Talk Amongst Yourselves

Remember that long-promised Oscar post, about which films deserved to win the Best Picture prize and which were snubbed? Well, I have been researching the crap out of it, b-rollers. For you. And I have come to the following four conclusions:

  1. Opinions about movies are subjective and intensely personal. Remember this old chestnut of logic and emotional maturity? It’s worth revisiting. Different people like different movies to a different degree, and at times, you will say, “Wait, THAT won? Really?!” Yes, really. We’re allowed to disagree.
  2. Speaking of, there have always been “egregious” oversights. DEAL WITH IT.
    To those who hollered “For SHAME!” over The Social Network‘s loss to The King’s Speech or The Artist’s win over The Descendents (et al): This has always happened. You know what else lost? Apocalypse Now to Kramer vs. Kramer. E.T. to freaking Ghandi. Know what wasn’t even nominated? Singin’ in the Rain, The Seven Samurai and Some Like It Hot. Know what WAS nominated? Babe, Four Weddings and a Funeral (which I like, for the record, but honestly?), and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the Universe. Of the Top 20 films on IMDb’s Top 250 (as rated by users), a third were Best Picture winners (6), a third were nominated but didn’t win (7), and a third weren’t even nominated (7). The good ones will thrive anyway. This is not a national tragedy.
  3. That reminds me: if you want a Best Picture nomination, make a tragic film; if you can’t, make an epic film. If you can make an epic laced with tragedy, book a limo and tux. Did you ever see that episode of Extras when Kate Winslet made a Holocaust film because that was the one sure way to win an Oscar? Them’s the facts.
  4. In a related story, it’s not (just) that Oscar voters lack a sense of humor. More than anything, they lack a sense of adventure. Sure, there’s an astounding lack of recognition of comedic films and performances; that’s well-documented. But it’s amazing to see all of the innovative (and sometimes, admittedly bizarre) work that was passed over in favor of traditional, Oscar-bait dramas. In 2000, neither The Matrix nor Fight Club was nominated for Best Picture – but thank God The Cider House Rules locked down a spot.

So, now that we’re primed with some examples, let’s dive in! I’ve based these on years that I feel comfortable judging, having seen most or all of the nominated films; as always, these opinions are mine and mine alone. Feel free to disagree, and I thoroughly look forward to hearing your reactions, b-rollers. Onward! (more…)