And the Rewritten Oscar goes to…Midnight Express
In a solid but unspectacular year, it’s Alan Parker’s haunting prison drama that truly sticks in the mind.
Cimino’s The Deer Hunter looked an insurmountable climb for its fellow contenders, but its baggy, indulgent nature, forbids it from achieving the greatness it’s often straddled with. A solid film it is though. Coming Home also offers a solid but unspectacular contender, never quite getting to the heart of its issues.
Heaven Can Wait lightens the mood of the field. There is charm-a-plenty in Warren Beatty’s comedy, even if it struggles to leave a lasting impression, whilst Paul Mazursky’s comedy/drama An Unmarried Woman misses its mark to a more notable degree, failing to bring the affection to its characters that the material requires.
Midnight Express makes an impression alright, a haunting film which burrows in the brain and places you right in the thick of the action to the point that we share in our protagonist’s suffering. It’s always telling when a film is able to transport you as Midnight Express is. It is no doubt that best of 1979’s bunch.
The Academy missed a beat, making them 6/14
Coming Home– 3/4
An Unmarried Woman– 2.5/4
Heaven Can Wait– 3/4
Midnight Express– 4/4
The Deer Hunter– 3/4