Annal: 1984 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for Best Film

Results of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award in the year 1984.

Film:Educating Rita

Educating Rita

Lewis Gilbert

Michael Caine and the knockout Julie Walters deliver a pair of wonderful performances in this endearingly bittersweet tale of a boozily burnt-out professor’s tutoring of (and subsequent tutoring by) a free-spirited cockney hairdresser determined to improve her lot in life. The basic plot won’t exactly surprise anyone who’s ever seen a movie before, but the ace cast (particularly Caine, who’s rarely this subtle) continually finds new directions to spin off from the rather rote path. Although the end result is perhaps just a little too convinced of its own…

Film:Heat and Dust

Heat and Dust

James Ivory

A persistent clash of cultures lies at the heart of Heat and Dust, the Merchant/Ivory team’s most acclaimed drama prior to 1985’s A Room with a View. The celebrated trio of director James Ivory, producer Ismail Merchant, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala were perfectly suited to this time-skipping story of thwarted romance, based on Jhabvala’s novel, in which the colonial British find themselves perpetually at odds with the vibrant rhythms of India. In this most sensual of environments, two related British women, separated by six decades,…

Film:Local Hero

Local Hero

Bill Forsyth

When Mac MacIntyre (played with deadpan perfection by Peter Riegert) is sent by his star-gazing, slightly insane Knox Oil and Gas boss (Burt Lancaster) to Scotland’s West Coast to buy the rights to a seaside town slated to be the site of an oil refinery, Mac embarks on his journey reluctantly. “Why do I have to go to all the way to Scotland?” Mac complains to a coworker. “I’m really more of a Telex man.” But on the way to closing the deal, a funny thing happens: the place takes root in Mac. The town’s eccentric inhabitants, eventful night sky, and stunning…

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…

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