Sunday, March 08, 2015

The Eye of the Beholder

Now that the Academy Awards for 2015 have come and gone, it's time for a little reflection.  Time was that the standard announcement for those handing out the Oscar statue was something like this: ...and the winner for the BEST (fill in the blank) is ...

No more.  Now the announcement is--and the Oscar goes to (fill in the blank.) 

There's a reason for that change. Oh, I don't know if it was mandated or not. But the reason is that the Academy must have come to realize that not always did the best in whatever category win.  Or it depended very much on the standard by which someone was judging whether or not the winner was in fact THE BEST. 

There have been some atrocious choices as "the best" in the history of the Academy Awards. Let's see how you do selecting the winner in some of these match-ups. Pick YOUR winner. (In each case, I list the films as not to give away the answer.*

1. Brokeback Mountain OR Capote OR Crash

2. Saving Private Ryan OR Shakespeare in Love

3. As Good As It Gets OR Good Will Hunting OR  L.A. Confidential OR Titanic

4. Forrest Gump OR Shawshank Redemption

5. Apocalypse Now OR Kramer Vs. Kramer

6. Bonnie & Clyde OR  In The Heat of The Night OR The Graduate

7. It's A Wonderful Life OR The Best Years of Our Lives

7. Citizen Kane OR How Green Was My Valley

OK . . . I could go on. In fact, many websites DO go on and on and on about the snubs the Academy has inflicted on nominees.  Of course, there are many excellent and beloved actors who never won an Oscar (outright) for a particular performance.  In recent Oscar times here are some of those who have not won: Leonardo DiCaprio (nominated 5 times); Tom Cruise (nominated 3 times...and, yes, he CAN act -- Born on the Fourth of July -- when he wants to); Glenn Close (nominated 6 times); Sigourney Weaver (nominated 3 times); Amy Adams (nominated 5 times).  

What the Academy tends to do is, after years of being snubbed, the excellent non-winners win a special "lifetime achievement" award. Luminaries such as Cary Grant, Bob Hope, Laurence Olivier, Greta Garbo, and Lauren Bacall

The eye of the beholder is the only explanation I have for some of the movies and actors over-looked in this annual celebration of movies.  And also the only explanation for some of those picked as winners.

So here are the ANSWERS: The Oscar went to...
1. Crash;  2. Shakespeare in Love;  3. Titanic;  4. Forrest Gump;  5. Kramer Vs. Kramer;  6. In The Heat of the Night;  7.  The Best Years of Our Lives;  7. How Green Was My Valley.

In looking at these head to head competitors, in virtually EVERY instance, I remember the movie or movies that did NOT win, and those movies are also the ones that movie history has proclaimed.  Look at almost any list of the top 100 Best Movies and you will see Citizen Kane at the top of that list.  And yet it did not win "best picture" in 1941.  

Maybe winning the All Time Best award is better than getting that little gold statue.


Ginnie said...

I have to be honest and say that the most I know about the Academy and it's awards is from reading your entries ! I've gone to some of the movies that were selected as Oscar winners and, with the exception of "Forest Gump" I was usually disappointed.

KGMom said...

Ginnie--Glad to be a source of information. I have been a movie junkie for a long time...and thus I can't help but think in movie reviewing mode.

warriormom said...

Wow! That was a bit eye opening. I had never heard of "The Best Years of Our Lives" until a few years ago. My husband had returned from one of his two military deployments and we happened upon it while channel surfing. We were amazed at its timelessness and so surprised we had never heard of it.