The Retroactive Film Awards Of 1994

The year 1994 is a big one in America film. It’s one of the most-famous Oscars. You won’t see the big films of 1994 in my awards. I am not that big on Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, or Forrest Gump. There are a few strong performances in Pulp Fiction, and it might be fun to throw an award to Christopher Walken, but none of them are going to make my cut. What does? It’s time for my awards for the movies of 1994.

Best Supporting Actress: Sandra Bullock, Speed

I would argue that Bullock is the secret weapon in Speed. Dennis Hopper is a fun, scenery-chewing bad guy. Keanu Reeves is solid, though he is in action star mode. Bullock has to be Reeves’ foil and also the primary civilian in the film. She’s funny, charming, believably overwhelmed, you name it. Now, she wasn’t able to turn Speed II into anything of value, but Bullock nails it in Speed.

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Eigeman, Barcelona

Of the third primary Whit Stillman comedies, Barcelona is the least of the bunch. However, it’s still a really good movie, and that’s mostly on the duo of Taylor Nichols and Eigeman. Eigeman is definitely the better of the bunch, though. His speech on The Graduate? That’s Eigeman, and Stillman, to a tee.

Best Actress: Jodie Foster, Nell

As a film, Nell doesn’t hold together entirely. As a performance, Foster is asked to do so much. It’s such a distinct, once-in-a-generation kind of performance. Through jokes about the film, you may know that Nell doesn’t speak traditional English. Foster is speaking her own language, basically, but also having to convey so much. This isn’t the best movie, but it is the best performance by an actress in a lead role.

Best Actor: Johnny Depp, Ed Wood

I am not wading into the narrative around Depp. This is about looking at him as an actor, specifically in the 1994 moving picture Ed Wood. This is his best performance. He’s not all hammy and relying on wigs and makeup. Depp is playing a real person, though a decidedly-movie-friendly version of Ed Wood. His performance is excellent, and even if you don’t like Depp’s usual style of acting, you may like Ed Wood.

Best Picture: Ed Wood

Martin Landau did win an Oscar for Ed Wood, and fairly so. However, the movie also should have won. The film is a great take on a biopic. It looks great. It’s not my favorite Tim Burton film, but it may be his best directing work. The movie is funny, charming, interesting, and also happens to be about filmmaking, which is something I have an affinity for. I wish Burton would make another movie like Ed Wood.

Chris Morgan
Author: Chris Morgan

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