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October 11, 2009: "All the Best (Pictures)" 
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Post Re: October 11, 2009: "All the Best (Pictures)"
James, I'd be interested to get your take, in the new reviews you plan on writing, on how the sorts of movies that have won the Best Picture Oscar seem to have changed over the years. For example, when Chicago won a few years back, it underscored the fact that in the old, old days musicals and even movies with a high humor component seemed to have won more often than the often dark and somber or at any rate serious dramas that have become the almost exclusive winners since, say, the seventies. Is this somehow a reflection of changes in society as a whole or ? At any rate, I look quite forward to your new project. Thanks for always being on the lookout for new ways to expand your critical horizons.


Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:59 pm
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Post Re: October 11, 2009: "All the Best (Pictures)"
Quote:
For example, when Chicago won a few years back, it underscored the fact that in the old, old days musicals and even movies with a high humor component seemed to have won more often than the often dark and somber or at any rate serious dramas that have become the almost exclusive winners since, say, the seventies


Well, in the 'old, old days' the studios released a TON of musicals(I wouldn't be surprised if there were years in the 30s/40s where literally a hundred musicals were released in one year), so their winning Best Picture Oscars wasn't exactly newsworthy, it was just the law of averages. While Chicago winning was pretty newsworthy, since it was just one of a handful of musicals that came out in pretty much a decade.

And I think more than a few 'serious dramas' did well with the Academy in the old days: Lost Weekend(alcoholism)
Best Years of Our Lives(veterans dealing with post war lives), Gentlemen's Agreement(anti-Semitism), All the King's Men(corrupt politicians)

Also remember, there was a production code until the late 60s. Pre MPAA, in a way there was a limit to how 'serious' pictures could be.


Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:22 pm
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Post Re: October 11, 2009: "All the Best (Pictures)"
calvero wrote:
Also remember, there was a production code until the late 60s. Pre MPAA, in a way there was a limit to how 'serious' pictures could be.



Not to sound like an 'Old Hollywood' apologist, but "The Lost Weekend" was one of the most serious films ever to win Best Picture, and remains so to this day. There are also other exceptions to this statement; motion pictures weren't limited necessarily in terms of seriousness, but more directly in terms of pure visceral detail - which, to me, doesn't make a movie anymore serious (though it does occasionally make films uneven in tone or even heavy-handed in their treatment of the subject matter).


Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:59 pm
Post Re: October 11, 2009: "All the Best (Pictures)"
ck100 wrote:
I still am surprised that "Kramer vs. Kramer" beat "Apocalypse Now" for Best Picture. Same with "Ordinary People" beating "Raging Bull" and "Dances With Wolves" beating "Goodfellas".

I think that Apocalypse Now is vastly overrated. It is too long, when Brando appears the film just deteriorates. The only hightlight of the film is the "I love the samell of naypom" speech.
Kramer v's Kramer is a wonderfull film, Iwould say Hoffman's finest.
I can see why Dances with wolves won the year it did. It was a great film. Well actedm well directed and beautifully filmed. How and ever had Goodfella's won that year I would not be upset. it was also a remarkable film. it is unfortunate that both films were up against each other at the same time.


Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:11 am
Post Re: October 11, 2009: "All the Best (Pictures)"
Chicago won best picture? Seriously? You certainly meant it when you said being a winner was no indication of quality!


Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:12 pm
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Post Re: October 11, 2009: "All the Best (Pictures)"
I'm not really a musical person but I actually loved Chicago. Although it's not my favorite movie of 2002. That would probably be The Lord of the Rings: The Towers although I sometimes go back and fourth between that and Road to Perdition. Plus, Minority Report I love a lot as well.


Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:55 am
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Post Re: October 11, 2009: "All the Best (Pictures)"
If I'd been voting in 1979, I wouldn't have voted for Kramer vs. Kramer or Apocalypse Now (Brando ruins the picture), but for Breaking Away.

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Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:11 pm
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Post Re: October 11, 2009: "All the Best (Pictures)"
I have a soft spot in my heart for both Kramer vs. Kramer and Ordinary People. Both are before my time, but hit home with me every time I see them. Neither are epic in scope or production, but are very effective dramas with genuine affection for their characters. It's tough sometimes to debate their merits against iconic films like Apocalypse Now, but they still resonate strongly with me, so the awards don't feel undeserved. Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay are such contentious awards almost every single year and usually multiple films are deserving. As great as Fargo was, I was still rooting for Lone Star on screenplay. As good as The Departed was, I was secretly rooting for Little Miss Sunshine on Best Picture. I found The English Patient and Gladiator highly overrated and their awards left me scratching my head. I go through this almost every single year and it's fun to discuss.

I like the idea, James, and am looking forward to reading the new reviews, especially The Sting. In looking back through the list, I didn't realize how brutal the 1940 Best Picture Award was. Gone With The Wind was up against The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Stagecoach and Wuthering Heights, among others. Tough crowd.


Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:11 pm
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Post Re: October 11, 2009: "All the Best (Pictures)"
What is the fastest written screenplay that was bought and made into a Hollywood film? Which screenplay was written in the shortest amount of time but was actually bought and made into a Hollywood film? A full length film, not a short.
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Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:03 am
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Post Re: October 11, 2009: "All the Best (Pictures)"
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Over the next year-plus, I will review one of the "missing" Best Picture winners every one-to-two weeks. My current goal is to complete this project by the end of 2010. (42 reviews in roughly 62 weeks.)


are you still on track? seems like there haven't been too many reviews lately.


Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:10 pm
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Post Re: October 11, 2009: "All the Best (Pictures)"
calvero wrote:
Quote:
Over the next year-plus, I will review one of the "missing" Best Picture winners every one-to-two weeks. My current goal is to complete this project by the end of 2010. (42 reviews in roughly 62 weeks.)


are you still on track? seems like there haven't been too many reviews lately.


Wife's pregnancy has slowed me down. Lots of stuff to do. My writing of (a) ReelThoughts and (b) older reviews will accelerate after the baby is born. New reviews, however, will drop to about two per week. I'll have about the same amount of time to write but there will be limitations on when I can leave the house.

So the Best Picture reviews will probably shoot up to one per week beginning in June. I may miss December, however, but should finish by the time the next Oscars come around.


Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:11 pm
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Post Re: October 11, 2009: "All the Best (Pictures)"
James Berardinelli wrote:
Wife's pregnancy has slowed me down. Lots of stuff to do. My writing of (a) ReelThoughts and (b) older reviews will accelerate after the baby is born. New reviews, however, will drop to about two per week. I'll have about the same amount of time to write but there will be limitations on when I can leave the house.


Ah, the sweet naïvete of a first time father. I remember, with fondness, saying something similar with slightly different words.


Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:49 pm
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Post Re: October 11, 2009: "All the Best (Pictures)"
James Berardinelli wrote:
calvero wrote:
Quote:
Over the next year-plus, I will review one of the "missing" Best Picture winners every one-to-two weeks. My current goal is to complete this project by the end of 2010. (42 reviews in roughly 62 weeks.)


are you still on track? seems like there haven't been too many reviews lately.


Wife's pregnancy has slowed me down. Lots of stuff to do. My writing of (a) ReelThoughts and (b) older reviews will accelerate after the baby is born. New reviews, however, will drop to about two per week. I'll have about the same amount of time to write but there will be limitations on when I can leave the house.

So the Best Picture reviews will probably shoot up to one per week beginning in June. I may miss December, however, but should finish by the time the next Oscars come around.


Two words for you:

BULL

CRAP


Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:56 am
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