Annal: 1989 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama

Results of the Golden Globe Award in the year 1989.

Film:Rain Man

Rain Man

Barry Levinson

Rain Man is the kind of touching drama that Oscars are made for—and, sure enough, the film took Academy honors for best picture, director, screenplay, and actor (Dustin Hoffman) in 1988. Hoffman plays Raymond, an autistic savant whose late father has left him $3 million in a trust. This gets the attention of his materialistic younger brother, a hot-shot LA car dealer named Charlie (Tom Cruise) who wasn’t even aware of Raymond’s existence until he read his estranged father’s will. Charlie picks up Raymond and takes him on a cross-country journey that…

Film:The Accidental Tourist

The Accidental Tourist

Lawrence Kasdan

Lawrence Kasdan adapted Anne Tyler’s novel into this mopey comedy which, oddly enough, took the New York Film Critics Circle’s best picture award (a case of strategic voting getting out of hand). William Hurt plays a depressed travel writer struggling to come to terms with his son’s death. He buys a dog for companionship, then hires an eccentric dog trainer (Geena Davis, who won an Oscar for her role) to teach it to behave. She, in turn, teaches him to reconnect to life. But as he is beginning to admit his feelings for her to himself, he is blindsided by the…

Film:A Cry in the Dark

A Cry in the Dark

Fred Schepisi

Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Elaine on Seinfeld once offered a non sequitur at a party just to relieve her own boredom: “The dingo ate your baby,” she blurted in a bad Australian accent. It was a reference to this harrowing film by director Fred Schepisi, based on a true story. Meryl Streep and Sam Neill play a married couple on a camping trip whose baby disappears. Streep maintains that the baby was carried off by a dingo—a wild dog—but she winds up as the victim of a hard-hearted prosecutor and the target of a nationwide hate campaign, in part because she was a…

Film:Gorillas in the Mist

Gorillas in the Mist

Michael Apted

Sigourney Weaver more than earned her Oscar nomination for Best Actress in Gorillas in the Mist, dominating every frame of Michael Apted’s biopic about primatologist Dian Fossey. Tenderly mothering an orphaned gorilla infant or terrorizing an African poacher with a staged lynching, the statuesque star is never less than fiercely focused, a glamorous warrior for animal rights. As the amateur scientist who researched and spotlighted Rwanda’s endangered mountain gorillas in National Geographic, Weaver is the passionate heart that keeps an otherwise…

Film:Mississippi Burning

Mississippi Burning

Alan Parker

Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe star in Mississippi Burning, a well-intentioned and largely successful civil-rights-era thriller. Using the real-life 1964 disappearance of three civil rights workers as its inspiration, the film tells the story of two FBI men (Hackman and Dafoe, entertainingly called “Hoover Boys” by the locals) who come in to try to solve the crime. Hackman is a former small-town Mississippi sheriff himself, while Dafoe is a by-the-numbers young hotshot. (Yes, there is some tension between the two.) The movie has an interesting fatalism, as…

Film:Running on Empty

Running on Empty

Sidney Lumet

It’s difficult to watch this involving family drama and not end up mad at River Phoenix. He was such an incredibly talented, believable, available actor that it makes you mad at him for leaving us so soon. He’s particularly good here as Danny, a talented musician and the eldest son of a couple of former war protestors (Christine Lahti and Judd Hirsch). Their bombing of a napalm plant during the Vietnam War makes their small, nuclear family act as fugitives, never letting themselves settle down, never leaving traces, one step ahead of the law. This works for the…

Film:The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Philip Kaufman

Let others in 1968 Prague fret over liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Prague surgeon and avowed womanizer Tomas is focused on the happiness of pursuit. He’s determined to live with a lightness of being unfettered by things like commitment and Communism. A young doctor’s quest for sex and his stumbling into love are part of the rich storyline of this lyrical film from the landmark Milan Kundera novel, produced by Saul Zaentz (The English Patient, Amadeus) and directed by Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff, Henry & June). Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliette Binoche and Lena Olin indelibly form the romantic triangle at the center of Tomas’ world. It’s a shifting world of hope spoiled and renewed, of lives blighted by oppression and reinvigorated by deep, maturing love.

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