Annal: 1983 Academy Award® for Best Motion Picture

Results of the Academy Award® in the year 1983.

Film:Gandhi

Gandhi

Richard Attenborough

Gandhi is a great subject, but is Gandhi a great film? Undoubtedly it is, not least because it is one of the last old-school epics ever made, a glorious visual treat featuring tens of thousands of extras (real people, not digital effects) and sumptuous Panavision cinematography. But a true epic is about more than just widescreen photography, it concerns itself with noble subjects too, and the life story of Mahatma Gandhi is one of the noblest of all. Both the man and the film have profound things to say about the meaning of freedom and racial harmony, as…

Film:E.T.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg’s 1982 hit about a stranded alien and his loving relationship with a fatherless boy (Henry Thomas) struck a chord with audiences everywhere, and it furthered Spielberg’s reputation as a director of equally strong commercial sensibilities and classical leanings. Henry Thomas gives a strong, emotional performance as E.T.’s young friend, Robert MacNaughton and Drew Barrymore make a solid impression as his siblings, and Dee Wallace is lively as the kids’ mother. The special effects almost look a bit quaint now with all the computer advancements that…

Film:Missing (1982)

Missing

Costa-Gavras

The peril facing a lone American amid Third World political turmoil is elegantly communicated in this important film from Costa-Gavras (Z), adapted by the director and Donald Stewart from Thomas Hauser’s nonfiction book. The key to its power onscreen stems from the decision not to center the action merely on the disappearance of Charles Horman (John Shea), but also on the search for him by his father Ed (Jack Lemmon)—and on Ed’s discovery of a son he never knew. The Oscar-winning script flows freely between that search and Charles’s earlier experiences in…

Film:Tootsie

Tootsie

Sydney Pollack

One of the touchstone movies of the 1980s, Tootsie stars Dustin Hoffman as an out-of-work actor who disguises himself as a dowdy, middle-aged woman to get a part on a hit soap opera. The scheme works, but while he/she keeps up the charade, Hoffman’s character comes to see life through the eyes of the opposite sex. The script by Larry Gelbart (with Murray Schisgal) is a winner, and director Sydney Pollack brings taut proficiency to the comedy and sensitivity to the relationship nuances that emerge from Hoffman’s drag act. Great supporting work from Teri…

Film:The Verdict

The Verdict

Sidney Lumet

In this 1982 courtroom drama written by David Mamet and directed by Sidney Lumet, Paul Newman found the perfect role for a transitional period of his stellar career. As alcoholic Boston lawyer Frank Galvin, Newman shook off his screen persona as a handsome, blue-eyed hunk to portray an aging, weary man whose best years are behind him, with a shot-glass future that looks very bleak indeed. But when Galvin is given a chance to redeem himself—by proving medical negligence in the case of a comatose woman—he makes one final effort to regain his self-respect and…

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