Just like every year, in anticipation for the latest Academy Awards ceremony (this year's, the 88th, airing tonight on ABC), film buffs/blowhards like me can't help bitching about the great movies that didn't win Best Picture in previous years while some incredibly undeserving film took home the gold.
I've had these conversations many times, especially when I worked at a video store (remember those?), about how a favorite movie, like, say PULP FICTION, got passed over for some forgettable piece of fluff, like, say, FORREST GUMP, that was nowhere as influential and hasn't held up in the long run.
So these Top 5 picks are pretty f-in' obvious, and predictable if you know me (2 Scorsese films are on the list), but they stand as the five instances where I most thought the Oscars got it dead wrong.
5. Robert Benton's (who?) KRAMER VS. KRAMER winning over Francis Ford Coppola's APOCALYPSE NOW. (1979)
That's right, this:
won over this:
4. THE ENGLISH PATIENT winning instead of the Coen brothers' crime comedy drama masterpiece FARGO! (1996) Yeah, I mean who even mentions Anthony Minghella's weepy war rom drama THE ENGLISH PATIENT now? It's probably better remembered as a reference point on a episode of Seinfeld than as an actual film that people saw and liked. At least Frances McDormand won Best Actress for her peppy portrayal of police woman Marge Gunderson, one of the greatest movie characters of all time.
3. Robert Redford's ORDINARY PEOPLE winning instead of Martin Scorsese's RAGING BULL. (1980) This is just silly. However, I did appreciate ORDINARY PEOPLE, but just thought it came nowhere near the majesty that was Scorsese's fourth film with Robert De Niro.
2. John Ford's HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY won over Orson Welles' CITIZEN KANE! (1941)
Now I obviously wasn't around when this happened, but I can sure feel the 7 decades plus ripple effect from what many consider the greatest film of all time losing out to a movie that has been pretty much left in the dust bin of history. Actually, HGWMV isn't a bad film - I watched it a few years back and found it be a well made drama. And it's much better than the next film for sure:
DANCES WITH WOLVES winning over Martin Scorsese's mangum opus mob epic GOODFELLAS. (1990). This one still kills me. Scorsese makes two of his greatest movies and they both lose to pretty boy actor's directorial debuts. I'd like to think that Marty and co.'s reaction to the announcement looked like the picture above. At least Joe Pesci won the Best Supporting Actor award, and Scorsese went on to grab the gold with 2005's THE DEPARTED. That one was one of the biggest example's of payback in the entire history of Oscar.
#5 on this list also has to do with my biggest Best Actor beef ever, that Peter Sellers' brilliant work in Hal Ashby's BEING THERE, one of my all time favorite films, was passed over.
Sellers could walk on water, but he still lost to Dustin Hoffman in that damn divorce drama.
Anyway, let's see what beefs tonight's Oscars show will give me. You'll know immediately as I'll be live tweeting the event (follow @filmbabble).