Monday, June 7, 2010

A Fish Called Wanda (1988) (2nd time)

In London, four very different people team up to commit armed robbery, then try to doublecross each other for the money. [imdb]

Nominated for 3 Oscars:

Best Director: Charles Crichton
Best Supporting Actor: Kevin Kline (WINNER)
Best Original Screenplay

The film was among a list of relaxing stuff I wanted to watch (again) just for the fun of it, and of course: because it's Oscar related. I have this idea in my mind that Kevin Kline's Oscar win is kind of an infamous one, because it came out of nowhere (yet, that frequently happened in the 80s; aka: hello, Geena Davis). I'm sure a lot of people consider it fully deserved, but I'm holding on to my idea.
Because even if I'm not THAT familiar with Kline's competition, this doesn't seem an Oscar performance to me. He is quite funny, but so is Jamie Lee Curtis and especially John Cleese, and it's quite the same trick Kevin Kline often pulled from that moment on.... But why am I talking so much about him?! I dunno. The screenplay is nice, but far from a win due to a strong category. The direction nomination can only be explained by a weak year, considering even Mike Nichols made the cut for Working Girl, who is hardly special in the directorial department.
A Fish Called Wanda is nice and relaxing and considering I hadn't seen it in many years, it was kind of nice to watch it again!
My rating for the film: 7.5/10. Michael Palin and his killing storyline represent the best part!


  1. This was pretty good, and I have no problems with Kline's win.

    But Nichols' direction in Working Girl is amazing and its the reason why it still holds up today.

  2. This is one of my favourite comedies. Probably because I'm a huge Monty Python fan, so put Cleese AND Palin in the same film and I'm sold. Then add Kevin Kline and it gets even better.

    I'm also unfamiliar with Kline's competition, and like you say, he's just one funny guy among several funny performances. But I still enjoyed it. And although it isn't anything WAY out of his comfort zone, there's still something uniquely quirky about his Otto. ("Don't call me stupid!")

    Besides, it's always nice to see a comedic performance win. It happens so rarely.

  3. I imagine Alec Guinness to be wonderful in Little Dorrit, the whole 360 min, but unfortunately I can't find it. River Phoenix received lots of praise for Running on Empty. I have only seen half of Tucker: The Man and His Dream, but I know Landau has a big crying scene.
    and Stockwell in Married to the Mob. well, maybe he wouldn't have deserved it :)

  4. I haven't seen any of the competition either, but I love Kline in A Fish Called Wanda. I like him more than I like the movie (I was rooting for him throughout) and I think Jamie Lee Curtis should have been nominated, it's easily her best performance and she really is excellent here, to me at least.

  5. I have to give this a 9. This is some of the best British comedy I have ever seen! Kline is so good, and I'm very glad he won that Oscar.