn’t want to award anyone from a Streisand film. (Lauren Bacall would be another front runner who lost just a few years later.)

    I don’t know if they were really that eager to award Foster again just three years after the first win but the only viable candidates where Sarandon and Davis and they are so evenly matched in that film. It isn’t like Amadeus where one got the better reviews. I think Sarandon probably came in second because she had never won before and Davis had just won recently.

    Yes Palance walked to the award easily. There was just no one else to give it to.

    Ruehl got some precursor awards and probably won that pretty easily. Juliette Lewis was pretty highly acclaimed and I can remember the New York Times Critic Janet Maslin pushing hard for her. Nelligan also probably got some votes based on being such a big stage actress in NY at the time but her role in Tides is pretty small and again they probably didn’t want to award Streisand anything. Nelligan should have been nominated for Frankie and Johnny IMO.

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    Tyler [Last Name]
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    I would hope Beauty and the Beast would be 2nd but there is no way in hell that it would be. But a guy can dream.

    FYC: Ready Player One. Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, Original Score, Production Design, Director and BEST PICTURE (make it happen Oscars!!)

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    Andrew Carden
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    I would think Bugsy, Oliver Stone, Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon, Harvey Keitel and Kate Nelligan. Probably wasn’t terribly close in the last three categories, though. I will say, however, Laura Dern and Diane Ladd likely weren’t last in their categories, as they campaigned the hardest of any of the year’s acting nominees.

    For the finest in film reviews and awards analysis, please visit me at The Awards Connection!

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    Andrew D
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    I would say
    JFK , Scott , Nolte , Dern, Tommy lee jones and Ladd

    Andrewsart.etsy.com

    Check out my online store 🙂

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    RobertPius
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    Ladd must have thought she had a chance. I used to have that Oscar show on VHS and she presents with Dern after she lost and she jokes about losing but you can see it bothered her.

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    pacinofan
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    Best Picture: “JFK”
    Best Director: Oliver Stone
    Best Actor: Nick Nolte
    Best Actress: Susan Sarandon
    Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones
    Best Supporting Actress: Kate Nelligan
    Best Original Screenplay: “Bugsy”
    Best Adapted Screenpay: “JFK”

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    Andrew Carden
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    New Line, the distributor for Rambling Rose, refused to run a significant Oscar campaign for the film, which left Dern and Ladd to operate a Sally Kirkland-style effort, hosting screenings on their own, sending videos to Academy members, making phone calls, etc. Most of the campaign funds came from Renny Harlin, who was a co-producer on the film and had just struck box office gold on Die Hard 2. I can’t fathom Ladd really thought she had a prayer of winning, especially with Ruehl basically sweeping that whole season.

    For the finest in film reviews and awards analysis, please visit me at The Awards Connection!

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