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BetteBack – Thursday, November 10, 1988: “Beaches” An Early Oscar Prediction

Altoona Mirror
Oscar predictions are already blowing in wind
Thursday, November 10, 1988

LOS ANGELES — Oscar campaigns begin earlier every year, and already the guns of autumn are firing for such potential nominees as Tom Hanks, Jodie Foster, Sigourney Weaver and Don Ameche.

The studios and publicity offices are readying trade paper ads to oifer films and performances “for your consideration.” The ads will feature reviewers’ comments that a certain actor’s work is deserving of Academy Award
r e c o g n i t i o n. The champ in that department is Tom Hanks.

The a f f a b le Hanks has been the subject of the biggest publicity b l i tz since last year’s bl a st for Cher, who
ended up with the best-actress Oscar for “Moonstruck.”

First with “Big” and then with “Punchline,” Hanks has been the recipient of glowing reviews, many of which mentioned his Oscar chances.

A Hanks nomination seems certain, but for which movie? If Academy voters judge by financial success, they might choose his role in “Big” as the youngster who is transformed overnight into a 30-year-old. But they might consider his troubled comic in “Punchline” more uf a challenge.

Some observers believe Weaver is overdue for an Oscar, and she is likely to be nominated for her role as the obsessed naturalist Dian Fossey in “Gorillas in the Mist.” If the Academy had an award for bravery, she would certainly win it for working intimately with the wild gorillas.

Two recent performances have drawn Academy predictions from many reviewers: Jodie Foster’s rape victim in “The Accused”; Don Ameche’s innocence among the Mafia in “Things Change.”

Unlike 1987, when most of the Academy hopefuls were clumped in the final weeks, this time an impressive array of films and performances has been spread out over the year. Although more potential nominees will appear in November and December, it’s possible to offer a survey of possibilities thus far.

As with last year, the strongest race appears to be among the female stars. Aside from Weaver and Foster, other performances which have attracted strong support include: Shirley MacLaine, “Madame-Sousatzka”; Barbara Hershey, “A World Apart”; Meryl Streep, “A Cry in the Dark“; Whoopi Goldberg, “Clara’s Heart”; Sally Field, “Punchline*’; Gene Rowlands, “Another Woman.”

Joining Hanks and Ameche as possibilities for best actor: Forest Whitaker, “Bird”; Sam Neill, “A Cry in the Dark”; Ben Kingsley, “Pascali’s Island”; Willem Dafoe, “The Last Temptation of Christ”; Edward James Olmos, “Stand and Deliver”; Kevin Costner, “Bull Durham.”

However, so far no runaway has been sighted for best picture of 1988. Here are some possibles: “Big”; “Gorillas in the Mist”; “Punchline”; “A Cry in the Dark”; “Bull Durham”; “Madame Sousatzka.”

The Oscar race will undoubtedly change as new entries reach the marketplace. The most promising works include:

•”Rainman,” with Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise.
•”Torch Song Trilogy,” starring Harvey Fierstein in the film version of his hit play, with Anne Bancroft and Matthew Broderick.
•”Mississippi Burning,” starring Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe.
•”Talk Radio,” with Ellen Green and Alec Baldwin.
•”The Accidental Tourist,” co-starring William Hurt and Kathleen Turner.
•”Beaches,” with Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey.
•”Working Girl,” starring Mclanie Griffith, Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver.

The 61st Annual Academy Awards will arrive early next year — March 29. For the second year the ceremonies will be held at the Shrine Auditorium, and city authorities have promised more control over the traffic. Allan Carr is producing the show, and Marvin Hamlisch has been announced as musical director.

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