BetteBack – Thursday, Dec. 29, 1988: Early Oscar Predictions

Mister D: Melanie Griffith won For “Working Girl” (maybe that’s not right, can’t remember) and Bette was not nominated….

Kokomo Tribune
Year featured some decent, not great, f i lms
Thursday, Dec. 29, 1988

1988 gave us quite a few decent movies and a host of good performances, though there were no flat-out great movies. Some of the following may not have played in your neighborhood, but most are, or will be, available on home video. The best movies of 1988 (in alphabetical order ):

“A World Apa r t” — This directorial debut for cinematographer Chris Menges has a  beautiful, bracing simplicity. It’s the moving portrait of a dissident journa l i st
(Ba rba ra Hershey) in ’60s South Af r i c a, seen through the eyes of her alert, quizzical daughter.

“Babette’s Feast” (on Orion Home Video in M a r c h) — The winner of last year’s Oscar for
Best Foreign Film is about the meeting of asceticism and aest h e t i c i s m: a s ensual
F r e n ch housekeeper (Stephan A u d r a n) decides to cook a loving gourmet
m e al f or t he s t e rn D a n i sh religious communi ty where she lives, and what epicurean magic she works!

“Beetlejuice” — The hippest and wildest comedy of the year, Tim Burton’s slapstick ghost  farce has lots of laughs and a great production design.

“Hairspray” — A deliciously campy musical satire from John Waters, this is the t a le of  ’60s Baltimore teens beset by s i l ly dance crazes, towering ha i r s tyl e s, bad
compl exions, p a r e n ts and racial tensions.

“Little Dorrit” — This two-part, six-hour version of the teeming Dickens novel dares to tell the same complex story f rom the perspective of two d i f f e r e nt characters. The second part flags, but few f i lms take us so deeply into the world of the imagined past.

“The Thin Blue Line” (on HBO Video in J a n u a r y) — As if one of those t a b l o id TV  shows l i ke “America’s Most Wanted” were lifted into the realm of a r t, this b r i l l i a n t, high-style documentary by Errol Morris explores the r e a l – l i fe case of a Dallas cop-killing, discovering along the way that the man a c tua l ly convicted of the crime is most probably innocent.

“The Unbe a r able Lightness of B e i n g” — T h is t h r e e – h o ur ama tory epic by the  risk-taking director Philip Ka u fman intertwines love, sex and politics, via novelist Milan Kundera‘s source material. It’s the year’s most deli c a t e ly t h o u g h t f ul and . poetic
American f i lm.

“White Mischief” (Nelson Home Video) — A blend of caustic upper-class satire and silky  romantic melodrama, this fact-based drama explores the last days of Engl i sh
coloni a l i sm in 1940s Kenya, centering on an infamous murder case that rocked fashionable Nairobi society. Ravishing G r e ta S c a c c hi  a nd  d a s h i ng Charles Dance star.

“Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” — The year’s best cinematic roller-coaster ride is also a deeply felt entertainment with tantalizing associations.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” and “Mat ador” — Two bold and f u n ny
f i lms by Spaniard Pedro Almodova r, the first new foreign f i lmma k er to stand a chance of ma k i ng it big in this country in several years.

“Women” pivots on an actress (luscious Carmen Ma u r a) whose phone machine message reveals that her lover has betrayed her.

“Matador” is an erotic murder mystery in t u t t i – f r u t ti colors.
Runne rs -up — “The Accidental Tourist,” “High Tide,” “Bull  Durham,” “Dear Ame r i c a: Lett e rs Home From V i e t n a m .” Special ment ion to independent P o r t l a n d
f i l m m a k e r  J i m B l a s h f i e l d ‘s d a z z l i ng anima t ed s h o r t , ‘ ‘ S u s p i c i o u s
C i rcumstances.”
Be st ac t or — Tom H a n ks ( “Big” ), Alec Guinness (“Little D o r r i t ” ) ,
D e n n is Q u ai d ( ” E v e r y b o d y ‘s A l l – A m e r i c a n ” ), Du s t in H o f f m an
( “Ra in M a n ” ), Willem Dafoe (“The Last Temptation of Chr i s t ” ), Gene H a c k m an
( ” M i s s i s s i p pi B u r n i n g ” ), Er ic Bogosian ( “Ta lk Radio”).

Best actress — Bette Midler (“Beaches”), Meryl Streep (“Cry in the Da r k ” ), Sigourney  Weaver ( “Gor i l l as in the Mist,”) Melanie Griffith (“Working G i r l ” ), Jodie Foster (“The Acc u s e d ” ), B a r b a r a  H e r s h ey (“World Ap a r t ” ), Susan Sarandon (“Bull Du r h am” ), Michelle Pfeiffer ( “Ma r r i ed to the Mob” ), Carmen Maura (“Women on the Verge”), Glenn Close (“Dangerous L i a i s o n s ” ), J u dy D a v is (“High Tide”), Shirley MacLaine ( ” M a d a me Sous a t zka ” ), Gena Rowlands (“Another Woman” )

B e st s u p p o r t i ng  a c t or —  Michael Keaton (“Beetlejuice”), Dean Stockwell  (“Married to the M o b , ” ” T u c k e r ” ), D i v i n e ( “Ha i r spr ay” ).
Best screenplay — Fr ank Ga l a ti and Lawrence Kasdan (“The Accidental Tourist”), Jean-Claude C a r r i e re a nd P h il K a u f m a n

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