The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

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knives
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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#401 Post by knives » Wed May 07, 2014 4:40 pm

I fortunately haven't seen that yet.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#402 Post by domino harvey » Wed May 07, 2014 6:59 pm

2013
American Hustle For a film so breezy and filled with pretty and talented actors and actresses goofing off, shouldn't this be more fun? Because I found it tedious and not particularly funny, and the tone was set from the first painfully executed scene of Christian Bale going through the business on his combover. The four quadrant actor repeat here by David O Russell is astonishing, with only Amy Adams really meriting a nom, though I understand the appeal of Jennifer Lawrence's perf. More comments from me can be found in the dedicated thread.

Captain Phillips Thankfully devoid of many of Paul Greengrass' annoying tics from the Bourne flicks, this is an at-times tense study of one of the many true-life stories nominated in this category this year, but it also quickly wears out its welcome and then keeps going and going and going and going and even though it's playing fair (I presume) to the real-life events, I was ready for the ordeal to end long before it did, and not in a narrative function, wow they did their job I feel Tom Hanks' pain, way either. Barkhad Abdi provided great human interest article fodder during Awards Season, but his performance is perfunctory and his prospects for a Hollywood career nil. Welcome to the cruel hard world of showbiz...

Dallas Buyers Club I may slightly overrate this one, but I feel it's due thanks to this being one of the best examples I've ever seen of one of my least-favorite forms of medicine cinema, the Inspirational True Life Medical Drama. I went in trepidatious to say the least but was quickly won over by Matthew McConaughey's performance and the fascinating real life story it figures into. Anyone who says he only won the Oscar for losing weight clearly didn't see the movie, as this is a complicated, often unlikable asshole who nonetheless lengthens the lives of countless individuals infected with HIV in the early days of the disease, and McConaughey plays him with compelling intensity and conviction. Jared Leto's role is by contrast far easier to play, and while I have no complaints, it's the kind of role that lends itself to Oscar-winning portrayals by virtue of circumstances whereas McConaughey's achievement is trickier and greater. Ultimately, though, this is a rare beast: An inspirational film that's actually inspirational.

Gravity A perfect film of its sort, one whose achievement has been fashionably downgraded lately but nevertheless delivers a simple, stripped-down and highly enjoyable survival story set against breathtaking computer backdrops that like Life of Pi in the previous year are making the case for when and how CGI can be used to give us something both life-like and completely unconjurable otherwise. This clearly should have won and probably would have were it not for the fear of Social Justice Bloggers making a stink if anything but 12 Years a Slave won, but we'll see how the score looks in ten years. Unpopular opinion time: I think Sandra Bullock deserved the Oscar too.

Her Running neck and neck with Gravity in my estimation for best film of the year, this wonderful romance captures something universal in its fictive sci-fi setting and story and does it in such a melancholy and often beautiful fashion. And now it's become one of those litmus test movies for deciding whether or not I can trust someone's approach to films based not on whether they liked it but based on how they read it. As ever, more discussion by me in its respective thread.

Nebraska After his track record in this category, I wasn't exactly aching to see the latest Alexander Payne movie, but to my delight this is easily his best film yet, a warm and beautifully captured portrait of a frail old man convinced of his forthcoming riches and how his family both feeds into this delusion and ultimately validates his existence. The simple beauty of Will Forte's final act for his father is like something out of a great short story and the emotional resonance is strong and deserved. I was a little bewildered that the Academy tripped over themselves to nominate this movie in as many high profile slots as it did, but one viewing explains all. I remember reading a lot of naysayers claiming Bruce Dern's central performance was too subtle or simple to merit a nomination, but I thought he convincingly portrayed the manifestations of frailty and pride driving this compelling figure on a seemingly inane quest and in any other year he'd have been a real contender to win.

Philomena The requisite Brit prestige pic this year fares quite well, with the real life story of Judi Dench's titular Irish woman who travels to America with journo Steve Coogan looking for the son some cruel nuns took away from her. The film undercuts much of the material's syrupy potential by making Coogan into something of a prick and letting him tear down Dench's character (more than necessary, probably) so that it never gets too maudlin. But the underlying true story is compelling and the final confrontation at the church earns its emotional hits.

12 Years a Slave Overall this was a great year for nominees (using my personal ranking system, it is actually the fourth best ever according to me for me), where no films were bad and only two were mediocre. Unfortunately, the winning film falls on the bad side, and in true Oscar tradition the weakest film won Best Picture. I don't hate the film, and I have delved into my take on the picture many times in its dedicated thread, but ultimately I am obviously disappointed in its win and feel it will one day be viewed more skeptically once the dust settles around its untouchable status.

the Wolf of Wall Street Scorsese should just retire and be one of the few high profile directors to go out on a high note. Though I'm admittedly not the biggest booster for the filmmaker, this is so obviously his best work yet, encompassing so much energy and forward momentum into its parade of debaucheries that he miraculously made a three hour film one of the most compulsively watchable films of the year. DiCaprio and Hill earned their Oscar noms for their adept comedic perfs, and DiCaprio has the same luck as Dern: A great, Oscar-worthy performance that has the misfortune to be nominated the same year as a better one.

My Vote Gravity

Well, now I can go back to saying "Hey, I've seen all of the (515) films nominated for Best Picture except the one that's lost and the one that only exists in a print at UCLA." AND THANK GOD BECAUSE THIS IS ALL I HAVE GOING FOR ME

knives wrote:I fortunately haven't seen that yet.
I saw it so no one else would have to!

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#403 Post by movielocke » Thu May 08, 2014 8:35 pm

I've not yet caught up with Philomena or Her, but I think you could safely say that 12 Years a Slave didn't win because of any faux fear of censure from the PC police but because of the way an instant run off ballot works. People who voted for Philomena, Nebraska, Dallas Buyers Club or American Hustle in first place probably tended to rank 12 Years a Slave higher on their ballot than Gravity, so as the other seven films were eliminated, it's likely that 12 Years a Slave was accruing more votes than Gravity. Gravity may even have had a plurality on the first ballot, but could have easily lost to 12 Year a Slave. I'd say that the instant run off process is one of the key components in both creating Oscar's sometimes bizarre nomination slates and final awards.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#404 Post by knives » Thu May 22, 2014 3:52 pm

1985
the Color Purple
I imagine the thought process behind making this was that Spielberg wants an oscar and clearly making fun films wasn't working so why not make a Ghandi, but more American. That's pretty damn crass and the material could have turned out pretty weird or horrible (see Demme's Beloved which I like but boy is it a mess), but somehow despite being a recipe for disaster not aided by the acting style promoted and supposed stars the film turned out to be pretty good. Which is not to say it doesn't have its problems, but it overcomes them for the most part and doesn't betray the probable intentions the film was made with. Even Oprah who looked to be a real bad caricature manages to get a lot of good moments in there playing a real character during her big monologue. What the film eventually does to her seems a bit excessive, but I guess reality was too. Though the film really needed the Danny Glover from five years down the road rather than this baby faced one.

Kiss of the Spider Woman
On the shallow end of things I found this to be the perfect counter to Midnight Express both in terms of a prison movie and in terms of an early out movie. For reasons less born in petty though this movie makes me completely reassess William Hurt. He's generally been a sign of a good movie. but more for his ability to chose projects than his acting. Though the performance and script aren't without their silly affectations dating this to its era he's alive and human in an uncanny way. In fact I'd say the very things which keep Hurt from being compelling in other roles for me are what makes this character so different from any other pre-queer new wave I've encountered outside of Schlesinger. There's the usual dull masculinity here more handsome than beautiful opposing the script's queened dialogue and dress creating someone who fulfills and dispels the stereotypes in a way that is completely real and oh so sad. That sadness manages to also be a little bit less stereotyped than usual (not just for the era either) if just because the story earns it through the prison context. In flashbacks the movie seems genuinely lovable and lacking in angst. I can't wait until that is the story which can be told.

Which reminds me I shouldn't forget the second half of this movie either since Raul Julia is absolutely amazing in the ways he usually is. In fact it is a bit of a relief to see him in a good movie since usually he's acting atlas to some piece of shit. In this, a legit great film, he's able to howl and holler in a fashion that again opposes and embraces William Hurt in a way that changes expectations of the film and also separates it from Midnight Express' vapid openness. It's not just for the political dialogue he's given, but the way he moves his body so quickly and with such deliberation. A less intelligent film would have probably switched the roles to be honest and it would not have been half the film for it.

Out of Africa
This was a lot better than I was expecting given its drying paint reputation. The film is basically a throwback to the silly epic romances of the '50s with even a visual pallet to match. The widescreen compositions aren't as daring and the lighting is a little more. Dave Watkin, who I know mainly for his transport docs, really earns his oscar playing somewhere between Gordon Willis' The Godfather and Leon Shamroy. The period detail such as back projection is a bit surprising at first, but becomes a more and more compelling force as the film moves along. Without a doubt the story which is very been there done that is the weakest element of the film. Beyond playing to the expectations of genre there's no interest in it with even Redford's character actively annoyed by his scenery being interrupted. Fortunately the movie generally ignores that in favour of the Bridges of Madison County plot between Redford and Streep. That's a real joy even if it isn't as good as that Eastwood duet. The real thing to temper my enthusiasm on is the length of the film. Pretty people being pretty in pretty places only works for so long before it beings to lose meaning. Here that happens about an hour in to a nearly three hour film. Cut her in half and this film would be great. Instead it's just better than what its reputation has become.

Prizzi's Honor
This is such a tonal mess. Huston directs like this was a stern artsy melodrama yet the script and performances (particularly Nicholson's atrocious accent) act out like this is some sub-television comedy of the week which I guess only works to make this an even more beguiling Oscar success. The one consistently enjoyable element is Kathleen Turner who manages to combine the two sides (mostly by ignoring the Italian Hee-Haw elements) in a way that suggests the whole film could have worked somehow. A director as talented as Huston didn't need the oscar pity this received and I wish they held off a couple more years to remember he was alive.

Witness
There's a lot of story here and for the most part it's a generic yarn, but the slow way in which Weir unfolds it is an organic delight. It's a film really built on subtle pleasures such as the use of time. I have no clue how long the film actually goes over, but the script occasionally indicates time which the movie seems to contradict. It's not particularly show offy or experimental, but it helps ratchet the tension on an otherwise sleepy film. Even when the film looks to be speedy up a half hour in with the public revelation of Danny Glover the movie is still willing to be a quiet blip. Another really great element which doesn't seem to have much weight in the script, but is really powerful in the direction is the dedication to the Amish boy's POV. The film is very nice and respectful to the whole community and I think that has a lot to do with treating as the boy would the Amish as ordinary while the outside world is the more strange one. Even the dealings with their philosophy and life seems situated in a polite understanding in addition to being a load of exposition. It's a two sided film in the best possible way. Also it is really weird how much older Glover looks here compared with Purple. I guess it was Weir who aged him for retirement.

My Vote: Kiss of the Spider Woman

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#405 Post by knives » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:52 pm

1986
Children of a Lesser God
This really lets the seams of theatrical adaptation shine through. It's stagebound and very claustrophobic with only a few exterior shots. I can't imagine any other way to do it and have the film succeed since the emotions are so theatrical and more importantly the way the film shows communication between the characters can really only work with that bout of artifice. As Dom's already stated the film is also pretty light and funny which makes it all the more real and affecting when the melodramatic elements do come out.

Hannah and Her Sisters
I have to admit that this specific mode of Allen doesn't entirely work for me whether it be this film or Interiors or whatever other example of blue you can think of. That said this is probably his best attempt this way ably combining his humour and overall voice to the style and seriousness he's striving for. It is extraordinarily beautiful though.

The Mission
At first I didn't mind this film deciding it as at the least a pretty presentation of gorgeous locals with a great score. The more I think of it though the worse off the film is mostly by taking a side in this rather than realizing how awful the catholics also come across. Even the Jesuit superhero of Jeremy Irons is basically an impotent bureaucrat unwilling to stand by any ethics. Though that's better than DeNiro who at least is honest to his nature in the film though he actively defies the ethics the film seems to be trying to teach its audience throughout 75% of the run time. The movie simply never earns its contemplative nature since it is no smarter than your average dumb blockbuster and no more actualized through its content. Just a terrible mediocrity.

Platoon
Wielding the blunt force of symbolism that not even Fred Zinnemann had to suffer with the resulting film being perfectly okay. The politics come across as news reporting or the stunted excerpts of a much more intelligent examination of the war intersped with likable actors trying their best with nondescript scenes of walking. The Berenger/ Dafoe dichotomy is ridiculous and impossible to ignore unfortunately. It gets as bad in its didactic ways as a hippie's after school special and always falls flat.

A Room with a View
This isn't my favorite Ivory of the decade, not even top five really, but it makes sense as a nomination being the most traditionally shot and told with some fabulous performances which must have been revelatory at the time. Enough love has been given to Daniel Day-Lewis over the years, but for me the film really shines with Julian Sands which is probably the first and last time that's ever been said. Without over playing the historical quirks of the character (which I do think DDL sometimes does) he manages to provide Bonham Carter and his own character (though also vice versa) a fairly interesting interior to comment on the painted affect of the exterior.

My Vote: Children of a Lesser God

1987
Broadcast News
I hate to be a contrarian here, but as good as the film is I can't say I particularly love it. It's handsome with some well developed characters embodied by great performances, but the fun factor for lack of a better phrase doesn't ignite completely for me which really isn't a fault of the film. So while I'm more likely to rewatch this (and have) than most of the other films nominated both this year and in general there is a barrier for loving it.

Fatal Attraction
'm not sure if this in the film's favour or not, but this is easily one of the most brutal examples of violence I've seen lately despite most of it coming offscreen and in short bursts. I also have to appreciate the way it delves into Douglas and Close's psychology so that each person's craziness comes through. After that first incident he really should have realized what he was getting himself into. Beyond that it's oddly subdued and casual for Lyne and probably resembles too many other films.

Hope and Glory
This is one of Boorman's weaker films, but even with that asterisk you get a slightly deranged take on growing up in unbelievable circumstances. The almost comical disconnect of appearing normal in a warzone is enough weight to ensure the film has some greatness to it though pushing harder on the surreality they refuse to acknowledge would have probably played to his strengths even better. I'm only so hard though because the film does manage to get so many things in its observations about life in general and specific to this bizarre situation.

The Last Emperor
If you can't tell I wasn't particularly impressed with the crop of films this year and the winner is no different. In fact I'm more curious as to the logic behind the nomination and eventual win behind this somewhat atypical choice than anything to do with the actual film. It is pleasant enough, but really doesn't add up to a particularly compelling take on anything just being an alright story.

Moonstruck
This is a cute little romance which I suppose is a good comparison point to what I said concerning Broadcast News. It has about all the same positives and maybe even a few more negatives since all of the characters are born out of stereotype and have to fight for complexity where it seems easy for Brooks. That said that bloody fun element comes across for me strongly leaving far more enjoyment at least for me.

My Vote: Hope and Glory

1988
The Accidental Tourist
Pardon my shock when I found out this is a 'very serious movie with very serious characters'. With the title, actors, and poster I was expecting a light Lubitsch knockoff cascading across Europe. Instead I got a mopier Ordinary People. The film adds some humour and life with Geena Davis who really earns her oscar here trying to make William Hurt look like a living person. It is a bit odd how Kasdan leers at her in a way that acknowledges that Hurt doesn't such as his return to the pet hotel that absorbs in her legs with a point of view shot that is explicitly not Hurt's. She is never really developed as a person so much as the opposite of Hurt though Davis makes it seem like she's a normal person despite the writing's best attempts not to. It is almost as if this film was developed as an opposite to Something Wild showing all of the wrong lessons from Bringing Up Baby.

Dangerous Liaisons
This is a fair bit of fun whose central premise seems destined to not work out. The film is essentially masterpiece theater and plays the novel's naughtiness to that level. Instead of trying to raise it to contemporary standards (which isn't that difficult given the source) Frears instead seems interested in making the film appear as if it was studio sourced like Minnelli's Madame Bovary. That's a nice tactic, but outside of a couple of small moments (like the wonderful title cards) it's not very well communicated just leaving this sense of unearned smirking. All that said the movie is still quietly enjoyable in that Frears sort of fashion. Pretty and well acted in a way that lets the material live. Basically it is as good as it should be. Plus the script throws in a few good jokes at its own expense (usually delivered by Glenn Close) so it's hard to knock it for some acts of poor communication.

Mississippi Burning
This strikes me as Parker attempting to outdo In the Heat of the Night and certainly in his own little fashion it's louder, more epic in scope, and with more points of conflict though I don't think the result is all that different. It's certainly a good way of showing the aggressor side of racism though I don't think the film gets too far into their mentality. Dafoe and Hackman's point of view is a bit odd, but helps the film work as a genre film so it doesn't need to stand by story too much. Basically it's okay.

Rain Man
This film isn't without, contrary to recent reputation, some excellent individual moments. The whole though doesn't work mostly because of how false the central relationship and where it moves comes across. At best the film gives a reason to believe Cruise gets used to Hoffman which still doesn't excuse the ending. What really takes it below the mediocrity the film otherwise is is Hoffman's grinning idiot of a performance which doesn't offer any clues to Raymond being a person instead of a carefully collected series of tics and written oddities. It's frustrating for such a lightweight film to undermine itself in such an easily solvable fashion.

Working Girl
This functions almost perfectly in contrast with the previous film being a lightweight movie which lifts itself with gentle steps. It's not the greatest film ever but it's workman fun is an odd breath of fresh air next to the weighty over styling that became so popular in the later half of the decade. Everything is shot straight forward and bright with performances that have no wink nor fight for glory. This makes it seem like a genuine and accidental success. It's also pretty damn funny which doesn't hurt at all.

My Vote: Working Girl

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#406 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:16 pm

Blasphemy on not voting for Broadcast News, but otherwise I agree with your selections. I do hope Working Girl is in fact coming to Criterion, it's such a representative piece of populist entertainment that is really saying something about the 80s in a way Wall Street et al only wish. And "Hippie's afterschool special" is a great and succinct summation of Platoon's narrative weaknesses!

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#407 Post by knives » Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:33 pm

I did feel mildly traitorous not voting for it, but given how that top three is about equal for me I just swam for the one that best fits my interests. I should have '89 up in not too long assuming the library's copy of Field of Dreams which I've never actually seen isn't stuck in limbo.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#408 Post by Numero Trois » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:00 am

knives wrote: In fact I'm more curious as to the logic behind the nomination and eventual win behind this somewhat atypical choice than anything to do with the actual film. It is pleasant enough, but really doesn't add up to a particularly compelling take on anything just being an alright story.
True enough. But since when does logic have anything to do with the fogies at the Academy? And actually, that one is perfectly in keeping with their traditional choice. A big, sweeping high profile epic. Could've been worse. At least they didn't choose Fatal Attraction.
Last edited by Numero Trois on Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#409 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:02 am

At least Fatal Attraction was/is culturally relevant

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#410 Post by Numero Trois » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:41 am

Perhaps. I was about to make a joke about confusing Lyne for Zalman King, not realizing they collaborated on 9 1/2 Weeks. Maybe a "Trashiest Oscar Nominee" would be a good List Project thread?

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#411 Post by knives » Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:10 am

1989
Born on the Fourth of July
This is such a great film it makes me have to reconsider everything I thought about Stone. It's still thunderingly obvious with a style that's loud over anything else, but Stone eases it together in a way that simply works. It probably helps that the film is so centered on Cruise (who really is great here) making the warping of reality work like classical expressionism. Even some of the drags in the story make absolute sense as an explicit expression of his psychology. Most surprising of all is that Stone's tendency to report on events is subdued by this psychology into understanding why this event (the creation of the DAV) was needed and why Cruise worked on it.

Dead Poets Society
I love Weir as much as the next guy and certainly his streak up until this point is remarkable and rare. That just makes it all the more beguiling and frustrating that this film is so terrible. It doesn't even offer some sort of style to indicate Weir's in on the joke by making the stuff post Williams a punishment against his cult. Instead it's just a bunch of private school cliches.

Driving Miss Daisy
I really can't be bothered to care about this film beyond the few obvious bits surrounding its win. I figure everyone is owed some Public Enemy though.

Field of Dreams
I have to admit that the Forest Gump lite opening narration made me expect the absolute worst from this film as a shallow exercise in baseball nostalgia. Those fears were pretty squarely quashed though by how casually the film treated its own weirdness and how bored it allows Costner to be (admittedly not the hardest thing to do). It also has the good fortune of moving at a lightning pace with most of the story I was familiar with being done at around twenty minutes letting the story focus more intently on Costner's ennui. It's a refreshing reduction of plot. The characters are also refreshingly loose and silly. The whole pitching scene with Shoeless Joe is probably way too indulgent, but it letting it go on that long makes the more plottey elements at the end of the scene work in a way that probably don't on paper.

My Left Foot
It's weird how many pleasant films were nominated this year. I'm not necessarily calling any except the Stone great, but for the academy to nominate three good films which show how to tell a simple story in the cinema is a great rarity. For this film's luck it just manages to do a biopic in a way that shows how tough life was for its subject while also showing why he didn't just kill himself right away (whether or not it reflects reality in any way is besides the point). Day-Lewis helps a lot giving an amazingly fresh performance that excuses all of the sulking and shouting he's had his performances be since.

My vote: Born on the Fourth of July

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#412 Post by knives » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:20 am

1999
American Beauty
It's somewhat amazing that a film can be this enjoyably watchable while also being so completely smug and idiotic. The script is just relentlessly stupid in how it deals with the repressed middleclass coming across in the best of its moments as the Goofus to Far From Heaven's Gallant and I don't even like Haynes' film. Yet for as contemptible and ironically out of touch the script is I was grinning from ear to ear mostly thanks to Kevin Spacey being hilarious and Hall's cinematography being delightfully playful. Neither one fully pull themselves out of their source faults from the script, but they still come across as good. Of course that's destroyed by every moment with Wes Bently doing his best impression of a human. Apparently the original draft had more scenes with him as an epilogue. I'm glad that got cut out though it might have been better with all of him cut out. Thank god Sam Mendes went onto better things. Also the film really should have stayed by its convictions and just had the only likable characters fuck.

The Cider House Rules
For some strange reason I thought initially this was an adaptation of Bradbury's Dandelion Wine rather than an Irving novel which makes significantly more sense. That disappointment aside the film is surprisingly good or at least one of the best instances of this sort of adult period melodrama I can think of actually engaging with the ideas it brings up (though I assume the novel is more thorough). It definitely stands in stark relief to those Darabont films that have somehow managed to gain more popular support.

The Green Mile
I legitimately had forgotten that this was nominated (let alone this year) when I wrote the Darabont crack above. Oh well, such a childish movie based on childish emotions and childish characterization pretending to be for adults deserves it.

The Insider
Michael Mann is kind of like a far less talented David Mamet to me. Both seem to have a worship of Howard Hawks like characters, but position their identity as the author at a distance. This isn't to say Mann is a bad director. I like most of what I've seen just fine and wouldn't call anything bad, but in the same instance I can't really recall anything great from him and this film seems the grossest example of his problems which distance his work from being great. The arrogance based in a faux-masculinity, the overeager in your face performances that make the at of whispering look top over the top even for Vincent Price particularly Crowe's bizarre accent, and the proto-shaky cam that tries to make you feel like an insider but just makes the mis-en-scene seem lazy. I can see where this film is historically important, but I can't care for a film trying to establish Mike Wallace as a bad ass by having him yell grumpily about liking his chair. I get it already, these are real manly men and professionals even if their profession doesn't immediately suggest it. Did I need three hours to learn that?

The Sixth Sense
This is going to wind as my choice more because I don't have any active problems with it than anything else. Basically a coinflip for a particularly weak year. As to the film itself it's good even if its twist and the cultural effect it has had are overblown to its quality. In fact the drama connecting Willis and the kid work a lot better than any of the mystical or thematic elements.

My Vote: The Sixth Sense

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#413 Post by knives » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:22 pm

1998
Elizabeth
I have to imagine that this was originally developed for television because so much of it including the direction resembles any generic BBC historical drama. Everything is perfectly okay by that standard, but as far as a theatrical release let alone oscar nominated and so on it renders itself a mild embarrassment. At least it gave us Cate Blanchett so there is something worth the two hours.

Life Is Beautiful
I offer no apologies; I find Roberto Benigni intelligent and absolutely hilarious and spent more of this laughing hard then I probably should have. Or to be more heretical against the popular consensus I preferred this over The Great Dictator by some amount. I was most surprised though that that element was primarily absent through the first significant section of the film. It could have been any sort of period comedy and resembles The Grand Budapest Hotel in the best sort of way in how slowly it integrates a commentary of the times underneath a veneer of light nothingness.

Saving Private Ryan
I'll admit to an audible gasp when Bryan Cranston came on screen which is probably the most pleasant of the now known cameos in the film. Otherwise the much talked about D-Day sequence lives up to its reputation being an excellent montage of vignettes focusing in on the good aspects of Spielberg's cinema. That's not really good enough to earn the film its popular reputation on the whole, but the rest doesn't slip up often and mostly sustains itself so long as it is ignoring the supposed plot. Some of the violence is excessively cartoonish and the shaky cam is insanely distracting, but rarely come up as a problem. I guess Spielberg came out ahead excepting Matt Damon and the framing device.

Shakespeare in Love
Realizing that the historical part of this historical fantasy is purely for the costumes and makeup makes it so much easier to fall in love with this basically classical putting on a show rom com. It's basically Kiss Me Kate. Even without that thought though it is borderline impossible for me to understand the significant dislike this film has accrued over the years given how fun it is and how enjoyable it is to watch basically all of these actors perform these roles. It also has a Tom Stoppard script which is basically code for extremely entertaining at least in terms of verbal wit. So I suppose, yes, this isn't the world's or even the year's most ambitious film, but its no embarrassment either and frankly is one of the better oscar winners of recent years. That said Dench's win is stupid even as a political move. Even Beatrice Straight was a more significant presence in Network.

The Thin Red Line
For me this is easily Malick's greatest accomplishment and going in what I thought I was going to vote for and probably would if I gave myself a few more days to ponder things over as it is certainly the classier choice though Harrelson's last scene kind of makes that untrue though it's also key to the film's success as Malick in between all of his musings of nature and violence's role in man's existence makes this a surprisingly hilarious and human film, a quality I find he usually lacks thanks to his chosen narrative style. The film is definitely a significant and enjoyable piece that just happens to amuse me less than little Italians making fun of Schopenhauer.

My vote: Life is Beautiful

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#414 Post by knives » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:53 am

1991
Beauty and the Beast
It's strange to see this as the first animated film nominated and whatever its merits as a film is its always going to carry that asterisk. At the same time it does carry the weight of rewarding Disney and their come back story when it seemed safe to be happening rather than when they necessarily deserved it. The animation is typically handsome and the taking of Cocteau's beautiful villain and ugly hero thing is handled with grace even if the music and designs aren't as memorable as some of the films surrounding it.

Bugsy
This is basically a great movie, but Warren Beatty is so disastrously wrong for the character, the person, and the take that the end result always feels removed from its actual quality. Beatty is too handsome, too confident, too cool, too much an insider. The sad thing is that the cast does have a great potential Siegel with Harvey Keitel who seems to understand the film's comic tone even better than Levinson whose direction is a little too pedestrian to fully pull off the weird balance of classical tones and dark humour that define the movie. That said I wouldn't call it bad direction as it doesn't actively hurt the film at any point. It just prevents anything from being memorable or exciting. Really it is far too a pity.

JFK
The Birth of a Nation for the '90s with all the good and bad that implies. On one hand this is a grotesque and dangerous film of misinformation whose text is terrifying in the cultural harm it promotes. That's not even getting into the grotesque homophobia clearly on display which is so out of place and unnecessary that it makes me hate Stone on some level. Yet it is impossible to dismiss such a quick and entertaining film which truly is innovating and changing mainstream cinema right before your eyes to the point where the studios could have a whole era split divided by the film. Sutherland's long cameo alone is a masterwork of tension, cinematography, and editing that's impossible to believe. Too bad it has to be attached to such an ugly face.

The Prince of Tides
The first half of this movie is truly awful and its basically a miracle of Nolte's charm that it doesn't destroy the entire film. It goes from insane yelling to whispering quiet like a madman and not even a particularly interesting one. It just barely manages to rise up to okay during the last 80 minutes or so when it becomes the Nolte show. Every other part is basically useless and still extremely annoying particularly Striesand's own magical dream woman who is one of the most unrealistic portrayal of a psychologist I've seen in years. At best the movie just plays as a less interesting lead up to Nolte's far better role in Affliction.

The Silence of the Lambs
Has nearly all of the positives I mentioned for JFK with none of the negatives though it does tightrope walk it pretty close. The whole visual scheme is absolutely terrifying and gross with the performances building toward one of the crazier pitches in recent mainstream cinema like a lost Aldrich picture. Even Hopkins performance retains all of its power and mystique despite years of sequels and spin-offs reducing the character to cliche.

My Vote: The Silence of the Lambs

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#415 Post by knives » Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:45 pm

1992
The Crying Game
It's really wonderful to see a young Stephen Rea before his face was completely consumed by hangdog melancholy. The film is radically different from what I expected though. The explicit parts of the gender and sexual confrontations aren't brought up until deep into the second half of the film, but are hinted at with a sledgehammer through the first part. That first part is really strong though practically being a play between Rea and Forest Whitaker that is as far as I've experienced the only good torturer and tortured conversation put to film. It is a tad shame when it goes away especially in the noncommittal fashion it does never answering the questions it poses and avoiding them in a rather lamed fashion. The second part, at least now with the twist so well known, just plays like a joke with the lead up to an obvious punchline being very protracted and then the comedian not knowing what to do next. Jim Broadbent gives a typically great if creepy performance though which I guess counts for something.

A Few Good Men
I was expecting the absolute worst from this pilot for JAG considering my past encounters with Reiner and Sorkin are mostly unenjoyable and the cast seemed cast to type in the worst sort of fashion. While the last point remains way too true the rest is about as good as could be hoped for. Cruise, or rather the writing for his character, is definitely the weak point here essentially being a Cruise type placed in a very not Cruise world. He's the best because everyone says he's the best. That central annoyance aside the rest of the characters are interestingly written and even Cruise is complicate by having to defend the murderers though Sorkin fails to bite that bullet.

Howards End
Merchant-Ivory in my experience are never better than when adapting EM Forster and this film yields that to remain true. It's additionally odd to think that they seem to be the only people capable of converting his original writings into even competent cinema. Narratively the film doesn't quite achieve the punchey dynamism of Maurice and the playful vulgarity of A Room with a View, but trades those in for possibly the best camerawork and performance in their whole career. On the first level the film doesn't just have their typical handsomeness, but also plays with movements both of mis-en-scene and camera that just dances. Sometimes to good humour but most effective surprisingly in the dramatic instances. The opening entry onto earth by Redgrave is perhaps the most obvious instance of this. Certainly it goes all out to achieve an otherworldly effect, but the little montage of meals or Thompson walking down the stairs are surprisingly evocative in ensuring the mood. Thompson herself is the aforementioned performance more than earning her oscar with maybe the smallest performance to win that award. Her hair, frizzy and short, does most of the acting for her, but that just helps in making her rare acts of emoting all the better. Also while not as significant an achievement it was nice to be reminded that Helena Bonham-Carter is an actress and not just a pile of make up. It's a smart, strong, hilarious, and youthful performance that I wish she would repeat the qualities of more often.

Scent of a Woman
I didn't expect to like this movie as much as I did. Sure it is overlong for a plot that could be tidied up in an hour and Pacino's performance is affected to the point of being unbearable in places (though I suppose that works to the films aims). I wouldn't argue it as anything other than a lightweight prep school film, but it is such a film par excellence allowing itself to be goofy and absurd in a truly enjoyable fashion. I can only how much better as this the Italian film must be.

Unforgiven
I don't consider this to be Eastwood's best film, but it comes pretty close with each viewing giving something new to appreciate. With this newest viewing, for example, I was blown away with the look subtly using a variety of camera moves that wouldn't really be expected given the workman reputation Eastwood's be given.

My Vote: Unforgiven

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#416 Post by knives » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:39 am

1993
The Fugitive
A very fun B thriller though ultimately nothing special. I appreciate the Academy's occasional love for such empty popcorn though it makes writing these things up rather hard as it's not as if a deep appreciation is going to be genuine. I suppose it's more honest to sit back and just appreciate exactly how this speaks to the mentality of 1993.

In the Name of the Father
This was a surprisingly successful film thanks to pretty much the same reasons as My Left Foot making me really need to question what happened post '90s to Jim Sheridan. Especially in its opening passages the film was surprisingly hilarious and self deprecating to the ideals of the Irish which Day-Lewis seems barely concerned with. It even has a nice run with hippyism that is gloriously unsentimental and delightfully coarse. The cruelty and dead seriousness of the subsequent abuses and trials could not have worked nearly as well without this mundane and humourous reality preceding it. It was also a delight to see Pete Posthlewaite play a positive variation on his usual patriarch. There's a unique (to him) laid back nature to the character that attempts to show lessons through dialogue and solidarity that came as a real surprise. It hurt to see how much Day-Lewis didn't recognize this and it is all thanks to this performance.

The Piano
This one has just grown for me in the days since I watched it and in most years it would be without question the best film of the year. It's such a singular oddity that it almost feels like it burst from nowhere with Hunter's unforgettable and unrecognizable lead performance. It's the thing legends and long careers should be made of. Even the more recognizable Keitel pretty much showcases everything great about this decade of his career. Such a strange chilling film.

The Remains of the Day
This was totally and unexpectedly brilliant. Probably my favorite Merchant/ Ivory film since Maurice or Jane Austen in Manhattan. There's a lot that goes on to make the film seem surprisingly relevant and subversive, but none of that would matter beyond a joke if it weren't for the play between Thompson and Hopkins which is simply astounding. Hopkins in particular is tough to watch in a good way giving a performance which might as well as be called the opposite of Hannibal Lecter. He's called on to be very emotional invisibly which would be tough for anyone let alone a ham as Hopkins can be, but at least for me he hit the tone perfectly.

Schindler's List
I rewatched this with as open a mind as I could searching for things to like and hoping my impression of it was wrong. So while certainly I feel as if I have a more nuanced view of the movie, since I last saw it when I was twelve or so, the impression is still intensely negative. It starts off well enough if you ignore the preface, but quickly descends into a frustrating stew as the era and subject is more greatly emphasized. The stuff with Schindler the businessman is perfectly fine, but Schindler messiah and father of the ghetto is so grotesque and vile it makes me think that the love and remembrance it continues to get while better films from before and after remain far less noted at large is a sign of pitying antisemitism. The Jews are completely othered often even using the Nazi's propaganda to prove this such as with the workers being suggested to all be people of useless jobs or the lines of gross physiques (the first sign to me that this wasn't to be a good three hours was when a religious looking Jew is the punchline to a sight gag). The Pianist too was a big Oscar nominated film, for example, yet it has no where near the same stature among people seemingly because that film has the Jewish characters talk throughout and doesn't have scenes reiterating time and again that even the most competent are helpless babies who need Schindler just to tie their shoes. I mean jeez, there's even a scene where in all manners possible in cinema Jewish masculinity is equated with being a child. As to the much talked about manipulations it can't even be bothered to be creative on that account. The nadir of this is fortunately early with a one armed man coming onto the screen and dressed down by Schindler's looks as he whines and babels like a child as a racist form of characterization just so that the next scene he can be shot so that the audience presumably cries. What a lazy film. I could go on, but just because I had to suffer three hours of this doesn't mean you have to read for that long. To be positive for one instance as I was hoping to be though the scene where Fiennes tries to kill the hinge worker is genuinely hilarious.

My Vote: (a tough one, but) The Remains of the Day

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#417 Post by knives » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:57 pm

1994
Forrest Gump
This went off a lot better than the revisit of Schindler's List even if I still find Hanks' performance to be too one note stupid to be enjoyed. I'm also still very uncomfortable how the Jennie and Bubba storylines go though Jennie's isn't always out and out bad. Those Jennie saves come mostly because Robin Wright gives a legitimately great performance so beyond the offensive details of her character to what I hope was the intended heart. It's so strange she wasn't even nominated that year given the academy's Gump hard on. The biggest benefit outside of her is the way the humour just minimizes and teases Gump's reality. It's not quite sarcastic, but it often resembles that quality which is a nice way to balance out the sentimental Baby Boomer lovefest it plays as. For instance the whole college segment makes no sense if just because even on a sports scholarship how is he staying in a college. It seems to be there exclusively for Kennedy and George Wallace jokes and actively jokes about that. I wish some more of that sarcastic Gump was in the movie though as his teasing of situations are the best part of the film. The Vietnam segment is the best for this and I wish that the whole film had been that and less overly obvious cultural references.

Four Weddings and a Funeral
I have to admit to liking the Richard Curtis style of which this is certainly one of the more successful films however lame that may be. That's primarily due to the supporting cast, especially Callow, Hannah, and Atkinson, who are able to play the vulgarities with enough British cuteness. Honestly they due such a great job at performing this parody tone that Andie MacDowell's lead weight really hurts the film. So does the ill advised feelings of romance with the Grant character to her which regularly comes across as tone deaf and from another film (specifically an overly serious When Harry Met Sally). I guess nothing, especially an Oscar nommed film, can be perfect.

Pulp Fiction
What's there left to say about this film which not just put Miramax on the map radically changing the way the studios played ball with independent and small studio product all the while showing so much personality and uniqueness that it peculiar success and influence makes not a lick of sense. It's just great.

Quiz Show
Redford is constantly surprising me as a director with a deft ear for social problems and a rich climb for technical talent. While not as out there wonderful as The Milagro Beanfield War this is just a perfect example, up there with the work of Martin Ritt, of how to trick an audience into thinking about numerous social situations actively in a goofy totally unrelated plot.

The Shawshank Redemption
I have no clue why this mediocre band of cliches is treated as the good Darabont/ King film of the '90s. The only place where it's not The Green Mile's equal is in length fortunately.

My Vote: Pulp Fiction

1995
Apollo 13
Mission to Mars seems to have stolen this opening which is just another reason to consider that DePalma's worst film. So much of the film from the casting to the way it interacts with history beyond the immediate text feels as if it could have never existed without Forest Gump. Yet it manages to surpass that inherent Gumpness both in the shared qualities (the '70s hinting is pretty naturalistic) and the unique qualities (it's nice to have a Hawksian ode to professionalism every once in a while). That said this isn't as good as that other Al Reinert space film and The Right Stuff is almost comically more endearing and intelligent with most of the same cast. Heck even Gump probably surpasses it because that film at least is aiming for something beyond having been made. Really though this is just a long way to say this is a very '90s film in terms of it being a safe, entertaining, light thing without much in the way of personality. It doesn't do anything wrong, but that's only because it doesn't give itself the opportunity to do anything wrong.

Babe
Basically the only part of this I remembered in any great detail was the eventual encounter with the cat. In the back of my mind it was this dark and horrifying reveal totally unexpected from an otherwise happy little film. Sort of a naked reveal of any darkness that the movie could have contained. The scene doesn't haunt the film in quite the same way, but when the scene darkens and Russi Taylor in short breath begins to speak it is just as terrifying and really does a perfect job of giving weight to an already unusually honest fairy tale. I'm real glad this one manages to not just reach, but exceed half remembered expectaations.

Braveheart
This went a lot better then I thought was going to happen. To indulge in a back track the first and only other time I saw this was over a period of about two months at the age of twelve or something like that. There was this Scottish guy who would babysit my siblings occasionally and he thought it would be a splendid thing to show us this film. Instead of just watching it though he'd pause the VHS every for or five minutes to explain some historically thing that Gibson only hinted at or changed radically or what have you (he took particular glee in talking down the portrayal of Robert the Bruce). That was just one of the best film experiences of my life and since I've been utterly nervous that rewatching the movie would take away the fun of that experience. Which is a long way of saying despite being excessively mediocre and more problematic than a Stanley Kramer pizza party I have a lot of fondness for this one and can't be angry at its success even if I should.

Il Postino
This shares so much with the next little Italian film that could that duplicating any review of it, but replacing Benigni's Felini love with Olmi would pretty much do the trick. Even without Miramax's grubby paws everywhere it's easy to see why language was transcended for such a light fun little play with reality that nevertheless deals with reality in an unexpected and sometimes pointed fashion. Though the politics mostly come across as a necessity to be honest of the story's situation and characters rather then a particular urge to explore them by anyone involved (actual Neruda fans I doubt these are). This is just the right sort of light romantic fiction for the moment.

Sense and Sensibility
This is a perfectly alright film with a nice sarcastic streak, which Hugh Grant plays off of best with a Hugh Laurie impression, but I found it more interesting to think of it in terms of the social implication then anything to actually do with the film which I guess speaks volumes about it's actual quality. This being the first Merchant/Ivory knock off being nominated rather then the real deal that had been dominating up to that point for example. I guess Jefferson in Paris was too French for them or something. Either way it's fascinating how Lee's take on the aesthetic (probably the weakest part of the film) became more popular than the real deal which seems to be the case ever since. Also despite being a period piece there's something about the film which just yells to the top of its lungs 1995. The use of colour in particular is just something that makes it impossible to believe this variation of the film being made at any other time.

My Vote: Babe

1997
As Good as It Gets
I remember vaguely liking this as a kid, but it is a pretty miserable experience now. It plays basically like an even more unpleasant The Accidental Tourist with slightly better cinematography. Nicholson is an absolute asshole who gets about five minutes of likability when taking care of the dog but otherwise is awful and Kinnear might be worse then that going for an exaggerated mincing that dates the film tremendously. Hunt is the only character with any humanity but that's almost entirely because she's left explaining the audience's feelings and not having anything to do with her actual arc as a character. The Ramis cameo goes well, but otherwise it's generic single mum with adorable moppet stuff like Jerry Maguire.

The Full Monty
Fairly cute in a way that screams '60s Italian sex comedy both good and bad at least with regards to the social class aspect it never seems to know how to present beyond its plot relevance. Tom Wilkonson's character and performance is probably the best on this account without losing any humour. Likewise on the positive end of things the relationship between the lead and his son works fairly well with just enough Chaplin flavoured sentimentality to allow the grotesque elements to work. Nothing great ultimately, but nothing bad either.

Good Will Hunting
The rare feel good movie that succeeds in earning its positive state while maintaining a healthy dose of intelligence (whether or not the math is as cracked up as the movie makes it out to be). I mean that more by attitude then anything else with even the humour reflecting a pride of intellect winning over all forms of stupidity. The bar scene or the string of psychologists at the beginning just beautifully illustrate this. A weaker film might position it as the working class slobs against upperclass snobs without developing a real argument. Even Williams, usually at his worst in these sorts of roles, manages a fair degree of venom at the faux expression of intellect in favour of something deeper. Skarsgaard though gives the strongest of the two mentor performances and probably deserved that Oscar to a greater degree. It's just that much more a real embodiment of the caring college professor stock type. I suppose the earnestness opens it up to some criticism, but I can't say I'm in the mood to critique needlessly that quality.

L.A. Confidential
This film puts so much effort into getting the period pastiche flavour right and can't even be bothered with something as simple as hats for its actors for god only knows what reason. That sums up fairly well the overly aesthetic at the reduction of sense and thematic quality the film suffers. Crowe aside all of the actors fit in and keep the film moving, but basically to no good end. Maybe if they either cut out a few plot lines (Spacey's seems the most expendable) or doubled the length of the film it would breath more easily, but as is is too messy.

Titanic
This is a far better film (or really pair of films unified by a single storyline) than I remember it being with the first half being a classical styled romance with the best of them and the disaster movie second half does a great job of giving a sense of what is happening.Better yet it somehow manages to sustain the intimacy and danger provided by the pair of protagonists while at the same time making the ship's passengers seem like humans without any serious characterization which has become such a hard feat for filmmakers (I'm looking your way Spielberg). It has just the right level of sentiment for its genres without dying of schmaltz.

My Vote: Good Will Hunting
Last edited by knives on Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#418 Post by ordinaryperson » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:18 pm

Along with the 2000s project going on I thought I would do the alternate Oscars for the 2000s. so here it goes:

2000

Chocolat- Meh.The thing most people have talked about is whether this movie is anti Christian. Honestly I think it’s just one of those overused “don’t be mean to others” thing. And yes Johnny Depp’s performance wasn’t very good. This movie just feels clumsy.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon- To be honest it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve seen it so I don’t really have the best memory of it. I do remember liking the action scenes (especially Jen vs. Shu Lein), and the cinematography, but I didn’t like the story of Lo and Jen that much. I didn’t feel like it should’ve been a flashback but just summarized in a couple lines.

Erin Brockovich- I wasn’t expecting to like this film. I liked Julia Roberts’ performance, I don’t think it should’ve won over Ellen Burstyn for “Requiem for a Dream”. I could also see that Soderbergh was using the color symbolism he used in “Traffic”. So to sum up my feelings, I think it’s a wonderful film with great characters and good writing.

Gladiator- Russell Crowe won an Oscar for this? Are you kidding me? Besides the acting the story is very unoriginal and uses every cliche in the book. I don’t think this would’ve gotten nominated for Best Picture if it came out today. I did think it had gotten better as the film went on but it still was broken and no CGI Oliver Reed could fix that.

Traffic- Great. “Traffic” is one of those films where I have no words for just because it is so excellent. The acting,the writing, cinematography, or well just everything is fantastic.

What should've won
Traffic

Worst film nominated
Chocolat

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#419 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:55 pm

ordinaryperson wrote:Gladiator- Russell Crowe won an Oscar for this? Are you kidding me? Besides the acting the story is very unoriginal and uses every cliche in the book. I don’t think this would’ve gotten nominated for Best Picture if it came out today. I did think it had gotten better as the film went on but it still was broken and no CGI Oliver Reed could fix that.
The odd thing about that is that win came in between two movies that looking back are much better performances, although I'd give the edge to The Insider. But he was definitely more interesting than Denzel Washington in Training Day.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#420 Post by knives » Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:56 am

2000
Chocolat
If it weren't for the vapid Miramax package this all came in it would be a genuinely anger inducing example of the stupidity of middleclass western values. The film boasts itself as being so daring going against those evil traditional values while presenting itself just as conservatively and as much hegemonic menace. I could go on, but why bother giving this trash that much respect? This is easily in the top five worst films I've seen nominated for BP.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
This was far less an action film as I remembered only the second hour of the film. Though I suppose that should have been obvious with Lee at the helm. It follows through with most of his ticks rising up to an enjoyable, but slight adventure tale. The movie isn't anywhere near as beautiful and visually engaging as Zhang Yimou's similar films though it makes up for that in character and humour ultimately winding up as a draw for me.

Erin Brockovich
I returned to this with an open mind hoping that it would be improved. Good news is that a lot holds up better than in the memory banks, the bad though is that Roberts and her central character remain absolutely horrible and annoying with far too many late '90s poorly constructed idea of feminism tics to be compelling at all. All throughout I wish she'd get run over again and be replaced by one of the many more interesting characters here. Still Soderbergh at his mainstream worst. That said everything not Roberts works sufficiently.

Gladiator
This was a lot better than I was expecting though still far from good. It plays out in essence like a dumber, gorier Spartacus; a film that already seems remembered exclusively for its mediocrity. Some of the directorial choices are nice, but as the academy fortunately recognized Soderbergh pantsed Scott on that. The story and performances are about what you'd expect with Crowe over serious, Phoenix over the top, and the pair of Reed and Harris classy enough. Nothing is actively bad, but none of it is actively interesting either.

Traffic
The story here is at its best sensitively hyperbolic. While I can appreciate its point of view how it presents those concerns on the supposed war on drugs makes it often seem little more that a PSA and one that would be achingly out of touch just a year later. Thanks for everything else then as this is one of Soderbergh's best acted and directed films with the cinematography almost coming across as his The Falls.

My Vote: Traffic

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#421 Post by ordinaryperson » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:32 am

2001

A Beautiful Mind- Want an Oscar? No, Russell Crowe you got one last year even though this performance is superior. You can get an Oscar Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman even though the both of you made terrible films in the past couple of years. Just make a film attach it to the hook, throw it into the water, and catch the Oscars. It doesn’t matter if it’s a safe telling of a person’s life that would be interesting if you added the unsafe stuff, or that it practically forces you to cry. Even if it has a character that’s one dimensional and cries in almost every scene she is in, she can still win an Oscar.

Gosford Park- Fantastic. The writing and the acting are wonderful. Again I can’t really think of anything that wasn’t good with this film although sometimes I couldn’t understand what they were saying because of their British accents but that’s my own fault. It’s just great.

In the Bedroom- It’s okay

LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring- Outstanding. This definitely the best out of all of the other films nominated in terms of production and storytelling. I’ve never read (or haven’t yet) read the books but a lot of LOTR fans consider the film better than the book.

Moulin Rouge!- Very cliched, plot holes, and an easily avoidable ending.Still somehow I kind of like it.

My vote: LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring
Worst film nominated: A Beautiful Mind

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#422 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:03 am

Crowe didn't get the Oscar because he threw a temper tantrum and heaved a telephone at a poor hotel clerk while voting was going on

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#423 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:06 am

When asked to comment on the incident, the hotel clerk assured onlookers that "It's okay"

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#424 Post by Shrew » Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:16 pm

Wasn't the phone incident several years after A Beautiful Mind and ruined his Cinderella Man chances instead? In 2001, I think it's safe to say that the preceding Gladiator Win and Denzel Washington's career recognition momentum were more responsible for Crowe's loss than his temper.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1969-Present)

#425 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:22 pm

You're right, I had mixed up the Ron Howard prestige movies

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