Archive

Posts Tagged ‘forrest gump’

EW Ranks the Top Ten Worst Best Picture Wins

February 19, 2011 3 comments

It’s no doubt that “The Social Network” is the unanimous choice for Best Picture by this country’s critics. Entertainment Weekly’s own Lisa Schwarzbaum and Owen Gleiberman were united for the first time in years by both placing the film at the top of their lists. Therefore, it’s hard not to chuckle at the timing of this article: less than two weeks before “The King’s Speech” takes the home the gold at this year’s event.

I know. I’m such an opportunist. But let’s be serious. The 2011 Best Picture will eventually make it to this list. Just a matter of time. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the past. This is a really good list. I’d almost like to make one of my own, except it would probably mirror this one quite a bit. Here’s the list:

10. “Forrest Gump” over “Pulp Fiction”
9. “The Last Emperor” over “Broadcast News,” “Fatal Attraction” or “Moonstruck”
8. “Around the World in Eighty Days” over “Giant”
7. “Gandhi” over “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial”
6. “The English Patient” over “Fargo” or “Jerry Maguire”
5. “Dances with Wolves” over “Goodfellas”
4. “Chariots of Fire” over “Reds”
3. “Shakespeare in Love” over “Saving Private Ryan”
2. “How Green Was My Valley” over “Citizen Kane”
1. “Crash” over “Brokeback Mountain”

The only one on this list that I really cannot concur with is “The Last Emperor.” While it’s certainly not an amazing film, neither was any of its competition. None of the other three films listed are any more deserving of the prize. 1987 on the whole was a pretty horrible year for cinema. My favorite was “Full Metal Jacket,” but even that film I have a difficult time calling Best Picture-worthy. Also, while the excruciatingly long and uneventful “Gandhi” was a shameful choice, “E.T.” would not be my pick from the nominees. For as much of a Spielberg whore as I am, his cuddly alien movie is not one of my favorites. Personally, I would have picked Sydney Pollack’s in-the-moment comedy, “Tootsie.”

My equivalent list would probably look like this:

10. “Chariots of Fire” over “Raiders of the Lost Ark”
9. “The Sting” over “A Clockwork Orange” or “The Last Picture Show”
8. “Going My Way” over “Double Indemnity”
7. “Titanic” over “L.A. Confidential”
6. “Dances with Wolves” over “Goodfellas”
5. “How Green Was My Valley” over “Citizen Kane”
4. “Crash” over “Brokeback Mountain” or “Munich”
3. “Shakespeare in Love” over “Saving Private Ryan,” or even “The Thin Red Line”
2. “Rocky” over “Taxi Driver,” “All the President’s Men” or “Network”
1. “In the Heat of the Night” over “Bonnie and Clyde” or “The Graduate”

Masterpieces like “Bonnie and Clyde” and “Taxi Driver” losing out to works of pure mediocrity like “Rocky” and “In the Heat of the Night” are enough to make eyes roll. I still also remember watching Harvey Weinstein and his entourage taking the stage in 1999, not being able to move for twenty minutes, my blood boiling with rage. Same in 2006 with the ridiculous Paul Haggis. It’s enough to make one cry.

Meanwhile, when it comes to the “test of time” question, not many films earn it to the same extent as “Citizen Kane,” “Double Indemnity,” or even after 20 or 30 years, “Goodfellas” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” These films are considered works of art by critics, industry and audiences alike while their competition has faded into the video store walls.

Give it a year and expect to find “The King’s Speech” up on this list. Maybe some day the Academy will realize that history will judge their decisions, and their hindsight is not very kind, and nor should it be, considering some of these decisions.

Check out Entertainment Weekly’s article, with a slideshow and commentary. Also, if you want to see something funny, check out this video of “Shakespeare in Love” winning Best Picture and watch Harrison Ford’s dismayed expression after reading the name. I feel for you, buddy…

Advertisements

Eric Roth on “The Social Network”

December 30, 2010 Leave a comment

In a recent online, slideshow piece, Salon asked some of today’s filmmakers about their favorite films from the last year. A lot of the responses are fascinating and great reads, but this one by four-time Academy Award nominated writer Eric Roth (“Forrest Gump,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Insider,” “Munich”) really got to me. It’s written with such elegance and prose that it raises the overall impact of David Fincher’s “The Social Network” to an even loftier level. A great little read:

“What’s going on here? They don’t let people make movies anymore that have a wit of thought, with great ideas expressed articulately by artists … these are movies of another time and place when giants roamed the Earth, and not Middle-earth either. That was the time of the Bonnies and the Clydes and the mean streets and the godfathers and the Kubricks and Leones and Godards and the names that are part literature, part poetry, all youth. So what is this movie that has something to say about the culture, about the way we think about each other and the ways we don’t? What is a movie doing today where the hero is unlikable and nasty and greedy and incredibly smart and lonely and part of a generation that has to announce who they are when they open a door to make sure they are noticed? What kind of a movie is that? Where does that happen in this landscape where Clashes and Crashes and Smashes are king. Where does it happen that a movie can make you talk about it all night, where it makes you remember why you went to the movies in the first place? Where does it happen that people with golden tongues and vision get to tell stories anymore? Where does it happen that a movie has near unanimous praise of critics afraid of their own shadows, and the public decides to give it a shot and it makes you want to be an awful lot younger and start all over again? Did I mention David Fincher’s “The Social Network?” We all should be so lucky and so good.”

Check out the full slide show with more comments from Scott Rudin, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, David Koechner, Malin Akerman, Andrew Jarecki and many others…