Your favorite Best Picture etc.
February 12, 2015 11:51 AM   Subscribe

 
Well, that's one way of ordering them.
posted by gwint at 11:54 AM on February 12, 2015 [15 favorites]


Lost Weekend at 77?? This list is not objective or subjective. It is random.
posted by dirtdirt at 11:59 AM on February 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Mostly this just reinforces my opinion that the Oscars do a shit job of picking the best picture for each year. Also, I'm guessing that this writer is a lot younger than me.
posted by octothorpe at 12:00 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is Chicago at the bottom?
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:01 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


oooohhhh, I C, this is ranking the *movies* not those *pictures*
posted by gkr at 12:06 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ordinary People, which beat out Raging Bull, shouldn't even been on that list, and if it has to be, it should be #87.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:27 PM on February 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


This list is not objective or subjective. It is random.

Crash isn't flat last, but it's close, so there's some order to it. Reading the accompanying text for each item probably helps.
posted by Artw at 12:28 PM on February 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm glad she stuck Gigi at the bottom. Maurice Chevalier made my skin crawl in that.
posted by QuietDesperation at 12:30 PM on February 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'd forgotten that Forrest fucking Gump beat out both Shawshank and Pulp Fiction. tanj.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:33 PM on February 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


Well, the first few comments are arguing that Gladiator was way too low, so...
posted by dirigibleman at 12:34 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Singin' In the Rain wasn't even nominated for best picture? THIS WHOLE SYSTEM IS OUT OF OF ORDER!
posted by drezdn at 12:35 PM on February 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Movies 30-1 are almost without exception pretty great movies.

Movies 86-31 had me reacting in various shades of "OMG that movie sucks," "that's still way too high for that crappy movie," "oh yeah, Oliver! won Best Picture," "I hate Russell Crowe so much," and "what movie was that again?"
posted by MoonOrb at 12:36 PM on February 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


You know, I thought Schindler's List was heavy handed the first time I saw it, but fuck me if that last scene where Schindler breaks down realizing how many more people he could have saved didn't make me weep and if thinking about that scene doesn't make we teary just reading this list.

I still think the movie is heavy handed, but think that's part of what makes it remarkable.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:36 PM on February 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


On Gump:

Years later, I was at an Oscar-viewing party, and they had Tom Hanks come out as a presenter - and when the orchestra played the Gump theme for his entrance music, Hanks visibly rolled his eyes. And we all cracked up. "Imagine how much it must suck," one of us said, "to know that for the rest of your life, that is going to be your entrance music."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:36 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


You know what would be novel? A ranking of the Best Picture winners that only compared them to each other, and not to the other nominees that each one beat out.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:39 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Huh. I rather liked Wings.
posted by koeselitz at 12:41 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


54. Oliver! (1968)

Directed by: Carol Reed
Written by: Vernon Harris
The other Oscars it won: Reed (Best Director); John Box, Terence Marsh, Vernon Dixon, Ken Muggleston (Best Art Direction); John Green (Best Score); Shepperton Studio Sound Department (Best Sound); Onna White (Honorary Award)
What it beat for Best Picture: Funny Girl; The Lion in Winter; Rachel, Rachel; Romeo and Juliet

I’m a huge fan of the music from Oliver!, and even as I type this I have managed to get “Where Is Love?” stuck in my head. But 2001: A Space Odyssey changed film as we know it, and it was not nominated. Rosemary’s Baby was also not nominated, yet we can probably all agree it’s a more important movie than Oliver!.


No. We can't.

I'm pleasantly surprised to learn that Rachel, Rachel was nominated for any Oscars, though, let alone Best Picture. It's not better than Oliver!--which deserves to be WAY higher on this list btw--but it's really, really good (better than Rosemary's freaking Baby, ffs) and deserves to be better known. Go watch it! (It's not about a young girl's strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk, incidentally.)
posted by Sys Rq at 12:41 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Very subjective, rationalized, and quite PC.
posted by CrowGoat at 12:42 PM on February 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


I thought Schindler's List was heavy handed the first time I saw it, but fuck me if that last scene where Schindler breaks down realizing how many more people he could have saved didn't make me weep and if thinking about that scene doesn't make we teary just reading this list.

The first time I saw it I was left just flat-out numb from it being such a sucker punch. But then years later during a bout of insomnia I turned the TV on in time to catch just the last half; I settled in to watch it, thinking nothing more than "oh yeah, Liam Neeson was amazing in this."

And then came the very last scene, where the real people the movie was about all visit Schindler's grave alongside the actors who played them and they all leave a stone on Schindler's headstone. And I just flat-out started bawling - full-on ugly crying. I have never reacted that way to a movie before.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:46 PM on February 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


Hamlet
Directed by: Laurence Olivier
Written by: Laurence Olivier


Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:47 PM on February 12, 2015 [22 favorites]


(He was older than he looked.)
posted by I-baLL at 12:48 PM on February 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


So, she has Gigi as the worst ever, but My Fair Lady in the top twenty. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by Curious Artificer at 12:49 PM on February 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Billy Shakes didn't write the screenplay.
posted by kmz at 12:49 PM on February 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Well, have you ever seen Laurence Olivier and William Shakespeare in the same place at the same time?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:50 PM on February 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Whenever that stupid DeMille circus movie is on TCM I try to give it a go but I just ... can't. What were they thinking?

Over the New Year's holiday I stayed in Monterey in a hotel that happened to be right next to a Bubba Gump franchise. I was shocked to see how much business it does to this day. Am I missing something here? Surely people aren't going out of love for the movie, right?

This was linked to the article and was an interesting read, I thought. I watched the clip of Sally Field getting her award and was David Steinberg her date that evening?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:50 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Billy Shakes didn't write the screenplay.

I know that, obviously.

*resolves to go back to Joke School*
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:52 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


what's number one what's number one what's number one YESSSSSS.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:53 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Most of the top picks seem about right, further down it gets a lot murkier. The Lost Weekend, Slumdog, and The Artist seem really out of place.
posted by JauntyFedora at 1:07 PM on February 12, 2015


I minus points for the red coat in List.
posted by Artw at 1:07 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos: Oh God, that last scene. I'm holding back tears thinking about it.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:09 PM on February 12, 2015


A few weeks ago, I went to a party at a 4-screen movie theater thrown to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Malco Theatres chain. There were cocktails and food, and then partygoers could choose to see either The Wizard Of Oz, The Sound Of Music, The Godfather, or Forrest Gump. My wife and I watched The Wizard Of Oz, and it was the first one finished, so I went to the other three theaters to see how many people had chosen each one. Wizard and Sound Of Music both had half-full theaters, but The Godfather, which was completely packed, was the clear winner.

There were two people watching Forrest Gump.
posted by vibrotronica at 1:13 PM on February 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


Every now and again I think 'You know what would be a cool long-ish term project... watch all the Oscar winners!' Then I realise I'd had have to watch Crash again and I think fuck that.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:25 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm just glad I'm not the only one who thought Crash was so terrible I coudn't even watch the whole thing.
posted by freakazoid at 1:25 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


We have a yearly project where we watch all the Best Picture nominees, which means I've cornered myself Into watching American Sniper.
posted by Artw at 1:29 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Pssst. Godfather freaks/fans: listen up.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day (sometimes until the end of September), get yourself to South Lake Tahoe, CA. Get on the Safari Rose for a tour of the west side of the lake. They'll take you on crystal clear waters up to Fleur du Lac, where you'll see The Boathouse. You know the one.

And the bloody marys they serve on board are to die for!

source: I've done it three times
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 1:31 PM on February 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Birdman is an instant classic therefore Boyhood or Sniper is going to win
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:32 PM on February 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was ready to hate on this list, and I don't like all of her choices of rank, but I like her top 10 and was actually kind of surprised that she put All about Eve at #1. Unexpected and unorthodox call. Love, love, love that movie to death.
posted by blucevalo at 1:32 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


(and, alas, it's not on the schedule for 31 Days of Oscar on TCM this year, which is bananas)
posted by blucevalo at 1:33 PM on February 12, 2015


Whiplash, motherfuckers.

(Selma or Sniper will win. Is bet on Sniper)
posted by Artw at 1:34 PM on February 12, 2015


It's funny how most of the movies in the bottom half are tedious period pieces, and then there's like 15 more (generally less-tedious) period pieces in the top half. How many Best Picture winners are set in their own time?
posted by Copronymus at 1:40 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


We have a yearly project where we watch all the Best Picture nominees, which means I've cornered myself Into watching American Sniper.

I have the same project and I am forgiving myself for blowing American Sniper off.

(And Whiplash too - nothing against the film, just that "mean art/music teacher" is a trope that kind of gives me the fantods.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:40 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was surprised that all of the pictures were on one page. I have never been able to cue up My Fair Lady because Hepburn had a singing double.
posted by bukvich at 1:40 PM on February 12, 2015


(And Whiplash too - nothing against the film, just that "mean art/music teacher" is a trope that kind of gives me the fantods.)

Just so you know, Whiplash is FUCKING AMAZING, so I'd suggest keeping it on the list.
posted by Artw at 1:43 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, I agree that it looks great. I just also know that J.K. Simmons would drive me under the seats into a fetal position within 20 minutes.

* Don't forget I went to an acting conservatory for 3 years, and once in a blue moon some of the teachers you get are MEEEEEEEEAAN.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:46 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm guessing that this writer is a lot younger than me.

Follow the link under Kramer vs. Kramer -- the author was 10 years old in 1980.
posted by Rash at 1:48 PM on February 12, 2015


Rank the nominees, and THEN you'd have a hell of a list.

And yeah, Whiplash is awesome. It's pretty predictable and it hits familiar notes, but the performances are great and there is a joy in seeing that done well. I guess it's almost like watching a really great musician live in conc- HEY WAIT A MINUTE.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:48 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Heh... just checked a betting site. Simmonds is 50/1 on to win Best Supporting Actor!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:49 PM on February 12, 2015


For best pic the've got Birdman edging Boyhood (both around evens) and the rest way out
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:50 PM on February 12, 2015


I was surprised that all of the pictures were on one page.

For all the (somewhat justified) haterade Buzzfeed gets for listicle articles, they've never gone the multipage list route.
posted by kmz at 1:51 PM on February 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Here's a decent list of better alternatives to the Oscar Best Picture winners for each year.
posted by octothorpe at 1:52 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Schindler's List is a good movie, and a great piece of cinematography (the director of photography won a well-deserved Oscar), but it is a safe Holocaust film. Most of the people we care about survive, which was - of course - not true of the Holocaust. As the review linked in the original post notes, it's a movie about 600 people who live, when more than 6 million died.

But we also need movies like this. I saw Schindler's List as a teenager. I could not have handled something like Shoah then. So many people don't really have a sense of how many died; 6 million is an imaginary number. But seeing the girl in the red dress - and just knowing that she, and almost every child like her, will be killed: it at least brings a sliver of the horror. It opens the door to the history: the full horror is just too much for most people, most of the time.

on to trivial movie things -

I am shocked that Out of Africa beat The Colour Purple and Kiss of the Spider-Woman, Kiss especially. I haven't seen it in years, and still that film haunts me with its imagery and tension. I really need to rewatch it. 2001 not being nominated is crack, of course, as much as I adored little Mark Lester's dulcet soprano when I was 10. (Katherine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole are also delicious in The Lion in Winter, but film-wise it's just not as important as 2001.)

The Artist won because it was simply delightful, a perfect piece of film making. I can't think of any of the other nominees that were better. I liked Hugo a lot, but it was no Artist.
posted by jb at 1:59 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


For what its worth, and I think this is obvious, in any given year the odds are fairly good that more members of the academy voted against the winner than for the winner, and this is more true in recent years.

To white, in the older days, there were five nominees. You only had to get like 20.01% (decimal value obviously varies) of the vote to win, assuming the other movies all received some small fraction of votes. Now, with ten nominees, you only need to get like 10.01% of the total vote to win.

There's about 6,000 member of the academy. 10% of that is, of course, 600. So, if your movie has 601 votes, eight others have 600 and one was has 599, your movie wins.

The Academy Award has a weight and history to it, but its basically an industry award. Its always informative to compare a list of the top grossing movies of a year and film critics lists with that year's Best Picture nominees (Spoiler: people don't always vote wisely with their dollars).
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:00 PM on February 12, 2015


I minus points for the red coat in List.

Did anyone else notice a change in the texture or the tint of those scenes with the red coat? Like, even the black and white looked... different from the black and white in the rest of the movie?
posted by Etrigan at 2:13 PM on February 12, 2015


The occasional mention of "and [x] film wasn't even nominated that year has reminded me once again of this bit of schtick from the 1979 Oscars.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:22 PM on February 12, 2015


Metafilter: Very subjective, rationalized, and quite PC.
posted by iotic at 2:27 PM on February 12, 2015


Very subjective, rationalized, and quite PC.

It's subjective as advertised, she gives reasons *gasp horror*, but what does the last part even mean here? Hell, Gone With The Wind cracked the top 20.
posted by kmz at 2:33 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Whenever that stupid DeMille circus movie is on TCM I try to give it a go but I just ... can't.

As Leonard Maltin's book says, "It's got a swell train-wreck!"
posted by ovvl at 2:34 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


movies. they're just like tweets.
posted by mullacc at 2:35 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Whenever that stupid DeMille circus movie is on TCM I try to give it a go but I just ... can't. What were they thinking?

The Greatest Show on Earth is total cinematic comfort food for me. When we got our first (expensive!) VCR in, like, 1983, it was one of the first two* movies we rented because it was one of my mom's favorites from when she was a kid. I guess that automatically put it in the category of Movies We Like for me, but still, I can rewatch it to this day and enjoy it. Part of that was growing up being fascinated with circuses and carnivals. Part of it is the newsreel aspect of parts of the movie. And, it's colorful! There's action! There are circus acts, and suspense! (And Betty Hutton did her own stunts!)

Sure, the acting ranges from wooden to campy, and there isn't a whole lot of plot, but I enjoy the spectacle of it. DeMille managed to make a spectacle out of a spectacle, and that's not the easiest thing in the world to accomplish. Not saying it would be worthy of Best Picture today. But in its time? With the contemporary culture of the movie house and movie-going? I don't think it's surprising at all.

*Raiders of the Lost Ark was the other. The video store was literally 30 miles away, so we had to choose carefully.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:48 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know what would be a list I could actually put to good use? A "40 best movies on Netflix" or "20 best TV shows on Amazon Prime" or something like that.

Also, you know how sports leagues will occasionally revoke wins to, like, reinforce its own sanctity? Man, the Academy really needs to do that with Crash. Just vacate that win, homies.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:57 PM on February 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


My Fair Lady. Great date movie until the last freaking line: Eliza? Where the devil are my slippers?

Go fetch would have worked just as well.

And while Audrey Hepburn rocked the princess half of the role, did anyone believe she was a guttersnipe?

And what's this line? Having seen The Sting a number of times, I still can never remember the actual “sting.” You can't remember what the actual sting was? It wasn't exactly hidden (or complicated). She is disqualified not only as a movie reviewer, she's disqualified as a movie watcher.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:59 PM on February 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ugh, Gone With the Wind, no, move that sucker down.

My Fair Lady is a weird weird movie. There are at least three separate times Eliza should have garroted Higgins. It's like the 60s version of 50 Shades of Gray.
posted by emjaybee at 3:01 PM on February 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos

Must remember not to see even a second of Schlinder's List or risk the possibility of being depressed for the next week and a half.
posted by Omon Ra at 3:06 PM on February 12, 2015


I've got to admit I've got a soft spot for Oliver! possibly because it seemed to on tv every Christmas when I was a kid (and often shows up again over the holiday on the BBC still - and yeah I'll def watch again if I'm not doing anything else). Great performances by Oliver Reed and Ron Moody.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:13 PM on February 12, 2015


This list is one more proof of two things:

1) Martin Scorsese is the most underrated director of all time.

2) The Academy Awards are largely a clown show.
posted by Vibrissae at 3:16 PM on February 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


On Gump:

Years later, I was at an Oscar-viewing party, and they had Tom Hanks come out as a presenter - and when the orchestra played the Gump theme for his entrance music, Hanks visibly rolled his eyes. And we all cracked up. "Imagine how much it must suck," one of us said, "to know that for the rest of your life, that is going to be your entrance music."


I swear I have read or heard that story before, but Google is letting me down. What's that from? It's going to drive me nuts.
posted by officer_fred at 3:16 PM on February 12, 2015


Man she doesn't give A Man for All Seasons its proper due. It's a great movie.
posted by Carillon at 3:17 PM on February 12, 2015


Titanic cracks her top half? Uh, no.

The Greatest Show on Earth was one of Movieline's Bad Movies to Love.
posted by brujita at 3:25 PM on February 12, 2015


The proper way to deal with the Crash problem is to retroactively reassign the win to Cronenberg's movie of the same title.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:50 PM on February 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


I liked Crash.

Yes, I'm a monster.
posted by ymgve at 3:54 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Crash was not a good movie, but I'm not really sure why it and Shakespeare in Love get so much more hate than A Beautiful Mind, Forrest Gump (although I've noticed a bit of a Gump backlash in the past few years), or Slumdog Millionaire
posted by kagredon at 4:03 PM on February 12, 2015


To date, I still haven't seen Driving Miss Daisy and Do the Right Thing still did not get nominated for anything (and was, IMO, one of the best pictures that year). But I already said that in another thread.
posted by Chuffy at 4:06 PM on February 12, 2015


My theory is the members of the Academy saw the title "Do The Right Thing" and thought "the right thing? good heavens, no!"
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:19 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd put Lawrence of Arabia first, but that's not really much of a quibble.
posted by acrasis at 4:51 PM on February 12, 2015


I stand by my opinion that the second half of Titanic is a great cinematic work (and it remains one of my favorite movies). I am not alone in this sentiment. There are a hell of a lot worse movies on this list.
posted by likeatoaster at 4:59 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Crash was not a good movie, but I'm not really sure why it and Shakespeare in Love get so much more hate than A Beautiful Mind, Forrest Gump (although I've noticed a bit of a Gump backlash in the past few years), or Slumdog Millionaire

I'm not really much of a fan of any of those (although I think Slumdog was a perfectly fine, if predictable, rags-to-riches fantasy) but I am mystified by how people didn't like The English Patient--it was the first epic that made sense to me as far as why people go to the trouble of making and seeing epics.

movies. they're just like tweets.

My theory on why Howard Kremer cohosts a podcast largely dedicated to discussing movies when he clearly hates the very concept of "movies" is not fully worked out yet, but I do often feel sorry for Kulap.

posted by psoas at 5:08 PM on February 12, 2015


I liked Crash.

Yes, I'm a monster.


Look, just because you like a Cronenberg movie about people who have sex with cars doesn't mean that you're a monster. You just have adventurous tastes!
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:14 PM on February 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


1) Martin Scorsese is the most underrated director of all time.

If you're going based on the Oscars, that award clearly goes to Kubrick.
posted by dis_integration at 5:15 PM on February 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Re: Titanic -- when Billy Zane was chasing Leo around the ship with a gun as it was sinking I couldn't contain my giggles, much to the displeasure of the teens around me.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 5:26 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


In what world is Shakespeare in Love a better movie than The English Patient? I know I am in the minority with my love for that movie but still.
posted by arha at 5:27 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I know I'm going to be going hard against the grain on this one, but as someone who has seen the vast majority of these films... I think this is the best Best Picture ranking I've ever seen. I mean it. It's the one I connect to most, at any rate.
posted by Krazor at 5:34 PM on February 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


In what world is Shakespeare in Love a better movie than The English Patient?

I was going to say Elaine Benes' world, but I don't think she'd be the Shakespeare in Love type, either.

Anyway, the parts of Titanic that had nothing to do with Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, or (geez) Billy Zane were really good. How long would that movie be?
posted by dirigibleman at 5:47 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pretty decent list- wasn't afraid to show proper recognition to movies from the first half of the 20th century, which some critics seem to be moving away from.

This list is not objective or subjective. It is random.

Purely as a thought experiment, if you used an RNG to assign pseudo-random slots to each Best Picture winner in a given list article, and then used after the fact, texas-sharpshooter arguments as to why they deserve that place in the list, what would the percentage increase in commenter outrage be? Would there definitely be one at all?
posted by The Zeroth Law at 5:51 PM on February 12, 2015


Purely as a thought experiment, if you used an RNG to assign pseudo-random slots to each Best Picture winner in a given list article, and then used after the fact, texas-sharpshooter arguments as to why they deserve that place in the list, what would the percentage increase in commenter outrage be? Would there definitely be one at all?

Godfather and Godfather 2 not in the top five!?! I am canceling my subscription to your blog. Good day, sir. I SAID GOOD DAY.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:57 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Three word, in-theater review of The English Patient by my girlfriend at the time: "Just die already."

Sums it up for me.
posted by Chuffy at 5:58 PM on February 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


if you used an RNG to assign pseudo-random slots to each Best Picture winner in a given list article, and then used after the fact, texas-sharpshooter arguments as to why they deserve that place in the list, what would the percentage increase in commenter outrage be? Would there definitely be one at all?

The result depends almost entirely on the rating that the RNG gives to Crash.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:59 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I always manage to forget that Four Weddings and a Funeral was nominated for best picture and am newly bemused whenever it is mentioned. I love Four Weddings and a Funeral. I've seen it countless times, but it seems to have gone down in history as a 'fartsy rom com and not even a very good one.' It's especially weird to see it associated with the other generally respected, well remembered nominees: Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump and Shawshank Redemption.

Never forgive, never forget Brokeback Mountain's cruel defeat under Crash, tbh. I will be surprised if Whiplash wins. The academy is unjust.
posted by wrabbit at 6:16 PM on February 12, 2015


I feel like Netflix made this type of list easy conversation fodder over the last five years. I know the first thing I did when I subscribed to the original DVD Netflix was try and watch as many of the best picture winners as I could. IMHO, I think the fair way to appraise oscar winners is by deciding which one of six categories it inevitably falls into.

Category I - Yup. Nailed it.
Casablanca (1943) My Fair Lady (1964)In the Heat of the Night (1967)Patton (1970) The French Connection (1971) The Godfather (1972) The Sting (1973) The Godfather Part II (1974)One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) Rain Man (1988) The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Schindler’s List (1993) No Country for Old Men (2007)

Category II - A.K.A. Hooray Hollywood! Maybe not the best film, but the best entertainment extravaganza / production spectacle released that year
The Great Ziegfeld (1936) Gone With the Wind (1939) An American in Paris (1951) The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) Ben-Hur (1959) Lawrence of Arabia (1962) Gandhi (1982) Out of Africa (1985) The Last Emperor (1987) Dances With Wolves (1990) Braveheart (1995) The English Patient (1996) Titanic (1997) Chicago (2002) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) Slumdog Millionaire (2008) The Artist (2011)

Category III - The odd-ducks. They are controversial more so for how much they don’t fit with the typical Academy Award mold, or for the competing films released that year that were snubbed, but these are by and large very good movies.
Rocky (1976) Amadeus (1984) Shakespeare in Love (1998) Gladiator (2000) A Beautiful Mind (2001) Million Dollar Baby (2004)The King’s Speech (2010) Argo (2012)

Category IV - You had to be there. They are good movies, and it’s not that they’ve necessarily aged poorly (though they certainly seemed great when they came out). But for as much as they influenced the zeitgeist of their release years, they are by no means essential viewing.
On the Waterfront (1954) Gigi (1958) Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) Chariots of Fire (1981) Platoon (1986) Driving Miss Daisy (1989) Forrest Gump (1994) American Beauty (1999)

Category V - You REALLY had to be there. Classics of their time that a modern audience won’t be able to appreciate unless they watch them in the midst of a class movie marathon.
Wings (1927) The Broadway Melody (1929) All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) Cimarron (1931) Grand Hotel (1932) Cavalcade (1933) Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) The Life of Emile Zola (1937) You Can’t Take It With You (1938) How Green Was My Valley (1941) Mrs. Miniver (1942) The Lost Weekend (1945) Gentleman’s Agreement (1947) All the King’s Men (1949) Marty (1955)

Category VI - Immediately over-rated AND subsequently aged horribly. In other words: “The Mistakes.”
Hamlet (1948) The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) Around the World in 80 Days (1956) West Side Story (1961) Tom Jones (1963) A Man for All Seasons (1966) The Deer Hunter (1978) Crash (2005)
posted by midmarch snowman at 6:34 PM on February 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


Wow. I had no idea the Olivier Hamlet was so disliked.
posted by Artw at 6:39 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Category VI - Immediately over-rated AND subsequently aged horribly. In other words: “The Mistakes.”
Hamlet (1948) The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) Around the World in 80 Days (1956) West Side Story (1961) Tom Jones (1963) A Man for All Seasons (1966) The Deer Hunter (1978) Crash (2005)


what
posted by Sys Rq at 6:40 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Deer Hunter is the crash of the Vietnam war. There. I Said it.
posted by midmarch snowman at 6:42 PM on February 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


The commentary attached to Gladiator is just perfect. Quite simply, there's nothing that awful about Gladiator, there's just no reason whatsoever that it should have been Best Picture. You can't write a paragraph or two about why Gladiator is so bad, because it actually isn't. You can just put out your hands and ask, "How did this happen?", which is what the author did. Spot on.
posted by deanc at 6:42 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's like the 60s version of 50 Shades of Gray.



Oh, but the musical numbers are so much better! And in the new one, Johnny Depp is just terrible as the main character's drunken Cockney father.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:08 PM on February 12, 2015


A lot of the wrongly awarded "Best Pictures" are perfectly good films, just not in any way the best of the year.
posted by octothorpe at 7:33 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


1. I had a bizarre response to The English Patient (which, in novel form, I quite liked): I enjoyed it very much the first time, then tried to watch it again a couple of weeks later and was so appalled that I walked out.

2. The only thing that kept me awake during Titanic was the prospect of some interesting visuals when the ship sank.

3. The Olivier Hamlet isn't bad at all, really. Besides, it's partly responsible for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

4. Agree that her disdain for A Man for All Seasons is puzzling (even if you don't agree with the film's take on More--see under Wolf Hall): Scofield is terrific and the film has a very ascetic beauty to it (I suppose there's something to be said for having no budget...).
posted by thomas j wise at 7:50 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not really much of a fan of any of those (although I think Slumdog was a perfectly fine, if predictable, rags-to-riches fantasy)

I went back and forth on including that one because it is one of my own Unpopular Opinions on a Best Picture--I thought Slumdog was mawkish and dull, though I was surprised that it got shut out of the Acting categories.
posted by kagredon at 7:54 PM on February 12, 2015


In what world is Shakespeare in Love a better movie than The English Patient?

My world. BTW, in my world, I'm also still very pleased that Shakespeare in Love beat out that other movie that was a brilliant and iconic half hour followed by three hours that nobody ever discusses or I suspect even remembers and for good reason.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:58 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's fun to see someone make a list like this and justify the placements. Obviously it's utterly subjective, and the author makes no attempt to hide this. I liked The English Patient. I even thought Crash was okay. What makes this sort of listicle enjoyable isn't the ordering so much as the explanation that goes into it.

I'm not going to argue that Crash is better than Brokeback Mountain, I just don't think it deserves all the hate.
posted by Loudmax at 8:22 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


midmarch snowman: "On the Waterfront" is only non-essential viewing in some alternate universe. This is fact.
posted by raysmj at 8:25 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I never saw Crash, but I think that Slumdog Millionaire represents the lowest abyss of Oscar movies. It's a punishing, phony, corny, flat out terrible movie with no redeeming qualities and I couldn't be paid to watch it again.
posted by knoyers at 9:23 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


An American in Paris is on TCM right now, and by God, Gene Kelly's character is a terrible painter.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 9:49 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


For once I actually agreed with the majority of these lists ... though I loved The English Patient each of the three times I saw it.

For those who don't get the Crash hate: it wasn't just that it delivered it's message with a lead anvil, it's that the message itself wasn't even that deep or interesting.
posted by kanewai at 9:59 PM on February 12, 2015


Tom Jones excesses and ability to update spectacle, made film genuinely novelistic. It is vastly under rated.
posted by PinkMoose at 10:42 PM on February 12, 2015


I am going to have to support the ranking of All About Eve. Because Bette Davis.
posted by psmealey at 1:39 AM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


But this listing loses any shred of credibility by placing the abysmal Titanic closer to the top than to the bottom. Regardless, a very entertaining perusal.
posted by psmealey at 1:49 AM on February 13, 2015


I agree with some, disagree with others. Haven't seen Gigi, but Crash deserves its low, low status; it only won because the Academy loves ensemble dramas. All About Eve? Hmmm, I did see that one but it had no effect on me. I remember thinking it was pretty good, but nothing to write home about. Forgettable, even?

But Sunset Boulevard? Now that's a fucking great movie. I've seen that one multiple times. Funny how so so so many of these films beat out at least one, if not multiple, films also nominated for Best Picture. That pattern actually seems to be the norm rather than the exception. Dances With Wolves beat Goodfellas??? Driving Miss Daisy beat Do The Right Thing??? That seems to be the takeaway from this list.
posted by zardoz at 2:19 AM on February 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


> "In what world is Shakespeare in Love a better movie than The English Patient?"

The world in which good movies are better than bad movies?
posted by kyrademon at 7:08 AM on February 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


In a nutshell:
  • Old movies are old.
  • Old movies are sometimes long.
  • Old movies were made when things were different.

Hamlet
Directed by: Laurence Olivier
Written by: Laurence Olivier

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm


Well . . . "Additional dialog by William Shakespeare", then.
 
posted by Herodios at 7:20 AM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I actually watched An American In Paris last night and Gene Kelly's dancing was soooo much better than his painting. Leslie Caron is dynamite in it, but I agree Gigi, where she is the lead, is unwatchable.
posted by vibrotronica at 8:10 AM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


The novella upon which Gigi was based was written by Collette, whose Wikipedia page is worth a read. Here's a bit:
Colette is directly credited with the discovery of a young, unknown Audrey Hepburn, whom the elder chose on sight to play the eponymous Broadway lead in Gigi. According to Hepburn herself, she was garrisoned with the 1952 film production company of Monte Carlo Baby at a hotel in the south of France for brief location shooting, the relatively unglamorous assignment part of a standard contract. Hepburn at the time commanded barely more stature than many unknowns after the Armistice in a European film industry devastated by World War II. Colette chanced to see the young Hepburn walking across the lobby of the hotel and immediately said to her companion of the moment, "There is my Gigi!"
Note that I excerpted that bit only because it is somewhat relevant to this thread; it's far from the most interesting chapter in her life. Also, it's probably worth pointing out that Audrey Hepburn didn't do her own singing in Gigi either; the Broadway production wasn't a musical.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:42 AM on February 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Jerry Mulligan is a terrible painter.

In fact, this drawing is the only one I like, and HE ERASES IT.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:25 PM on February 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yo, Costner. Fuck you. Pay me.
posted by Chuffy at 2:29 PM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Actors are the largest voting block in the Academy. Actors tend to vote for other actors--Ordinary People, Dances with Wolves, Reds, Braveheart, Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby. Richard Attenborough won for Ghandi, as did Woody Allen for Annie Hall, but most of the Academy didn't think of them as being primarily actors. Christine Lahti won for her short, Lieberman in Love.
In Best Screenplay, Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade) and Emma Thompson (Sense & Sensibility)
The Academy membership doesn't always vote for merit--sometimes it's to encourage, sometimes it's just someone's turn, sometimes it's a consolation prize after being passed over before. Nothing to do with box office or how we, the consumers, feel.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:33 PM on February 13, 2015


" Also, it's probably worth pointing out that Audrey Hepburn didn't do her own singing in Gigi either; the Broadway production wasn't a musical."
Audrey Hepburn isn't in the musical film of Gigi--that's Leslie Caron (she was dubbed by Betty Wand.) Hepburn was dubbed by Marni Nixon in My Fair Lady.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:41 PM on February 13, 2015


Yeah, I know. Her non-singing in My Fair Lady had already been brought up, and that's what I was referring to when I used the word either, while explicitly referring only to the Broadway production of Gigi.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:25 PM on February 13, 2015


Very subjective, rationalized, and quite PC.

Metafilter: etc
posted by Sebmojo at 7:07 PM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


'An American in Paris' deserved the oscar just for having that swell genius Oscar Levant aboard, applauding himself.

Watched 'Gigi' a few years ago, and it really is stunning just how awful it is, considering that there were some fairly talented people involved.
posted by ovvl at 10:12 PM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'll bite again. The English Patient was a flawed but very earnest and epic interpretation of a very difficult novel. The cinemetography honestly took my breath away when I first saw it. And the score, so sentimental but I loved it. You have Ralph Fiennes at his peak, Julia Ormond shining, and the criminally underated Kristin Scott Thomas. With Colin Firth as the booby prize.

Shakespeare in Love is a light and enjoyable farce. But so what. Gwynith Paltrow is charming, Joseph Fiennes is adequate, and Judy Dench gets what amounts to a cameo. And Colin Firth as the booby prize. I seriously think you could mount an argument that 10 Things I Hate About You is a better movie. What the hell do you remember about Shakespeare in Love? I ask this in all seriousness.

I first saw The English Patient in my very impressionable and naive early twenties. I know this clouds my view. I know it is a deeply flawed film but it moved me. And then led me to read the novel, then the rest of Michael Oondatje's bibliography. And then to dedicate a large part of my first degree to post colonial literature.

So yeah, Shakespeare in Love is a fun movie. I seriously doubt that it ever inspired anyone but the soon to be direly dissapointed into the study of Elizabethan literature.

The English Patient may be ponderous, overlong and sentimental. But it was superably acted, scored, filmed and put together by people who obviously earnestly believed in it. And I love it. Because it opened my stupid twenty year old mind to a lot of ideas. I can't say the same for the Gwyneth Corset Show.
posted by arha at 4:07 AM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ugh. Juliette Binoche not Ormand.
posted by arha at 4:48 AM on February 14, 2015


My personal list would have weird sprawling epics (like last emperor) and quirky art films like Annie Hall and The Artist way higher but the only real travesty is the Sound of Music not being in the top ten. Yo that's like The. Perfect. Musical. And I hate musicals.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:24 AM on February 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I seriously think you could mount an argument that 10 Things I Hate About You is a better movie.

10 Things I Hate About You is a better movie than multiple Best Picture winners, not just Shakespeare in Love.
posted by kagredon at 11:41 AM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Having seen it I would say a victorious American Sniper would make my bottom 10 easily. That thing is a peice of junk.
posted by Artw at 9:29 PM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


What the hell do you remember about Shakespeare in Love? I ask this in all seriousness.

Geoffrey Rush.
posted by jb at 10:56 AM on February 15, 2015


Tom Standage script.
posted by Artw at 12:06 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


What the hell do you remember about Shakespeare in Love? I ask this in all seriousness.

Geoffrey Rush.


"But the show must . . . "

"Go on."
 
posted by Herodios at 12:07 PM on February 15, 2015


I sort of wish I could take a quick peek at what this list and thread look like in the alternate universe where Saving Private Ryan won; I suspect "movie that got robbed by Shakespeare in Love" is much more fondly remembered than "Best Picture Saving Private Ryan" would've been.
posted by kagredon at 12:09 PM on February 15, 2015


What the hell do you remember about Shakespeare in Love? I ask this in all seriousness.

I remember Gwyneth (a) wearing one of the least-convincing male-drag costumes I've even seen on screen and (b) yelling "Anon!" when someone knocked on the door, much in the way we'd yell "I'm coming, just a sec!"

And yet, I still remember liking it more than Saving Private Ryan.
posted by psoas at 2:21 PM on February 15, 2015


I suspect "movie that got robbed by Shakespeare in Love" is much more fondly remembered than "Best Picture Saving Private Ryan" would've been.

"Best Picture Saving Private Ryan Except What The Fuck Was Up With That Framing Sequence Seriously That Sucked".
posted by Etrigan at 2:28 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I remember Shakespeare in Love as being an enjoyable love letter to the process of putting on a theatrical show which had a clever script, winning and enthusiastic performances, some insight into why Romeo and Juliet is still a beloved and popular play hundreds of years later, and dozens of memorable moments ("It's a mystery." "It's about this Nurse." "He DIES?") I could probably tell you the entire story with reasonable accuracy even though I haven't seen it since it came out.

I remember The English Patient as being a tedious bore with bad CGI sand dunes where I hated just about everyone. Beyond that, I can't remember what it was about. I remember there was a burned guy in a hospital bed for some reason? Oh, and there was one actor I thought did well in it ... Naveen Andrews, that was it. I remember thinking his role was interesting.

I remember Saving Private Ryan as having an amazing opening sequence depicting storming the beach at Normandy and then it was followed by a movie that was dull and uninteresting and I can't remember it for the life of me. I think some people died?

So, yeah, of the three, Shakespeare in Love was the clear bright spot for me. I doubt it was the best movie made that year, but if it's a choice among those three, then in this particular instance I applaud the Academy's taste.
posted by kyrademon at 2:58 PM on February 15, 2015




if the criteria actually included "movie that people will rewatch/remember/discuss in a context other than debating awards", 1998's Best Picture should've been The Truman Show The Big Lebowski.
posted by kagredon at 4:31 PM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Shakespeare in Love is a light and enjoyable farce. But so what. Gwynith Paltrow is charming, Joseph Fiennes is adequate, and Judy Dench gets what amounts to a cameo. And Colin Firth as the booby prize. I seriously think you could mount an argument that 10 Things I Hate About You is a better movie. What the hell do you remember about Shakespeare in Love? I ask this in all seriousness.


I remember Geoffrey Rush negotiating at the beginning that it's okay for the actors to get a cut of the profits, because there won't be any. I remember Ben Affleck storming in demanding "What is the Play and what is my Part?!" and once it's clear that he's been given a supporting role (albeit perhaps the greatest supporting role in the history of theatre) his exchange with the Bard:

NED: A suggestion for the title - Romeo and Juliet.
WILL: You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.
NED: And you, sir, are a Warwickshire shithouse.

I remember the Master of the Revels closing and reopening the playhouses at his whim, and the nurse scraping Viola's teeth, and the intricacies of undressing from Renaissance garb, and the tavern arguments.

Mostly I remember how real it felt, to anyone who has ever been in a show. The romaniticism of the movie, however pitched, was exactly right to how it feels to people trying to put on a production. The writer not having his scenes in on time, the flirtations and romances spilling over onto the stage, the Apothecary proudly memorizing his two lines and then flubbing them, the movie was able to make sharp fun of how ridiculous theatre is while finding exactly the right tone to feel how important it is when you're in it.

And then, the last shot. Good lord do I remember the last shot. Viola walking the beach. After a tense final act of her having to possibly sacrifice everything for the show, she's stuck with that which she was willing to give up. And that's worse, really. And so, at the Queen's request, Will gives us something between a dream and reality, where Twelfth Night is reimagined as Viola surviving a shipwreck on her way to America, not to be with Will, but free from Wessex, and free to make her own way, a promise we see just in that long shot of her walking the shore.

That's what I remember.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:59 AM on February 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


To add to Navelgazer's point - I can attest to the fact that for years after the film, members of BOTH the theater companies I worked with would invoke Joseph Fiennes' line to Geoffrey Rush about how "somehow or another it all always works out in the end" during any disastrous rehearsal in the run, because honestly, it always does.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:27 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Personally, I liked The Last Emperor.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:48 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


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