Oscar Rewrite: 1986


Best Picture: Platoon

Sometimes it takes an actual vet to explain what war is really like. After serving in Vietnam, Oliver Stone rose the ranks of Hollywood until it was time to make his ultra-personal anti-war flick. Set to Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” Platoon has a powerful cast: Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Forest Whitaker, Keith David, John C. McGinley, Kevin Dillon and Johnny Depp.

Best Director: Oliver Stone (Platoon)   David Lynch (Blue Velvet)

Best Actor: Paul Newman (The Color of Money)   Jeff Goldblum (The Fly)

Rarely does a remake top the original, but in the twisted hands of David Cronenberg, anything’s possible. This tale of science-gone-wrong and human-to-insect mutation gave Jeff Goldblum his career role and one of history’s greatest taglines: “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

Best Actress: Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God)     Sigourney Weaver (Aliens)

Best Supporting Actor: Michael Caine (Hannah & Her Sisters) Dennis Hopper (Blue Velvet/Hoosiers)

Best Supporting Actress: Dianne Wiest & Barbara Hershey (Hannah and Her Sisters)

Best Original Screenplay: Hannah & Her Sisters (Woody Allen) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (John Hughes)

Best Adapted Screenplay: A Room With a View (Ruth Prawer Jhabvala)  Top Gun (Jim Cash & Jack Epps Jr. from Ehud Yonay’s magazine article)

While critic Mark Harris chose Top Gun as “The Day The Movies Died,” marking the death nail of Hollywood’s shift from an art form to mindless blockbusters, moviegoers made it the top grossing film of ’86. Either way, Tony Scott’s smash hit changed pop culture, launching Tom Cruise to stardom, boosting sales of aviator sunglasses, inspiring a generation of fighter pilots feeling “the need for speed” and sending “Danger Zone” and “Take My Breath Away” to the top of the pop charts.