Mar 1, 2013

Where Oscar went wrong

I don't watch the Oscars, which sometimes puzzles those that know me as I love movies, but I haven't sat and watched the award show in years. It really makes little sense to me why it's so popular as it really is useless. I really have little desire to see celebrities vote for themselves and have the largest circle jerk of the year. While I don't watch them, I do see the results later in the news, shrug my shoulders, and carry on my business as if they never existed. Granted some of the winners baffled me and still do, and shows how much of a wide disconnect the viewing public (including paid critics) and industry insiders have. So I'll list the most baffling Oscar wins and nominations according to me. You may think this is an opinion, but oh no, this is fact, because I said it. So there.
  1. 2006 Best Picture Winner "Crash" - A lot of hate was tossed around for this film after it took Hollywood's most coveted award, but I can't bring myself to completely dislike it. It wasn't a bad ensemble film, but it was far inferior to the rest of the movies in the category, including "Brokeback Mountain", "Capote", "Good Night and Good Luck", and "Munich". Since Crash had such a star studded cast they may account for the amount of votes it got, but I still can't fathom a universe where it ranks as the top, when it's nomination was questionable.
  2. 2004 Best Picture Winner "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King": I love the LOTR trilogy and it's probably the best adaptation of Tolkien's masterpiece that anyone could've hoped for, but I'm hard pressed to rank it higher amongst other superior films nominated that year, namely "Mystic River" and "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World". I can understand the academy giving Peter Jackson the Oscar though, given the great achievements of the three films, but I still think a film should stand on its own merits, especially when judged amongst others.
  3. 2003 Best Picture Winner "Chicago": This is quite possibly one of the most plotless Best Picture winners that I can think of. While visually impressive with good musical numbers, there's very little story here and when the actors are clearly better suited to the song and dance rather than reading lines. I doubt anyone can say this movie is better than "The Pianist" with a straight face.
  4. 2002 Best Picture Nominee "Moulin Rouge!": Why the hell was this nominated? I mean I get how some people were excited to see a resurgence of musicals, but instead they got this annoying dreck. There's nothing subtle about this heavily edited nonsense and the visuals jump from being beautifully striking to murky and horrific. The covers of various pop songs are highly inappropriate considering the film's setting, and the love story just falls flat. Somehow Academy voters thought this should get a shot above far more engaging films such as "Memento" and "Monster's Ball".
  5. 2001 Best Picture Winner "Gladiator": A not terrible film that has a thin plot and only two memorable characters, but in no way should be honored higher than "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" or "Traffic".
  6. 1999 Best Picture Winner "Shakespeare in Love": The best achievement of this film is how it masks itself as cinematic wonder when really it's just corny and not as funny as it, or audiences, think it is. It's a remarkable take on the marketing of a film that this is held in such high regard, when in reality the jokes fall flat and are about as humorous as a Family Circle comic. Given all its flaws, I kind of enjoyed it, but what's even more remarkable is how this ranked higher than the four highly superior films in its category that year. Yes even "Life is Beautiful" is better, and you know it.
  7. 1998 Best Picture Winner "Titanic": I think the fact that this film won so many Oscars over the vastly superior "L.A. Confidential" is enough evidence to lay claim as 1998 being the lowest the Academy has ever sunk.
  8. 1995 Best Picture Winner "Forrest Gump": This was the award that solidified my already held belief that watching the Oscars were a complete waste of time. This syrupy, melodramatic, and devoid of humor film takes an overly nostalgic look through modern American history, but fails to entertain in any way. Sure it has its merits, such as acting and cinematography, but its too damn silly to be taken seriously. Stupid is as stupid does, and this movie is indeed stupid. This is another film that was the least of the pack, but still got the highest honor for reasons I can't explain.
  9. 1994 Notably absent film from the nominees "Malcom X": Sure Spike Lee may be a self righteous prick that nobody likes, but its hard to overlook Malcom X as a great film, and it should've at least taken a nomination. The performance from Denzel Washington alone made it worth watching, but that's no the only element in this movie that makes it remarkable. The photography and editing are almost flawless.
  10. 1991 Best Picture Winner "Dances With Wolves": Dances with Wolves is a stunning acheivement and a sweeping epic that will be remembered for generations. It's a great story that was marvelously directed by Kevin Costner, shockingly enough. With all its greatness, it's not better than Goodfellas. It's just not.
  11. 1982 Best Picture Winner "Chariots of Fire": There are few best picture winners more dull than this, and why this beat out the far superior in every way "Reds" will remain a mystery.
  12. 1981 Best Picture Winner "Ordinary People": I like this movie. I really do. It has some great acting and really is worth a look. But to think this movie is superior to "Raging Bull" is committing a film blasphemy so sinful one should be forced to spend the after life watching "She-Devil" and "Leonard Part 6".
  13. 1976 Best Picture Nominee "Barry Lyndon": While I love Kubrik's body of work, this is quite possibly my least favorite movie he did, and really I can't bring myself to watch it again. As dreary as it is dull and lifeless, Barry Lyndon serves no purpose and I can't imagine why it got nominated other than the fact it's the closest to an epic that year.
  14. 1974 Notably absent film from the nominees "Save the Tiger": In what is quite possibly is Jack Lemmon's greatest performance, and that's saying a lot, Save the Tiger is a great film about an aging Korean vet trying to cope with an ever changing society that doesn't need him anymore. Yet somehow this didn't get nominated while American Graffiti did. Yeah...
  15. 1967 Best Picture nominee "The Russians are Coming. The Russians are Coming": While this movie is charming and a funny indictment on cold war paranoia, it's not that good. When you consider such superior films weren't nominated, such as "Alfie", "The Professionals", and "The Naked Prey", one is left to wonder why this was even considered.
  16. 1964 Best Picture nominee "Cleopatra": There are very few huge spectacles like this that have equated to being such a bore, but Cleopatra accomplishes just that. Even Elizabeth Taylor went on record to denounce how dull this movie was, and I can't imagine anyone ever enjoying this, much less wanting it to be nominated.
  17. 1959 Best Picture Winner "Gigi": When it's not creepy (a guy singing about how he thanks God for little girls should've never happened) it's a dull tale of a girl who doesn't want to live in amongst the upper crust and abide by their rules as her genetics have paved for her. Yeah, it's just that gripping as it sounds. "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" should've taken the award home, and that is an indisputable fact.
  18. 1957 Best Picture Winner "Around the World in Eighty Days": The fact that this film, which is more of a travelogue than a well fleshed story, got to be best picture is proof enough of how meaningless the Oscars should be considered. Again you have the least of the bunch get the highest award. Stupid.
  19. 1953 Best Picture Winner "The Greatest Show on Earth": Out of all the Best Picture winners, this is my least favorite. It claims to have a story about a traveling circus that is neither engaging nor entertaining. As a spectacle it works ok, but to think it beat "Ivanhoe" and "High Noon" leaves me speechless.
And I'll leave it there, with this indisputable list of where the Academy got it wrong, so wrong.


wigsf3 said...

I lost all respect for the academy awards after Naked Gun was snubbed.

Miss Ash said...

I gotta say I enjoyed Gigi! It's rare for me to see all of the nominated films so its hard to say which is better!