Annal: 1990 Academy Award® for Best Motion Picture

Results of the Academy Award® in the year 1990.

Film:Driving Miss Daisy

Driving Miss Daisy

Bruce Beresford

Winner of the Academy Award for best picture of 1989, this gracefully moving drama, adapted from the hit play by Alfred Uhry, chronicles the 25- year friendship between a stubborn, aging Southern widow (Jessica Tandy) and her loyal chauffeur (Morgan Freeman). At first, the self-sufficient Miss Daisy is reluctant to accept the services of a chauffeur, but Hoke is quiet, wise, and tolerant, and as the years pass the unlikely friends develop a deep mutual respect and admiration. Tandy deservedly won the Oscar for her sassy and sensitive performance, and Freeman…

Film:Born on the Fourth of July

Born on the Fourth of July

Oliver Stone

The second film in Oliver Stone’s Vietnam trilogy moves from the brutality of war in Platoon to its equally traumatic aftermath. Based on the memoir of combat veteran Ron Kovic, the film stars Tom Cruise as Kovic, whose gunshot wound in Vietnam left him paralyzed from the chest down. He is deeply embittered by neglect in a veteran’s hospital and by the shattering of his patriotic idealism because of the horror and futility of the Vietnam conflict. While painfully and awkwardly adjusting to his disability and a changing definition of masculinity, Kovic…

Film:Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society

Peter Weir

Robin Williams stars as an English teacher who doesn’t fit into the conservative prep school where he teaches, but whose charisma and love of poetry inspires several boys to revive a secret society with a bohemian bent. The script is well meaning but a little trite, though director Peter Weir (The Truman Show) adds layers of emotional depth in scenes of conflict between the kids and adults. (A subplot involving one father’s terrible pressure on his son—played by Robert Sean Leonard—to drop his interest in theater reaches heartbreaking proportions.)…

Film:Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams

Phil Alden Robinson

A phenomenal hit when it was released in 1989, Field of Dreams has become a modern classic and a uniquely American slice of cinema. It functions effectively as a moving drama about the power of dreams, a fantasy ode to our national pastime, and a brilliant adaptation of W.P. Kinsella’s exquisite baseball novel Shoeless Joe. Kinsella himself found the film a delightful surprise, differing greatly from his novel but benefiting from its own creative variations. It is the film that cemented Kevin Costner’s status as an all-American screen star, but the…

Film:My Left Foot

My Left Foot

Jim Sheridan

Daniel Day-Lewis won a much-deserved Oscar for his wily, passionate performance as Irish artist and writer Christy Brown, whose cerebral palsy kept him confined to a wheelchair. Filmmaker Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father) adapts Brown’s own autobiography for this spirited piece, focusing on the sometimes-difficult fellow’s formative years in his large family and in love with sundry women. Day-Lewis is inspired, and Brenda Fricker (also a recipient of an Oscar for her part in this movie) is almost luminous as Christy’s dedicated mother. So, too, are…

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