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'Miss Daisy' in the Driver's Seat : Movie Is Nominated for 9 Oscars

February 14, 1990|From Associated Press

"Driving Miss Daisy," the bittersweet story of a contrary Southern lady and her wise old chauffeur, led the 62nd Academy Award nominations announced today with nine, followed by the Vietnam film "Born on the Fourth of July" with eight.

"Glory," the epic of black soldiers in the Civil War, and "My Left Foot," the story of an Irish cerebral palsy victim, followed with five nominations apiece.

"Driving Miss Daisy" earned nominations for best picture, and for actors Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy and Dan Aykroyd, but surprisingly not for its director, Bruce Beresford.

"Born on the Fourth of July" scored for best picture, Tom Cruise's starring performance, and the direction by Oliver Stone, who also shared a screen-writing nomination with Ron Kovic, the disabled veteran-activist whose story the film portrays.

"Everyone worked very hard on this film, not only making it but trying to get it made," Cruise said in a statement from the Daytona, Fla., location of his latest movie.

Kovic, about to board a plane in New York, called his nomination "truly one of the happiest and most triumphant moments of my life."

The Academy voters demonstrated selectivity by nominating for best actor Kenneth Branagh of "Henry V" and Robin Williams of "Dead Poets Society."

Both have been little mentioned in prenomination predictions.

Freeman of "Driving Miss Daisy," Cruise of "Born on the Fourth of July" and Daniel Day Lewis of "My Left Foot" were also nominated for best actor.

Isabelle Adjani of "Camille Claudel" was another surprise nominee as best actress. Other actress nominees: Pauline Collins, "Shirley Valentine"; Jessica Lange, "Music Box"; Michelle Pfeiffer, "The Fabulous Baker Boys"; Tandy, "Driving Miss Daisy."

Belying the legend that films released late in the year are favored in the Oscars, the voters nominated "Field of Dreams," released April 21, and "Dead Poets Society," released June 2, for best picture of 1989.

Other nominees for best picture: "Born on the Fourth of July," "Driving Miss Daisy" and "My Left Foot."

"My Left Foot" producer Daniel Pearson said Day Lewis ran out in the street when he heard the news at his agent Julian Belfrage's office: "He's so thrilled, he's just run out of the building. At the moment, it's madness in here."

Among the curiosities in today's nominations: No major honors for the year's top box-office moneymaker, "Batman," which earned $251.2 million in 1989. There were no nominations at all for the critically acclaimed "Drugstore Cowboy."

Branagh and Sheridan were nominated for their first films as directors; only four previous nominees have won Oscars on their directorial debuts. Branagh, Freeman and Collins were nominated for roles they created on the stage; 19 Oscars have been won by actors repeating theater roles.

Martin Landau and Pfeiffer are the only repeat nominees from last year.

Marlon Brando, who won an Oscar for "On the Waterfront" and rejected one for "The Godfather," was nominated for supporting actor for his brief role as a liberal South African lawyer in "A Dry White Season."

Others named for supporting actor: Danny Aiello, "Do the Right Thing"; Aykroyd, "Driving Miss Daisy"; Landau, "Crimes and Misdemeanors"; Denzel Washington, "Glory."

For supporting actress: Brenda Fricker, "My Left Foot"; Anjelica Huston, "Enemies, A Love Story"; Lena Olin, "Enemies, A Love Story"; Julia Roberts, " Steel Magnolias"; Dianne Wiest, "Parenthood."

For best direction: Stone, "Born on the Fourth of July"; Woody Allen, "Crimes and Misdemeanors"; Peter Weir, "Dead Poets Society"; Branagh, "Henry V"; Jim Sheridan, "My Left Foot."

Filmmaker Michael Moore had as much trouble meeting Oscar as he did catching General Motors President Roger Smith in his documentary "Roger & Me." The film failed to win a nomination in the documentary feature category.

Recent weeks have brought criticism of Moore's film for its faulty juxtaposition of time elements and its entertainment values at the expense of accuracy.

In awards already handed out, the New York Film Critics voted "My Left Foot" as the best film of 1989. "Enemies, A Love Story" won for best director and "Drugstore Cowboy" was awarded the best screenplay prize by the New York reviewers.

Film critics in Los Angeles awarded their best film and best director trophies to "Do the Right Thing," with best screenplay going to "Drugstore Cowboy."

"Roger & Me" was named best documentary by both the Los Angeles and New York critics' organizations.

The National Society of Film Critics chose "Drugstore Cowboy" as the best film of the last year and the best directed, too.

Screenings of all nominees start Friday at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater, and the polls close March 10. The awards ceremony will be held on Monday, March 26.

Other nominees:

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Woody Allen, "Crimes and Misdemeanors"; Tom Schulman, "Dead Poets Society"; Spike Lee, "Do the Right Thing"; Steven Soderbergh, "sex, lives and videotapes"; Nora Ephron, "When Harry Met Sally. . . ."

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