Oscar Movies: Running on Empty (1988)

Oscar Nominations: 2


Screenplay (Original): Naomi Foner

Supporting Actor: River Phoenix


Oscar Awards: None


Oscar Context


The most nominated film in 1988, “Rain Man,” received four Oscars out of its 8 nods, including Picture, Director, Actor, and Screenplay by Ronald Bass and Barry Morrow. 


The other Best Picture nominees represented a mixed bag in genre and quality: “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Mississippi Burning,” each with 8 nominations, Mike Nichols's comedic fable “Working Girl,” with 6, and Lawrence Kasdan's literary adaptation “The Accidental Tourist,” with 4.


This was River Phoenix's first and only nomination, which made him one of the Academy's youngest contenders.  His category included Kevin Kline, who won for “A Fish Called Wanda,” vet Alec Guinness in “Little Dorrit,” Martin Landau in “Tucker: the Man and His Dream,” and Dean Stockwell in “Married to the Mob.”

Christine Lahti received Best Actress from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, but failed to win an Oscar nod.