Let us not kid ourselves – 1990 was the year the academy got it wrong, very wrong. This was the year that an instant classic by one our greatest living directors got stripped of the big prize by a fairly well made western directed by a well respected 80’s actor. Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” with its ambitious tracking shots, -now constantly ripped off- narrative structure and incredible performances lost to Kevin Costner’s earnest, well meaning, sincerely decent “Dances With Wolves”. We all know which film stood the test of time, in fact Scorsese’s classic is still consistently revisited in film schools and is one of the most ripped-off films of the 1990’s and Aughts. Whereas it turns out that Costner’s film -which does have its fair share of fans- is nothing more than a well made western that seemed to come out in the right place and at the right time. To make matters worse, just look at some of the other best picture nominees; “Ghost”?, “The Godfather, Part III”? And as much as I liked Penny Marshall’s “Awakenings” I’d substitute it all 4 of the above mentioned films -including “Dances With Wolves”- to give a Best Picture Nomination to Stephen Frears’ “The Grifters”. In fact “The Grifters” is the one 1990 film that comes closest to achieving the greatness of “Goodfellas”. Honorable mentions would include Barbet Schroder’s “Reversal Of Fortune”, Tim Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands”, Joel Coen’s “Miller’s Crossing”, Charles Burnett’s underrated “To Sleep With Anger” and even David Lynch’s kinky, twisted “Wild At Heart”. ALL of these films were better and more lasting than 4 of the 5 nominated films.