An epic love story, skillfully mixing gorgeous photography and mal d’Afrique, Out Of Africa was the film of the year. The Sidney Pollack-directed film, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford (and Klaus Maria Brandauer), garnered six Golden Globe nominations, winning three: Best Picture – Drama, Best Original Score (John Barry), and Best Supporting Actor (Brandauer). Based on Karen Blixen's books, the movie follows the life of Karen (Streep), who establishes a plantation in Africa: her life gets complicated by a husband of convenience (Brandauer), a true love (Redford), troubles on the plantation, schooling of the locals, war and more. Out Of Africa also won seven Oscars.
At the 43rd Golden Globe Awards, held on January 24, 1986, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the film prevailed over other notable nominees: Kiss of the Spider Woman, Witness, The Color Purple and The Runaway Train. Meryl Streep was a Globe nominee for Best Actress, but Whoopi Goldberg won for The Color Purple. Pollack lost director to John Huston for Prizzi's Honor.
During the Globe ceremony, Bette Davis presented the Award for Best Picture: Pollack accepted the award thanking “the unbelievable cast and crew”, and mainly Karen Blixen herself, “whose poetry and vision we tried to steal for the screen.”
Filmed on location in Kenya (interiors at Shepperton Studios in England), Out of Africa was a boost to Karen Blixen’s fortune, and created a huge revival and reprinting of the books in which she recalls her life in Africa where, in 1913, she is pushed into a marriage of convenience to Baron Bror Blixen. Eventually, Blixen meets Denys, a local big-game hunter. Redford's interpretation of the dashing and adventurous Denys became a staple in Hollywood, providing a sort of new archetype of the romantic hero in foreign lands. Streep, who'd won a Globe three years earlier for Sophie's Choice, had to wait until 2003 to win again (for Adaptation), despite being nominated for a Globe in virtually every intervening year!
Out of Africa has received mixed reviews from critics: "Though lensed with stunning cinematography and featuring winning performances by Streep and Redford, Out of Africa suffers from excessive length and glacial pacing,” wrote a reviewer. But for the most part audiences, as well as most critics, went along for the ride, letting themselves taken in by the sweeping romanticism of this grand Technicolor melodrama.