1989 is one of the years we continually refer back to as it was both one of the only Oscar years where Best Picture went to a film without a directing nomination for its director, and it was also the year the Academy shut out Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. I wrote about it for an Oscar Flashback already.
Essential viewing for next week’s podcast would have to include both Driving Miss Daisy and Lee’s exceptional, groundbreaking, all around brilliant Do the Right Thing. The other films in the Best Picture race, Field of Dreams, Dead Poets Society, My Left Foot and Born on the Fourth of July could also be seen if you wanted to be thorough, though it’s easy to see why Driving Miss Daisy handily beat the competition.
This was also the year Daniel Day-Lewis and Denzel Washington won their first Oscars and kickstarted their formidable careers. It was also the year Michelle Pfeiffer got the closest to winning a Best Actress Oscar, coming off the heels of the previous year where she showed her range with Dangerous Liaisons, Married to the Mob and Tequila Sunrise. But how do you deny Jessica Tandy? You don’t.
Strangely, one of Woody Allen’s best films, Crimes and Misdemeanors was not nominated for Best Picture. Another film worth seeing from that year is Enemies, A Love Story, which earned acting accolades. I have not seen that film in years but it was always a personal favorite.