Movie Mondays: When the Oscars Get it Right

oscarThe 86th annual Academy Awards are imminent. The Oscars are the Super Bowl for film nerds and they can certainly cause just as much anguish and frustration as when <INSERT FAVORITE TEAM HERE> loses. Looking back over the Academy’s track record can be a dismal experience. There’s the year Driving Miss Daisy beat out Do the Right Thing for Best Picture, or when Crash took home the statue over Brokeback Mountain.

Click here to view Sunrise in the SPL catalogEven years when the winning film was great but not the greatest can be annoying. How Green Was My Valley and The Apartment are both fantastic films, but they’re not quite on the level of Citizen Kane or Psycho. But occasionally the Academy gets it right. Let’s bask in the glow of inarguable, unequivocal success. Perhaps a little magic will rub off on us.

Click here to view Annie Hall in the SPL catalogThe first Academy Awards ceremony back in 1928 did something never again replicated in the 85 years since: they gave out two Best Picture awards. The film everyone remembers from that inaugural year is Wings, the Clara Bow aviation feature, but another award was given out that night under the category “Best Picture, Unique and Artistic Production” for F.W. Murnau’s masterpiece, Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, arguably the greatest silent film of all time.

Click here to view All About Eve in the SPL catalogThere is a large swath of the public that is certain Star Wars was robbed back in 1977 when it lost to Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, but they’re wrong. (The Empire Strikes Back should have won over Ordinary People three years later though.) Annie Hall is not only the best film out of Allen’s forty-plus features, but the best romantic comedy ever made.

Finally, the best picture to ever win Best Picture occurred in 1950 when Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s All About Eve won six awards. The story of a ruthless career climber in the world of stage drama works well as a commentary on the annual Oscar campaigning and chicanery. Pop it in this Sunday, I guarantee a less aggravating time than watching the telecast.

4 thoughts on “Movie Mondays: When the Oscars Get it Right”

  1. Rocky. One of the best Best Picture winners.

    Jaws was better than One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and I don’t care that most people would disagree.

    I’ve never had a problem with Shakespeare in Love winning best picture.

    I respectfully disagree with you on Annie Hall. It hasn’t aged very well.

  2. If the half of Psycho you take umbrage with is its sequel, I’ll give you that but besides the admittedly ham-handed coda, that film goes off like gangbusters.

    Like I said, I really like The Apartment and if it was released in a year other than 1960 I could make an argument for its win, but Psycho is revolutionary.

    Lastly, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, DK, but you’re wrong on Annie Hall. I caught a revival print at the Northwest Film Forum a few years back and it was a revelation.

    What’s everybody’s pick for this year’s Best Picture? The best of the lot is easily The Wolf of Wall Street but it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of winning.

    As long as it isn’t American Hustle, I’ll be okay.

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