Monthly Archives: October 2010
So I recently completed one of my life goals: watching every single film that won the Academy Award for Best Picture. I would say it took me 24 years, because that’s how old I am and the Academy Awards have been my favorite hobby as long as I can remember. However, it was in the last six weeks or so that I’ve been really hitting the list hard because I realized I only had twenty left and that seemed like a very doable task. All but two of these films are available on DVD. Sadly, one of my Top Ten Winners isn’t. You can, however, get it on VHS and find it on YouTube if you’re wily. It’s been a wonderful experience watching all 82 films. Most are really quite wonderful, others are so-so and a handful I thought were downright boring. My next goal is to watch all of the films that were nominated for Best Picture. There are 474 films that have been nominated and I’ve seen 257 of those films already, which only leaves 217. I’m figuring on some of the earlier films to be a little hard to come by and I also plan on taking a few years to try to complete this goal. I’m sure I’ll write something about that when I do finish it! But now on to my favorite and least favorite Best Picture winners.
I cannot wait to see all of these movies. They each have the potential to be amazing, though they’re all such different genres. They also star a plethora of people I love.
Continuing my four-part Auteur of the Week series on Steven Spielberg (you can see the first part here) I’m now going to be talking about the rest of Spielberg’s work in the 1980s. Throughout the 80s Spielberg produced hit after hit after hit, establishing himself even more as one of the greatest directors working in the business. There’s only one film in this era of his filmmaking that I don’t like, and it has nothing to do with the quality of the film. I’ll explain later. I’ve also included a film wherein he only directed a segment – the ill-advised Twilight Zone: The Movie.
I’m going to admit this straight up: this is mostly going to be an “I love Barbra Streisand in this movie” post. I’d never been a big fan of Babs until I saw this film and I’ve been converted forever. This was her debut film performance and she won the Best Actress Academy Award for it – in the only tie in that category’s history with Katharine Hepburn in The Lion In Winter. Somehow, though, the Academy decided to give the top prize of the night to Carrol Reed’s overblown, boring and trite musical Oliver! I mean, if they were going to give the top prize one last time to a musical, well until Chicago‘s win 34 years later, why couldn’t they have gone with Funny Girl?! The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and only won the one: Best Actress Barbra Streisand (won), Best Supporting Actress – Kay Medford, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song, Best Score of a Musical Picture (Original or Adaptation), Best Sound and Best Picture. William Wyler wasn’t even nominated for Best Director! The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were: Rachel, Rachel, Romeo and Juliet, The Lion in Winter and winner Oliver!