Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Should have won?

This article postulates that there are movies that have won the coveted Best Picture Oscar that shouldn't have. I tend to agree, though not always with their suggestions.  For example, I actually don't think The Social Network should have won this year.  While technically well made, I still found the film itself to be lacking in anything that would make it memorable or make me ever want to see it again.  What would I have chosen?  I'm not sure.  And instead of Saving Private Ryan, I'd have gone with either Elisabeth or The English Patient, both of which I thought were superior to either the winner or article suggested winner.  However, High Noon and Citizen Kane are almost givens.  Even though I wasn't necessarily thrilled with High Noon, it is a FAR better and more powerful and memorable film than The Greatest Show on Earth.  And Citizen Kane is among the most influential films of all time, and rightly a classic.

There are many reasons I don't personally put much stock in the Oscars, not the least of which is that Geena Davis has one.  But I do still find them an interesting look at what is safe and popular among the industry insiders.  Because, really, that's what wins 9 times out of 10.  Really, truly interesting films are rarely even in the running, and when they are, I always get the feeling they are just there to give the voters a bit of street cred, not so they can actually win.  Many are films that are quickly forgotten and clearly not innovative or influential.

The Oscars remain in this not so humble commentator's opinion, little more than an ego stroke and a popularity contest for people with little artistic knowledge or talent, and with little to no sense of the 'man on the street.'  Sure, I like it when movies I admire or enjoy win an award or two.  I guess the way someone might enjoy the victory of a local sports team.  But Oscars, like box office results have very little to do with how good or bad a film is.


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