Friday, January 23, 2009

Academy Awards 1996-2007

The Oscars can be very annoying. That must be why they are so fun to keep up with. But, seriously, the last decade to twelve years have been really bad for the awards. Good arguments can be made against nearly every choice for best picture. Assuming the award for Best Picture was to go to the best of the best for the year, the most enduringly good film made that year that would only increase in importance and audience and impact, then all but one of the last 12 years got it wrong. (Yes, yes, the Oscars are not about that, but rather a popularity contest full of politics, I know. However, they have gotten it right in the past… look at the early nineties.)

Here is a look at the Best Picture category from 1996-2007:

1996: The English Patient? Should have gone to Fargo.

1997: Titanic? LA Confidential was also nominated, and is the better film.

1998: Shakespeare in Love? Saving Private Ryan should have won, better yet, Dark City or The Truman Show should have at least been nominated.

1999: American Beauty? The Sixth Sense turns out to have been M. Night’s best film; they should have given it to him then. The Matrix or The Iron Giant should have been contenders.

2000: Gladiator? Maybe not as bad as the previous four years, but Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon ought to have gotten the nod, and O Brother Where Art Thou? wasn’t considered.

2001: A Beautiful Mind? Here is where the Oscars decided to overlook the Best Picture for two years running and just give the award to the best picture besides The Lord of the Rings, considering it as one big picture. From this point on, there was no doubt Return of the King would win.

2002: Chicago? Ditto last year, but even so Minority Report should have taken this “Second Place” trophy.

2003: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (and the previous two lumped in.)

2004: Million Dollar Baby? The animation curse rears its head again and The Incredibles is not even looked at.

2005: Crash? Munich will have a longer lasting impact, since Crash is already forgotten.

2006: The Departed? A case of a director being looked over for far too long and awarded for a lesser picture. Laberynto del Fauno was the masterpiece of 2006.

2007: No Country for Old Men? Not a bad choice, but Ratatouille was probably the best film.

What will this year bring? Wall-E is already out. Will the Best Picture win?

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