Annal: 1991 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 1991.

Film:Goodfellas

Goodfellas

Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese’s 1990 masterpiece GoodFellas immortalizes the hilarious, horrifying life of actual gangster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), from his teen years on the streets of New York to his anonymous exile under the Witness Protection Program. The director’s kinetic style is perfect for recounting Hill’s ruthless rise to power in the 1950s as well as his drugged-out fall in the late 1970s; in fact, no one has ever rendered the mental dislocation of cocaine better than Scorsese. Scorsese uses period music perfectly, not just to summon a particular time but to…

Film:Crimes and Misdemeanors

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Woody Allen

Along with Deconstructing Harry which would follow seven years later, this is Woody Allen’s most somber comedy-drama, as well as his most ambitious film of the 1980s. Allen weaves together two central stories about very different groups of Manhattanites, linking them through a mutual friend, a rabbi (Sam Waterston) who’s going blind. This image is key to the sometimes ponderous, often clever musings on faith, morals, and vision (or lack thereof) that obsess his deeply troubled and unhappy characters. At its center, the film explores people who, through…

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:Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman

Garry Marshall

Like a pumpkin that transforms into a carriage, some very shrewd casting (and the charisma of Julia Roberts, in particular) morphed this story of a Hollywood whore into a Disneyfied Cinderella story—and a mainstream megahit. This is the movie that made Roberts a star; the charm of her personality helping tremendously to carry viewers over the rough spots in the script (which was originally a cynical tale about prostitution called 3000—after the amount of money Richard Gere’s character pays the prostitute to stay with him for the week). Gere is the…

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