Originally Posted by Bailey
Malcolm X blew me away. Spike Lee's audacious filmmaking just energized the hell out of me.
The first thing I think about movies when I see the year 1992 is "Oh yeah, the year Malcolm X should have won best picture and wasn't even nominated". Pfft. I only saw "Malcolm X" and "Unforgiven" for the first time a few years ago and it was clear to me then. I don't think "Unforgiven" is even a particularly good movie, let alone one worthy of best picture. One of the best examples of Hollywood giving undeserved awards just to honour a career.
That movie's Oscar is really just a tribute to Clint Eastwood's iconic status as a Western star and gratitude for his attempt to bring back the revered American genre at a time when it was cold. Hackman was good in the movie, but again, I think he won more as a tribute to the rest of his career. He was the only thing in the movie I found special. The story was trite and the other characters were forgettable.
"Malcolm X" is stunningly powerful. Probably the best biopic I've ever seen. And yet another example of a 'legacy' award taking precedence over the person who really deserved the win. Al Pacino's was fun in "Scent of a Woman" but I believe his Oscar win was basically a lifetime achievement award, and for that, Denzel Washington was robbed of getting his due for a monumental performance that rose to the challenge of the incredibly deep, sprawling epic it had to carry. Oscar-wise, 1992 was one of the best examples of politics over quality.
As for movie memories from the actual year, all I remember going to see in theatres is "Aladdin" and "Batman Returns". I went to see every Disney movie that came out in theatres from "The Little Mermaid" to "Aladdin". After "Aladdin", I felt I'd grown out of animated movies.
For that reason, "Aladdin" is meaningful to me as kind of the end of an era in my life. It was the last time an animated movie was a really big deal to me. To this day, "Aladdin" is still my favourite Disney movie, even though I'm sure it's not objectively one of the best (the two leads are bland and the movie is basically stolen from them by supporting characters, for one thing).
My opinion of it is definitely biased due to nostalgia. There was some backlash from other kids who thought Robin Williams was too over-the-top (before we even knew that expression), but I still love him in the movie, and over the years, I have gained more and more appreciation for Jafar and Iago (especially Iago), two of my all time favourite movie villians. Jafar has one of the best evil asshole lines ever after he makes Jasmine cry by telling her that Aladdin was killed for stealing. Iago asks, "So, how did it go?" and Jafar replies, "I think she took it...RATHER WELL! MUHAHAHAHAHA!"
As for "Batman Returns", I think I was too young to really have any idea about what was going on in its story or make some kind of judgment about its quality. I just knew I loved Catwoman in it, and I still do, even now that I realize Pfieffer's performance is pretty hammy and she (like all the characters in the movie) acts quite ridiculously theatrical and barely resembles a real person. She's still a blast to watch in the role, though, and I think she always will be, no matter how old you are.