Let’s Second Guess The Academy: Best Picture 1986

Dean Stockwell in Blue Velvet

Dean Stockwell in Blue Velvet

Last week, we considered whether or not Out of Africa deserved the title of best picture of 1985.  As of this writing, the votes would seem to indicate that most of you feel that it did not.

For this week, let’s jump ahead one year to 1986.  According to the Academy, the five best films of the year were:

1) Children of a Lesser God, an adaptation of play about an angry deaf girl and the teacher who falls in love with her,

2) Hannah and Her Sisters, a Woody Allen film about three sisters and the neurotic people they know,

3) The Mission, a film about Jesuit missionaries in South America that also won the Palme d’Or at Cannes,

4) Room With A View, James Ivory’s super romantic adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel,

and finally, the winner,

5) Platoon, Oliver Stone’s autobiographical film about the Viet Nam war.

Unlike Out of Africa, Platoon has remained a fairly respected winner.  Still, was Platoon actually the best film of 1986?  If I had been a member of the Academy back in 1986, I would have been torn between A Room With A View and Hannah and Her Sisters with my final vote going to Room With A View.  How about you?

Now, here comes the fun part.  Let’s say that Platoon turned out to be a disaster.  Let’s say that Room With A View never made it over to American theaters and maybe Woody Allen decided to retire early.  Let’s say that none of the best picture nominees had been eligible to be nominated.  Which five films would have nominated in their place?

You can vote for up to five films and yes, write-ins are accepted!

(I voted for Blue Velvet, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty In Pink, Betty Blue, and Something Wild.)

10 responses to “Let’s Second Guess The Academy: Best Picture 1986

  1. I agree with Lee on that, Platoon was pretty powerful. My five are Aliens, The Fly, Big Trouble in LIttle China, Manhunter & Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.


  2. I actually think “Platoon” is a pretty solid, if rather straightforward and unalbiguous, morality tale. Certainly not the the best picture of the year — that would be “Blue Velvet,” which was probably the most daring and challening film on the 1980s as a whole — but probably the best of the nominees.


    • I would agree with you if Platoon didn’t hit me in the feels since I grew up with people who experienced Vietnam both the good and bad. I actually thought Full Metal Jacket was the better of the “Vietnam” films that came out around that time, but Platoon was just like a modern Greek tragedy.


      • Exactly, it was classic tragedy that just happened to be set in Viet Nam. It’s a bit overly obvious and heavy-handed — hey, it’s Oliver Stone — but on the whole it’s aged pretty well and holds up just fine.


  3. That’s funny – I felt the same way about choosing b/w HAHS and RWAV (maybe I should have my man card revoked..), and would probably have to see both again to ultimately decide (so I gave your judgement benefit of the doubt, I think)..
    My others are Blue Velvet, Mona Lisa, FB, Peggy Sue and I am so sorry about my write in – honestly a joke!
    I did also like Platoon, however – but since we’re second-guessing..


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