Oscars: How you can watch each Finest Image winner of the Eighties

Oscars: How to watch every Best Picture winner of the 1980s

First-time director Robert Redford set the bar for the last decade with the household drama “Odd Folks” (1980), for which he additionally received the Oscar for guiding.

Richard Attenborough — one other actor-turned director — additionally received the directing award for a greatest image winner “Gandhi” (1982), as did James L. Brooks (“Phrases of Endearment,” 1983); Milos Forman (“Amadeus,” 1984); Sydney Pollack (“Out of Africa,” 1985); Oliver Stone (“Platoon,” 1986); Bernardo Bertolucci (“The Final Emperor,” 1987) and Barry Levinson (“Rain Man,” 1988).

1980: ‘Odd Folks’

Timothy Hutton and Elizabeth McGovern in “Ordinary People” (1980).

Timothy Hutton and Elizabeth McGovern within the 1980 household drama “Odd Folks.”


53rd Academy Awards — April 1981
Score: R.
Working time: 2 hours 4 minutes.
Streaming: Paramount+: Included | Prime Video: Included | Apple TV+: Rent/Buy

Robert Redford makes his debut as a nonacting director within the strongly emotional and fantastically written and carried out household drama, “Odd Folks.”

Like each actor-turned-director I can consider from Olivier ahead, Redford is at his greatest working together with his fellow actors to evoke performances of sensitivity and believability over a large emotional vary. “Odd Folks” is fully a movie of efficiency, which is clearly what attracted Redford to the novel in galley kind, nicely earlier than it had been established as a business success.

Donald Sutherland is a really affluent Chicago tax lawyer dwelling nicely within the posh North Shore suburb of Lake Forest. His spouse is Mary Tyler Moore, who at a really deceptive first look is just a extra mature model of the bubbling helpmate on the Dick Van Dyke present. They’ve had two teenaged sons, however a number of months earlier than the occasions of the movie the elder son drowned throughout a sudden storm on a lake. The youthful son, tensely and sympathetically performed by Timothy Hutton (the son of the late Jim Hutton), has tried suicide, been hospitalized, and, as we meet him, is residence once more, shakily attempting to renew his place within the odd world.

The suspense, after all, is whether or not the boy, in contact with nobody, discovering consolation from nobody, will once more attempt to destroy himself. The tone of the movie permits no straightforward assurance that issues will work out. Life is just not essentially benign. (Learn extra) — Charles Champlin

1981: ‘Chariots of Hearth’

Ian Charleson, center, with Ben Cross  (second from left in background) and others in “Chariots of Fire” (1981).

Ian Charleson, middle, with Ben Cross (second from left in background) and others within the 1981 sports activities drama “Chariots of Hearth.”

(Warner Bros. )

54th Academy Awards — April 1982
Score: PG.
Working time: 2 hours 3 minutes.
Streaming: Prime Video: Rent/Buy | Apple TV+: Rent/Buy

“Chariots of Hearth” has sports activities as its spine and fervour as its fueling emotion. It traces the parallel lives of two athletes — or, extra accurately, two extraordinary males to whom operating was crucial a part of life — who grew to become a part of the outstanding British observe and area staff on the 1924 Olympics.

They had been the darkish and the sunshine; the fiercely aggressive Harold Abrahams, to whom operating as a weapon towards the snobbery and anti-semitism he encountered at Caius Faculty, Cambridge (and earlier than), and Eric Liddell, the son of a Scottish missionary, whose will to run got here from a passionate spirituality.

Steadily, a mite awkwardly at first, the dual tales construct. The awkwardness comes from a break on the opening. It begins at a funeral in 1978, then shifts again in reminiscence to 1924, on the fringe of a misty seaside in France the place, like horses operating within the sea out of pure pleasure, the British Olympic runners are operating barefooted, every in his distinctive fashion.

And below the scene, the primary trace that that is one thing aside from an old-fashion movie. Because the noble piano theme is acknowledged there are nervous digital sounds which catch the runners’ pressure and transmit it. The work of Vangelis Papathanassiou, who makes use of solely his first identify in his composing and conducting, that is an authentic and breathtaking rating. (Learn extra) — Sheila Benson

1982: ‘Gandhi’

Ben Kingsley stars in the 1982 movie

Ben Kingsley stars within the 1982 film” Gandhi.” Picture Columbia Footage (AMUSEMENTS,MOVIES)

(Columbia Footage)

fifty fifth Academy Awards — April 1983
Score: PG.
Working time: 3 hours 11 minutes.
Streaming: Prime Video: Rent/Buy | Apple TV+: Rent/Buy

The best way through which director Richard Attenborough illustrates the motivating incident of Mohandas Gandhi’s life in “Gandhi”tells us loads concerning the movie to come back.

Summarily thrown out of a first-class, whites-only railway carriage onto a darkish, South African prepare station pavement, the enraged 23-year-old Indian lawyer appears to be like round him. The Maritzberg station is nearly abandoned and a chill wind blows. An Indian couple watches him from throughout the tracks, then strikes away silently. His isolation is heightened by a high-angle shot.

It was the night time that Gandhi all the time known as the second his path was set, however we can not learn his feelings. They should have included outrage, fury, a scalding humiliation, probably even ideas of recrimination, however they continue to be personal till they’re intellectualized in speak the following day.

Attenborough and his screenwriter, American-born John Briley, warn us in a preface that they’ve selectively chosen incidents from Gandhi’s life, being trustworthy in spirit to the file and looking for their strategy to the center of the person.

The physique of the movie with its magnificent central efficiency by Royal Shakespeare Firm member Ben Kingsley does the whole lot it might probably to make us perceive India’s loss as if it had been our personal (Learn extra) — Sheila Benson

1983: ‘Phrases of Endearment’

Shirley MacLaine, left, Debra Winger and Jack Nicholson “Terms of Endearment” (1983)

Shirley MacLaine, left, Debra Winger and Jack Nicholson within the 1983 drama “Phrases of Endearment.”

(Paramount Footage)

56th Academy Awards — April 1984
Score: PG.
Working time: 2 hours 12 minutes.
Streaming: Prime Video: Rent/Buy | Apple TV+: Rent/Buy | Different Platforms: Showtime

Life is what occurs whilst you’re making different plans,” John Lennon wrote, and in “Phrases of Endearment” , it does simply that. On this pungent and fantastically noticed movie, probably the most utterly satisfying of this and lots of one other 12 months, life is fascinating, tender, hilarious, catastrophic, therapeutic, heat and, in the principle, a faintly absurd predicament through which to seek out oneself.

We’ve got a front-row seat for one of many damnedest, cut-on-the-bias mom and daughter relationships to heat a display. We decide it up at intervals, from the second the capricious and decided Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) hovers over her new child Emma by the excessive and low factors of their subsequent 30-odd years. The essence of their relationship is summed up in two appears to be like that go between mom and daughter, one at first, one on the finish of the image.

However catch her motherly recommendation the night time earlier than gangly, teen-age Emma (Debra Winger) goes to be married to Flap Horton (Jeff Daniels), a boy with a comic book/good-looking face and the soul of a perpetual graduate scholar.

In a single stroke, author/director/producer James L. Brooks units the tone for his extraordinary image, which is each trustworthy to and bravely ingenious with Larry McMurtry’s literate and singular novel. The movie bristles with the very best dialogue in reminiscence and with easy transitions over its broad time period. It offers with absolutely the actual stuff of life from new and generally dazzling angles. And every time you suppose you recognize the place a personality or a scenario will take you, it pulls the rug out from below you. (Learn extra) — Sheila Benson

1984: ‘Amadeus’

Tom Hulce in “Amadeus” (1984).

Tom Hulce within the 1984 historic drama “Amadeus”

(Orion Footage)

57th Academy Awards — April 1985
Score: PG (2002 Director’s minimize reissue: Rated R for transient nudity).
Working time: 3 hours.
Streaming: Prime Video: Rent/Buy | Apple TV+: Rent/Buy

To have the ability to understand genius, to luxuriate in its instance, all of the whereas figuring out that one’s personal work must pressure to achieve mediocrity is a fairly good working definition of hell on earth.

In “Amadeus” Peter Shaffer’s play, which he and director Milos Forman have changed into an enthralling movie, the genius is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the “mediocrity” is Antonio Salieri — reigning success of the courtroom of Emperor Joseph II of Austria within the late 18th Century — and the confrontation between the 2 is deadly.

The story is instructed within the framework of a reminiscence by the very previous Salieri (F. Murray Abraham), consigned to a madhouse after his tried suicide. He has outlived Mozart (Tom Hulce) by 32 years, and watched his personal compositions wither in reputation throughout that point. (Learn extra) — Sheila Benson

1985: ‘Out of Africa’

A biplane fly over a herd of elephants in a scene from the movie “Out of Africa” (1985).

A scene from the1985 drama “Out of Africa.”

(Common Footage)

58th Academy Awards — April 1986
Score: PG.
Working time: 2 hours, 31 minutes.
Streaming: Prime Video: Rent/Buy | Apple TV+: Rent/Buy | Different Platforms: Showtime

We’re ravenous simply now for civilized movies, for the play of clever minds in films about one thing. In that mind set, “Out of Africa” — with its intense civility, its irreproachable landscapes, the tensions of its faintly doomed love story, which isn’t about love, actually, however about possession, and its twin superstars — appears to be simply the factor for famished tradition experts at Christmastime.

Sadly, and thru no fault of Meryl Streep, there doesn’t appear to be sufficient electrical energy generated on the market in Africa to energy a love story 2 1/2 hours lengthy.

Sydney Pollack’s lush manufacturing takes us to unspoiled Kenya in 1914 with the aristocratic Karen Dinesen (Meryl Streep), a Dane, a storyteller of the primary order, and sufficient of a snob to marry for a title. Truly, her marriage there in Nairobi solely hours after she has arrived is to not the person she loves — who spurned her — however to his twin, Bror Blixen (Klaus Maria Brandauer, stuffed with quicksilver allure, and who, should you look rapidly, performs each brothers.)

Clearly, this isn’t going to be a night with the Bickersons. Luedtke has been equally deft in sketching within the ineffable homesickness of those Brits overseas, as one among them feasts on Karen’s fragrance, pondering for a second it’s one he remembers quite nicely. Ah. No. Very good, however not the identical. (Learn extra) — Sheila Benson

1986: ‘Platoon’

Willhem Dafoe, left, Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger on the set of “Platoon” (1986).

Willhem Dafoe, left, Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger on the set of the 1986 Vietnam conflict film “Platoon.”

(LightRocket through Getty Photos)

59th Academy Awards — April 1987
Score: R.
Working time: Working time: 1 hour, 51 minutes.
Streaming: Prime Video: Rent/Buy | Apple TV+: Rent/Buy

In “Platoon” writer-director Oliver Stone drops us as he drops his autobiographical 19-year-old, Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen), into life with the twenty fifth Infantry in Vietnam. It’s a conflict the place there appears to be no grasp plan, no huge image and no advances. There may be solely terror, bone-deep exhaustion, nighttime patrols and the humid jungle, crawling with snakes, bugs and the silent Viet Cong.

That is movie-making with a zealot’s fervor. Stone, a university dropout, Vietnam infantryman himself with a Bronze Star for valor and a Purple Coronary heart, clearly desires us to perceive what combating in that conflict was like. He succeeds with an immediacy that’s scary. Battle films of the previous, even the best ones, appear to be crane pictures by comparability; “Platoon” is at floor zero.

By opening with no preamble, Stone put us into his troopers’ boots: An plane cargo bay yawns huge to discharge “the cherries,” these achingly younger troopers, into the swirling, sulfurous mud of a Vietnam air base in 1967. Rounded up from map-dot cities like Pork Bend, Utah, and Pulaski, Tenn., rushed by coaching and shipped abroad, these recruits trade incredulous stares with the conflict’s previous males on the base, 22- and 24-year-olds who look 40 years older. They usually stare on the black rubber physique baggage being matter-of-factly flopped again onto their cargo planes.

Then they — and we — are within the jungle, the place the whole lot cuts or stings or goes off, the place sleep is in two-hour shifts and there’s by no means sufficient of it, and the place the dying of a “cherry” isn’t the identical because the dying of a long-timer, as a result of he hasn’t but paid his dues.

The platoon’s two rival sergeants — and its twin ethical poles — are established: Tom Berenger, his face a highway map of scars, as Barnes, and Willem Dafoe as Elias. Each males are very good fighters and consummate leaders however Barnes’ fashion is to be the strict father, Elias’ the compassionate mom. (Learn extra) — Sheila Benson

1987: ‘The Final Emperor’

Pu Yi (Richard Vuu) 3 years old at his Coronation in

Richard Vuu within the 1987 historic drama “The Final Emperor.”

(1998 Artisan Leisure)

sixtieth Academy Awards — April 1988
Score: PG-13.
Working time: 2 hours, 45 minutes.
Streaming: Prime Video: Rent/Buy | Apple TV+: Rent/Buy | HBO Max: Included | Different Platforms: Criterion

In 1908, on the whim of the Empress Dowager dying below her cracking whitewash make-up, a beguiling 3-year-old is torn away from his mom at nighttime of night time and brought, together with his moist nurse, to China’s most astonishing palace — the 9,999-room Forbidden Metropolis. There, robed in imperial yellow and positioned on a Dragon Throne, tiny Pu Yi turns into tenth Quing Emperor, ruler of practically half the world’s folks.

And so begins the lifetime of “The Final Emperor” as coolly lavish an epic as we might ever see. Giving free rein to the cinema’s most voluptuous troika of imagists — director Bernardo Bertolucci (“1900,” “Final Tango in Paris”), manufacturing designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti (“The Conformist,” “American Gigolo,” “Scarface”) and cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (“Reds,” “Apocalypse Now”) — has resulted in an intoxicating visible rush. (Learn extra) — Sheila Benson

1988: ‘Rain Man’

Dustin Hoffman, left, and Tom Cruise in “Rain Man” (1988).

Dustin Hoffman, left, and Tom Cruise within the 1988 drama “Rain Man.”


61st Academy Awards — April 1989
Score: R.
Working time: 2 hour, 20 minutes.
Streaming: Prime Video: Rent/Buy | Apple TV+: Rent/Buy | HBO Max: Included

Though it roams throughout expanses of America, “Rain Man” is a small, principally inside journey: the awakening of two walled-off souls. Truly, it’s extra just like the greening of 1 soul, Tom Cruise’s Charlie Babbitt, and the nudging of one other, Dustin Hoffman’s Raymond Babbitt, Charlie’s older brother, whose autistic situation makes “awakening” far too dramatic a phrase.

As a result of we’ve had dozens of buddy movies about journeys of discovery, we are able to plot the state of affairs like a highway map: The particular qualities of 1 will work on the opposite to alter him, or maybe each of them, and possibly not for the worst.

In that respect “Rain Man” will disappoint nobody. Although it appears unimaginable that wheeler-dealer Charlie, Mr. Sharper Picture incarnate, will ever put anybody forward of Numero Uno, there’s somewhat room for hope by the film’s finish. And so far as the unelastic Raymond can stretch, he does, as he strikes from lifelong institutionalization to every week of freedom on the highway.

It’s greed on Charlie’s half that has introduced the 2 collectively. Notified that his father has died, he goes again to Cincinnati to put declare to his estranged father or mother’s property, some $3 million, solely to be taught that it’s been left in belief to an older brother he by no means knew he had: Raymond. The following shock is studying that Raymond is autistic and institutionalized. The third shock comes when Charlie just about kidnaps Raymond and units out for Los Angeles, hoping to make use of Raymond’s presence as leverage to work a deal for not less than a part of the cash. (Learn extra) — Sheila Benson

1989: ’Driving Miss Daisy’

Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman in the movie

Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman within the film “Driving Miss Daisy.”

(Warner Bros.)

62nd Academy Awards — April 1990
Score: PG.
Working time: 99 minutes.
Streaming: Prime Video: Rent/Buy | Apple TV+: Rent/Buy

Morgan Freeman’s performances this 12 months in “Lean on Me,” “Johnny Good-looking,” and, now, “Driving Miss Daisy,” have been among the many greatest causes to go to the flicks. (He’s additionally in “Glory,” the Civil Battle drama opening tomorrow.) Freeman has an infuriating behavior of being extraordinary even in mediocre films; his presence, alas, makes them must-sees.

“Driving Miss Daisy,” directed by Bruce Beresford and tailored by Alfred Uhry from his Pulitzer Prize-winning 1987 play, isn’t mediocre. It’s musty and schematic, although, with a measured tempo that’s meant to incur our respect. That is “high quality” theater transferred comparatively intact to the display.

The central relationship is between Daisy Werthan (Jessica Tandy), a cranky Atlanta widow and Hoke (Freeman), the chauffeur employed by Daisy’s son Boolie (Dan Aykroyd) to maintain her from plowing her brand-new ’48 Packard into the neighbor’s flower beds. The movie takes us by 25 years of winsome acrimony between these two. Their mellowing relationship is supposed to reflect the expansion of civil rights within the South. Daisy is Jewish, and so the film is structured as a story of two outcasts bonded by their cussed delight. (Learn extra) — Peter Rainer

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