And the nominees are…
And the Oscar went to…The Deer Hunter
The Vietnam War arrived on the big screen in 1978. At one time the issue had been metaphorically and allegorically navigated, films like Taxi Driver and The Exorcist brought the horror’s of the war to the screen indirectly in previous years. But 1979’s Best Picture winner, celebrating the best work of 1978, tackled the war explicitly, as did one of its fellow films in Coming Home.
Warren Beatty and Paul Mazursky provide the lighter films of the year with Heaven Can Wait and An Unmarried Woman respectively, while Alan Parker offered another piece of tough subject matter detailing real events in Midnight Express.
In retrospect, it is The Deer Hunter which stands tall amongst its peers. Michael Cimino’s controversial war epic currently sits at number 53 on the AFI’s greatest films list, in addition to picking up 5 Oscars on the big night.
The Deer Hunter poses ominous competition then, but did the Academy let a more fitting winner slip through their fingers in 1979?