Patrick Kenzie: So what kind of name is Bressant?
Detective Remy Bressant: It’s the kind they give you in Lousiana.
Patrick Kenzie: Oh yeah? Thought you were from here.
Detective Remy Bressant: Well, it all depends on how you look at it. I mean, you might think that you’re more from here than me, for example. But I’ve been living here longer than you been alive. So who’s right?
Patrick Kenzie: I’ll mull it over.
I can’t remember the first time I saw this movie, but it must have been a few years before 1997. I know this because in 1997 Con Air was released and at the time my favorite actors were Nicolas Cage (this was due to early viewings of his 80s films, and early 90s rom-coms), John Cusack and John Malkovich, thus I thought they made that movie just for me (it even had a Trisha Yearwood theme song!). The reason I loved Malkovich so much was this movie, so I would be lying if I didn’t say most of this piece is going to be about his performance. Places in the Heart was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning two: Best Costume Design, Best Supporting Actor John Malkovich, Best Supporting Actress Lindsay Crouse, Best Actress Sally Field (won), Best Original Screenplay (won), Best Director and Best Picture.
This was one of those movies that just completely blew me away when I first saw it. Partly because it’s one of those “great American stories” type movies about heroic everymen, but also because it is so visually stunning and packed with great performances. I will say right off that it has a pretty hefty ensemble cast and instead of trying to write about all of the performances, I’m going to focus on the five main men. But I do want to say that the women (specifically, Barbara Hershey, Kim Stanley, Veronica Cartwright, Mary Jo Deschanel and Kathy Baker) are all marvelous as they try to support their men, and sometimes try to come to terms with their own fear as their husbands become pioneers in this thing we called The Space Race. I also want to mention that Jeff Goldblum and Harry Shearer add some much appreciated levity to the film as befuddled NASA recruiters meeting with the various pilots as they try to convince them to join this new program. The Right Stuff was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning four: Sound Effects Editing (won), Best Film Editing (won), Best Original Score (won), Best Sound (won), Best Supporting Actor Sam Shepard, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Cinematography and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were The Big Chill, The Dresser, Tender Mercies and winner Terms of Endearment.