Sunday, 5 July 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1989: Results

5. John Hurt in Scandal - The film actually under utilizes him but Hurt gives an appropriately colorful and eventually moving portrayal of an aging playboy who perhaps has too many connections.

Best Scene: Ward explains something about his parties to the cops.
4. Raul Julia in Romero - Julia manages to elevate his film in giving a rather powerful portrayal of a man finding the strength to stand up against injustice.

Best Scene: Romero's final sermon.
3. Jeff Bridges in The Fabulous Baker Boys - Bridges gives a subtle and very effective portrait of an artist stuck in a painful rut, and his struggle to break out of it.

Best Scene: The Bakers' final duet.
2. James Spader in Sex, Lies, and Videotape - Spader first creates a captivating enigma of a man then is quite fascinating as he strips away his character's mystery.

Best Scene: Graham's interview with Ann.
1. Michael J. Fox in Casualties of War - Good Prediction Psifonian. Michael J. Fox gives a heartbreaking depiction of a decent man being forced to live through an atrocity.

Best Scene: Max recounts the experience at the bar.
Overall Rank:
  1. Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot
  2. Michael J. Fox in Casualties of War
  3. Martin Landau in Crimes and Misdemeanors
  4. James Woods in True Believer
  5. Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  6. Ed Harris in The Abyss
  7. James Spader in Sex, Lies, and Videotape
  8. Morgan Freeman in Driving Miss Daisy
  9. Jeff Bridges in The Fabulous Baker Boys
  10. Raul Julia in Romero
  11. John Hurt in Scandal
  12. John Candy in Uncle Buck
  13. Morgan Freeman in Lean on Me
  14. Kenneth Branagh in Henry V
  15. Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future Part II
  16. Bill Murray in Ghostbusters II
  17. Tom Hanks in The 'Burbs
  18. Michael Douglas in The War of the Roses
  19. Ron Silver in Enemies: A Love Story
  20. John Cusack in Say Anything 
  21. Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon II
  22. Timothy Dalton in License To Kill
  23. Donald Sutherland in A Dry White Season
  24. Keanu Reeves in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
  25. Alex Winter in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
  26. Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally
  27. Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon II
  28. Michael Keaton in Batman 
  29. Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams
  30. Matthew Broderick in Glory
  31. Woody Allen in Crimes and Misdemeanors
  32. John Travolta in Look Who's Talking
  33. Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation 
  34. Steve Martin in Parenthood
  35. Bruce Willis in Look Who's Talking
  36. Jack Nicholson in Batman
  37. Tom Cruise in Born on the Fourth of July
  38. Tom Hanks in Turner & Hooch
  39. Rick Moranis in Honey, I Shrunk The Kids
  40. Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid Part III
  41. William Shatner in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
  42. Fred Savage in Little Monsters
  43. Spike Lee in Do The Right Thing 
  44. Fred Savage in The Wizard
  45. Gabriel Damon in Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland
  46. Howie Mandel in Little Monsters
  47. Christian Slater in Heathers
  48. Dale Midkiff in Pet Sematary
Next Year: 1989 Supporting


Psifonian said...

That Fox love impresses me. Can you imagine if he'd been given the Sheen role in "Platoon"? That would've been mighty sweet.


Bruce Dern, The 'Burbs
Rick Ducommun, The 'Burbs (RIP)
Ray McAnally, My Left Foot
Sean Connery, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Fred Gwynne, Pet Sematary

All deserve 5s.

luke higham said...

Louis: Well I'm glad, Day-Lewis has finally won.

Ratings & Thoughts on the rest of your top 20, plus Reeves and Winter in Bill And Ted, Crystal in When Harry Met Sally, Keaton & Nicholson in Batman, Costner in Field Of Dreams and Broderick in Glory.

Sean Connery in Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (He has it in the bag)
Burt Lancaster in Field Of Dreams
Bruce Dern in The Burbs
Hugh O'Connor in My Left Foot
Ray McAnally in My Left Foot

Calvin Law said...

Sigh...should've requested Woods instead. And Hurt not even in the top 10...oh well! Always another day.

Thoughts and ratings on,

Donald Sutherland in A Dry White Season
Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally
Matthew Broderick in Glory
Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson in Batman
Christian Slater in Heathers

Calvin Law said...

I've only to recommend Burt Lancaster and James Earl Jones for Field of Dreams.

luke higham said...

Louis: Can you repost your rating for Olympia Dukakis for Moonstruck.

Anonymous said...

Louis, also Thoughts/ratings on Winona Ryder in Heathers, and anyone else with a 3+ rating (if there are any) in that movie?

JackiBoyz said...

What are your top ten films of 1989 Louis? also what are your thoughts on
The Abyss
War Of The Roses
Say Anything
True Believer
Uncle Buck

Calvin Law said...

Also have you switched Robin Williams over to supporting for Dead Poets' Society, and Ethan Hawke too?

Calvin Law said...

Interesting that you've moved him and Cruise up slightly, any reason why?

Robert MacFarlane said...

Sean Connery in The Last Crusade
Ossie Davies in Do the Right Thing
John Turturro in Do the Right Thing
James Earle Jones in Field of Dreams
Alan Alda in Crimes and Misdemeanors

Michael Patison said...

Ratings and thoughts on Woods, Ford, and Harris

luke higham said...

Louis: Your Ratings & Thoughts on the casts of Henry V and The Abyss.

Michael McCarthy said...

All of Robert and Psifonian's recommendations plus Jerry Orbach in Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Grady Tripp said...

John Mahoney, Say Anything...
Sean Connery, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Robert Sean Leonard, Dead Poets Society
Morgan Freeman, Glory
Bruno Kirby, When Harry Met Sally...
Ossie Davis, Do the Right Thing
Billy Zane, Dead Calm
Rowan Atkinson, The Tall Guy
John Turturro, Do the Right Thing

Psifonian said...

Oh, Hugh O'Conor, too. Brilliant performance.

luke higham said...

*Hugh O'Conor

Robert MacFarlane said...

> "Billy Zane in Dead Calm"
> *tries not to laugh*
> *laughs anyway*

moviefilm said...

Alan Alda – Crimes and Misdemeanors
Bruce Willis – In Country
Ed Harris – Jacknife
Jack Nicholson – Batman
Sean Connery – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis already ranked Nicholson in Lead.

RatedRStar said...

I am often curious about golden globe nominated performances that weren't recognised by the academy, but Bruce Willis and Ed Harris, I am not very optimistic about them if im honest and I haven't see either of their films, I think they would be a bonus review choice.

Anonymous said...

I actually would be quite interested in hearing Louis's thoughts on Billy Zane in Dead Calm, he was over-the-top as hell. The movie though is not bad, it's okay, with a rather strong performance by Kidman.

Anonymous said...

Ratings/thoughts on Olin and Huston in Enemies: A Love Story?

Maciej said...

1. Sean Connery - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
2. Bruce Willis - In Country
3. Burt Lancaster - Field of Dreams
4. Ossie Davis - Do the Right Thing
5. Ray McAnally - My Left Foot

Calvin Law said...

If it has to be between Lancaster and Jones, I'd go with Lancaster. But that's just me.

Michael McCarthy said...

Is no one gonna recommend Ray Liotta for Field of Dreams? I rather enjoyed him too.

Calvin Law said...

^Him, too. I mean it's my Best Picture win for the year so I love the whole cast really.

Calvin Law said...

It's just that out of the three Lancaster definitely made the biggest impact on me.

Tahmeed said...

Hugh o Connor- My Left Foot
Ray McAnnaly-My Left Foot
Morgan Freeman-Glory
Ray Liotta-Field of Dreams
Sean Connery-Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Michael McCarthy said...

I really liked Field of Dreams too, but it's been long enough since I've seen it that I don't even remember Lancaster's performance. I think between Liotta and Jones I actually slightly preferred Liotta.

Louis Morgan said...


Woods - 5(Would someone please put him a good movie again. Woods gives a compelling portrayal of a man finally regaining his pride. Above else though Woods is absolutely mesmerizing in this film and what would you expect when you put him in the role of fiery defense attorney. You could not ask for something better for Woods to really sink his teeth into as he does so much in every court room scene. Woods made me like the film far more than I would have otherwise since he's just so captivating to watch here)

Ford - 4.5(I don't really have any other additional thoughts from his first performance other than the ones I will get to in a upcoming review)

Harris - 4.5(Harris is a good lead for most of the film to begin with as he brings the needed gravity to each of the film's disastrous situations. What really made the performance a step above though for me is the resuscitation scene because Harris is just amazing throughout the harrowing sequence)

Candy - 4.5(Unfortunately Candy always did seem a bit taken for granted back in the day, as once again Candy proves his dramatic chops considerably. He's certainly funny in the ways you'd expect in portraying Buck's eccentricities, as well as just charming in his usual way. He goes beyond this though and gives quite a moving depiction of Buck dealing with his own personal problems, as well as when he's trying to do the right thing with his niece)

Fox - 4(As I said for III's review Doc gets to do far more interesting things that Marty who's unfortunately stuck in that Chicken character arc which came out nowhere. I prefer this one over III though as his Peter Sellering is a bit better here as he's enjoyable as Marty's doofus son, and duaghter. And in addition from that the charm as well as ability to balance the dramatic moments is once again evident. He does not hit the heights from original but it's still a good performance)

Murray - 4(I do think Ghostbusters II got a bit hated on its initial release. Come Siskel & Ebert no laughs whatsoever? That's a bit harsh. It's not as good as the original but there's still plenty to be enjoyed. Murray still is quite funny in doing his sarcastic one liners. The romance is weakened severely this time though since they just hit reset. It's still entertaining work though)

Hanks - 4(Very good straight man work from Hanks here I particularly enjoy every reaction of his at the climax of the film.)

Douglas - 4(Douglas interestingly kinda does a slight tweek on his Wall Street persona. A similair style though far less cutthroat and far dumber. It's quite enjoyable to see Douglas begin in his usual sort of way and devolve into a guy who urinates on food)

Silver - 4(The film is attempting a difficult tone to achieve of extreme sorrow along with comedy. Silver handles it the best out of the cast as he bridges the sides by having the humorous moments almost come out of the way his character is barely able to deal with the horror he has suffered.)

Cusack - 4(I'm not a huge Cusack fan by any means, but I actually did like him here. He's really quite charming and gently humorous as the aimless though honest young adult)

Gibson - 4(I probably should re-watch the first two films one of these days since it has been awhile. Gibson as I recall brought a great comic energy while still realizing a certain palatable sorrow in the scenes involving the revelations about his wife)

Louis Morgan said...

Reeves & Winter - 3.5(Where's that sequel already? Any who the two of them are so enjoyable stupid. It's harder than it looks since the two succeed in being endearing rather than obnoxious. I do have to admit I have not seen Excellent in a long time, Bogus for some reason was the one always on rotation on the TV schedules)

Crystal - 3.5(Crystal restrains himself properly and gives the right combination of a maturation and foolishness to the role that works quite well)

Keaton - 3.5(I always hate how shafted he is since Batman is barely in his own film. Keaton though has unquestionably has the best Batman voice out of any live rendition. In addition to that he brings a real life to his Bruce Wayne who does not get to show up enough)

Nicholson - 2.5(This really is just like his Departed performance for me. It's Nicholson just going in any direction he feels like. I love an energetic and unpredictable Nicholson, but the directors of 70's seemed to force him to channel it that's not the case here. It boils down to a lot of showboating. I can see why some like it, but it always feels like Nicholson just doing whatever he feels like rather than the Joker)

Costner - 3.5(A simple role but well done. He gives the right charm to his character's resilience and passion for his unusual cause. The type I imagine why he got some James Stewart comparisons back in the day, I don't think he's that good, but he is good)

Broderick - 3.5(This is a good performance in that he manages to not stick out like a sore thumb as that you might expect old Ferris to do so. Broderick does well though in creating the sense of Shaw's personal drive and determination to lead the men he so deeply believes in)


Henry V:

Jacobi - 4.5(His delivery of the chorus is excellent as he sets every stage brilliantly. I especially love his final monologue that powerfully states the somber note caused by the future)

Thompson - 3(She's quite adorably charming in her few scenes)

Scofield - 3.5(Rather like his performance as he gets a bit of substance to a limited role, particularly in his expression with dealing with his daughter's infatuation with technically his sworn enemy)

Coltrane - 3(I don't know doesn't this role seem more suited for Brian Blessed. Coltrane still good though bringing the sort of jovial boisterous right for old Falstaff)

The Abyss:

Mastrantonio - 4(I rather liked her here actually as like Harris she does a good job of creating the gravity for the situation. She's also quite moving in the scenes where Bud is the one in danger. My only slight reservation is that a couple of her deliveries feel just a bit too much)

Biehn - 3.5(I don't think the film built his motivations all that well, I don't know maybe it's better in the special edition, but hey Biehn is a master of the crazy eyes and makes for an effective villain)

Louis Morgan said...


Sutherland - 4(A good performance as Sutherland believably shows his character's slow transition from the casual ignorance of what is going on around him to a man doing his best to right the wrong of his country.)

Slater - 1(Ehhh this was bad. That Nicholson impression...just stop. I hate his performance much like the film itself)

Williams is supporting. I mean is there even a single scene from his perspective? Then I feel the boys it jumps around enough that not a single one of them feels clearly like the lead so I take it as an ensemble.

In regards to Cruise don't forget that was a very early review. My thoughts have not really changed, but there are good moments in there. It's just far too unrestrained of a performance a la Hopkins in Nixon. For some reason I doubt Oliver Stone is one to tell actors to maybe "try something more subtle". I mean that would be against his nature.


Ryder - 3(I actually thought she was decent in her attempt to try to mend the film's atrocious tone. I don't think she succeeds, but I do think she comes out best from the mess)


Olin - 3.5(I like her performance for the most part as she somewhat creates the sides of her character between life and death so to speak, but not nearly as cleanly as Silver manages it)

Huston - 3.5(Like Olin I don't think she quite finds the tone as well as Silver. She's good in both sides of the role, but I don't think she bridges perfectly)


1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
2. My Left Foot
3. Crimes and Misdemeanors
4. Henry V
5. Casualties of War
6. Sex, Lies, and Videotape
7. True Believer
8. The 'Burbs
9. Glory
10. Back to the Future Part II

The Abyss - (I should note that I've only seen the shorter version. With that version I felt the film was decent enough, with a few great moments in there like the resuscitation scene. I did not think it added up into anything too compelling and I did feel the villain plot seemed a tad rushed even though Biehn was good)

War of the Roses - (Works out its dark comedy tone rather well and succeeds in deriving plenty of humor out of horrible divorce of two people. I do think it slightly loses its way near the end, but not too much)

Say Anything - (I'm not really a Cameron Crowe fan. I liked this just fine though for the most part. I do feel the criminal stuff involving the father seemed a little too melodramatic, but I found the love story aspect to be fairly endearing)

True Believer - (The plot is probably pretty questionable particularly with the final revelations. I did not mind though because the film moves along on a nice enough pace and just is a magnificent showcase for James Woods)

Uncle Buck - (I don't think it adds up as well as Planes Trains and Automobiles while suffering from the same sort of excessively dated soundtrack (not in a good way). Nevertheless there's still a nice bit of humor to be found, and thanks to Candy the dramatic moments manage to work)