November 19th, 2009

Oscars

African Duchess

I have been watching all the movies that won the Oscar for Best Picture. The next on my list was the 1985 winner, Out of Africa, directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.


Out of Africa is a romantic epic based on the memoirs of Karen Blixen, who owned a farm in Africa in the early part of the 20th Century. The film makes superb use of cinematography to show the grandeur of the landscape and the unique character of the culture. While grand, it is also personal and moving.


The other Best Picture nominees that year were The Color Purple, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Prizzi's Honor and Witness. In addition to Best Picture, Out of Africa won Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Music, Original Score, Best Sound, and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Blixen's books, as well as Judith Thurman's Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller and Errol Trzebinski's Silence Will Speak).


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