Ironweed (1987): Babenco’s Oscar Nominee, Starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep

Director Hector Babenco, fresh off of his success with The Kiss of the Spider Woman, made this disappointing film, based onWilliam Kennedy Depression era Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

Set in Albany, this bleak tale centers on Francis Phelan (Nicholson), an alcoholic homeless who was once a baseball player, makes one last effort to connect with the family he had abandoned after causing the death of his infant son by accident.

Streep plays his equally depressed and alcohlic lover who’s on the verge of dying.

The movie is sharply uneven, lacking dramatic focus and any artistic shape–no wonder it was a big flop artistically and commercially.

Oscar Nominations: 2

Actor: Jack Nicholson

Actress: Meryl Streep

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

Michael Douglas won the Best Actor for Wall Street, and Cher won Best Actress for Moonstruck