"Amadeus," the flamboyant film biography of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and "A Passage to India," David Lean's stately treatment of East-West relations in colonial India, paced the 57th Academy Awards with 11 nominations each, announced this morning in Beverly Hills.
Both "Amadeus" and "Passage to India" received best picture nominations, along with recognition for the principal members of their casts, and their writers and directors.
Best actor nominations went to F. Murray Abraham and Thomas Hulce as the musical and moral protagonists Salieri and Mozart in "Amadeus." Judy Davis and Peggy Ashcroft, as English tourists visiting India with disastrous results in "Passage to India," won nominations as best actress and best supporting actress, respectively.
Directors Milos Forman (for "Amadeus") and David Lean (for "Passage to India") also were nominated, as were the screenplays of both films: Peter Shaffer's adaptation of his own play, and Lean's adaptation of E. M. Forster's novel.
2 Win 7 Nominations
"Places in the Heart," a moving story of a Depression-era widow trying to hold onto her family and her farm, and "The Killing Fields," based on a true story of the relationship between a reporter and his assistant in war-torn Cambodia, received seven nominations each, including best picture.
The other best picture nominee was "A Soldier's Story," a probing look at a murder in a black Army regiment during World War II.
Rounding out the best actor nominees were Albert Finney as a drunken British diplomat in 1930s Mexico in "Under the Volcano"; Sam Waterston as a war correspondent who must flee Cambodia in "Killing Fields," and Jeff Bridges as a benevolent alien in human disguise in "Starman."
Three performers received best actress nominations for similar roles in films examining life on the farm, both now and in the 1930s.
Sally Field played the determined widow in "Places in the Heart"; Jessica Lange was a similarly tough wife and mother in the more contemporary "Country," and Sissy Spacek helped keep her farm family together in "The River."
Vanessa Redgrave, one of the most controversial winners in Oscar history for her fiery anti-Zionist speech in 1978, was nominated for her role as a 19th-Century advocate of women's rights in "The Bostonians," based on Henry James' novel.
Nominated for best supporting actor were Adolph Caesar as the bullying black sergeant in "A Soldier's Story"; John Malkovich as a blind man who comes into his own in "Places in the Heart"; Noriyuki (Pat) Morita as an unexpectedly wise martial arts instructor in "The Karate Kid"; Haing S. Ngor, an actual Cambodian refugee who brings authenticity to the role of the reporter's deserted aide in "Killing Fields," and Ralph Richardson, the late English actor whose final appearance came as a doddering lord in "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes."
The supporting actress nominees, in addition to Ashcroft for "Passage to India," include Glenn Close as a baseball player's true love in "The Natural"; Lindsay Crouse as a comforting relative in "Places in the Heart"; Christine Lahti as a home front factory worker in "Swing Shift," and Geraldine Page as a salty and hard-drinking policeman's mother in "The Pope of Greenwich Village."
Nominated for best director, along with Lean and Forman, were Robert Benton for "Places in the Heart," Roland Joffe for his first feature film, "The Killing Fields," and Woody Allen for "Broadway Danny Rose."