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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…

“The Social Network” Updated Awards Tally

January 8, 2011 1 comment

You know, it’s true that “The Social Network” is my favorite movie of this year and many others. It’s probably in my Top 5 films of the last 20 years. However, that’s not why I am posting this. People really need to understand the precedent that is being set here. Never in the history of film has a movie been so unanimously praised as this one.

Every year there is a critical darling. Last year, at this point last year, “The Hurt Locker” has won 12 Best Picture awards, as has “Slumdog Millionaire.” “No Country for Old Men” was the only one that came close with 20 wins. “The Social Network” has 25 Best Picture wins under its belt. Not to mention, it is also the first film in nearly 15 years to win the “Big Four,” meaning the NYFCC, LAFCA, NBR and NSFC (L.A. Confidential was the last film to do that, and before that, Schindler’s List).

This has been a bigger critical coronation than ever there was one, and it’s really something to admire and remember.

Here’s the full list of main awards that it has won:

BEST PICTURE

WINS
African American Film Critics Association
Alliance of Women Film Journalists
Boston Society of Film Critics
Broadcast Film Critics Association
Central Ohio Film Critics Association (runner-up)
Chicago Film Critics Association
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association
Detroit Film Critics Society
Florida Film Critics Circle
Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Houston Film Critics Society
Indiana Film Journalists Association
International Press Academy
Iowa Film Critics
Kansas City Film Critics Circle
Las Vegas Film Critics Society
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
National Board of Review
National Society of Film Critics
New York Film Critics Circle
New York Film Critics Online
Oklahoma City Film Critics Circle
Online Film Critics Society
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Southeastern Film Critics Association
St. Louis Film Critics Association
Toronto Film Critics Association
Utah Film Critics Association
Vancouver Film Critics Circle
Washington D.C. Film Critics Association

NOMINATIONS
Austin Film Critics Association
London Film Critics Circle (not yet awarded)
Phoenix Film Critics Society
Producers Guild of America (not yet awarded)
San Diego Film Critics

BEST DIRECTOR

WINS
Alliance of Women Film Journalists
Boston Society of Film Critics
Broadcast Film Critics Association
Chicago Film Critics Association
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association
Florida Film Critics Circle
Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Houston Film Critics Society
Indiana Film Journalists Association
International Press Academy
Iowa Film Critics
Las Vegas Film Critics Society
Los Angeles Film Critics Association (TIE with Carlos Assayas)
National Board of Review
National Society of Film Critics
New York Film Critics Circle
New York Film Critics Online
Oklahoma City Film Critics Circle
Online Film Critics Society
San Francisco Film Critics Circle (TIE with Darren Aronofsky)
Southeastern Film Critics Association
St. Louis Film Critics Association
Toronto Film Critics Association
Utah Film Critics Association
Vancouver Film Critics Circle
Washington D.C. Film Critics Association

NOMINATIONS
Austin Film Critics Association
Central Ohio Film Critics Association
Detroit Film Critics Society
London Film Critics Circle (not yet awarded)
Phoenix Film Critics Society
San Diego Film Critics

BEST ACTOR

WINS
Boston Society of Film Critics
Houston Film Critics Society
Indiana Film Journalists Association (runner-up)
National Board of Review
National Society of Film Critics
Oklahoma City Film Critics Circle
Toronto Film Critics Association
Utah Film Critics Association

NOMINATIONS
Alliance of Women Film Journalists
Broadcast Film Critics Association
Central Ohio Film Critics Association
Chicago Film Critics Association
Detroit Film Critics Society
Hollywood Foreign Press Association
International Press Academy
Las Vegas Film Critics Society
London Film Critics Circle (not yet awarded)
Online Film Critics Society
Phoenix Film Critics Society
San Diego Film Critics
Screen Actors Guild Award (not yet awarded)
St. Louis Film Critics Association
Vancouver Film Critics Circle

BEST SCREENPLAY

WINS
Alliance of Women Film Journalists (adapted)
Austin Film Critics Association (adapted)
Boston Society of Film Critics
Broadcast Film Critics Association
Central Ohio Film Critics Association (adapted)
Chicago Film Critics Association
Dallas-Forth Worth Film Critics Association
Florida Film Critics Circle (adapted)
Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Houston Film Critics Society
Indiana Film Journalists Association
International Press Academy
Kansas City Film Critics Circle
Las Vegas Film Critics Society
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
National Board of Review
National Society of Film Critics
New York Film Critics Online
Oklahoma City Film Critics Circle (adapted)
Online Film Critics Society
Phoenix Film Critics Society
San Diego Film Critics Society (adapted)
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Southeastern Film Critics Association (adapted)
St. Louis Film Critics Association (adapted)
Toronto Film Critics Association (adapted)
Utah Film Critics Association
Vancouver Film Critics Circle
Washington D.C. Film Critics Association (adapted)

NOMINATIONS
London Film Critics Circle (not yet awarded)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

WINS
Alliance of Women Film Journalists
Broadcast Film Critics Association
Central Ohio Film Critics Association (runner-up)
Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Las Vegas Film Critics Society
Los Angeles Film Critics Association (TIE w/The Ghost Writer)
St. Louis Film Critics Association

NOMINATIONS
Chicago Film Critics Association
Houston Film Critics Association
International Press Academy
San Diego Film Critics Society
Washington Film Critics Association

Congrats, “Social Network.” You earned it.